Hungry, homeless and younger
"Hunger and homelessness are not simply part of the 'natural order of things'. They represent inexcusable failures of political will and human imagination," Rep. McGovern said. "All of us -- at all levels of government and throughout society -- must rededicate ourselves to addressing the needs of ALL Americans." *The U.S. Conference of Mayors surveyed 23 major cities during 2006 seeking information and estimates from each city on:
- the demand for emergency food assistance and emergency shelter and the capacity of local agencies to meet that demand;
- the causes of hunger and homelessness and the demographics of the populations experiencing these problems;
- exemplary programs or efforts in the cities to respond to hunger and homelessness;
- the availability of affordable housing for low income people; and
- the outlook for the future and the impact of the economy on hunger and homelessness.
Families and individuals relied on emergency food assistance facilities both in emergencies and as a steady source of food over long periods of time.
Unemployment and other employment-related problems lead the list of causes of hunger identified by the city officials.
Single men comprise 51 percent of the homeless population, families with children 30 percent, single women 17 percent, and unaccompanied youth 2 percent.
An average of 23 percent of the requests for emergency shelter by homeless people overall and 29 percent of the requests by homeless families alone are estimated to have gone unmet during the last year.
The mayors' forecast for 2007 :
Seventy-two percent of the survey cities expect that their requests for emergency food assistance will increase in 2007.Hunger and Homelessness Survey - A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America's Cities. A 23-City Survey, December 2006
During 2007 requests for emergency food assistance by families with children are expected to increase in 95 percent of the survey cities...
Sixty-eight percent of the survey cities expect that requests for emergency shelter to increase in 2007.
Seventy-five percent of the survey cities expect that requests for shelter by families to increase in 2007.
(2006, pdf, 96pp/832kB)
photo from Survey cover page
* from Hunger and Homelessness Survey press release (pdf)