Homelessness Is On the Rise

This Sign Is My RoofLet’s talk about something less political. Sort of.

More middle-class professionals are becoming homeless:

  • “The Burbank Temporary Aid Center has experienced a 66% increase in requests for assistance in the last 18 months, Executive Director Barbara Howell said. About half of those seeking help are middle-class people experiencing homelessness for the first time.”
  • “Andy Bales, president of the Union Rescue Mission, said he’s also seeing professionals and other middle-class people coming into the mission who are experiencing homelessness for the first time, including former mission donors.”
  • “It’s America’s new shantytown,” Roberts said. “It’s happening everywhere—Seattle, San Diego and Denver. I think it’s a reflection of the economic times. The social safety net in our society is failing.”

And as resources are needed, government programs and nonprofits are getting less:

  • “We’re down about 25% over our normal donations, so we’re barely hanging in there,” [CEO of Union Rescue Mission Andy] Bales said. “I’ve never seen it this bad.”
  • “It’s the worst it’s ever been in my 23 years working in nonprofits,” [Bales] said.
  • “We’ve been here 118 years,” [Bales] said. “When the Depression hit, the Union Rescue Mission served 50% of the hungry people in L.A. So if our forefathers figured out a way to make it through the Depression, we’re going to have to do the same.”

And a Twitter comment from hardlynormal:

“My current situation, two months from homelessness, reminds me of how homeless can happen to everyone. Most of us are just one crisis away.”

At least in Ohio the homeless can list park benches as their address and still be eligible to vote.

So please support emergency shelters, food shelves and other services for the homeless even in these tough economic times. (If you like, you can contribute to the St. Paul Area Council of Churches and their emergency shelter Project Home through my Facebook Cause.)

(links via hardlynormal and corypina)

One thought on “Homelessness Is On the Rise”

  1. Thanks for talking about URM and the current financial struggles. We do some video work with URM and they are a great organization trying to help the homeless. If you interested, check out their new website: http://www.urm.org. You can even follow the CEO, Andy Bales on Twitter.

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