Communities in Crisis: A Survey of Hunger and Homelessness in America

Communities in Crisis: A Survey of Hunger and Homelessness in America

The ranks of the hungry and the homeless in the United States are swelling, the agencies that serve them are overwhelmed, and government funding cuts are the major culprits. These are a few of the grim findings in Communities in Crisis: A Survey of Hunger and Homelessness in America (41 pages, PDF), for which the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness surveyed nine hundred providers of emergency food and shelter in thirty-two states, run by 26,000 staff and nearly 45,000 volunteers. Of the providers -- who had served 1.3 million clients in the month prior to completing the survey -- 65 percent of the emergency shelters and 74 percent of the agencies supplying food reported increases of more than 25 percent in requests for services over the past year; and 77 percent of the emergency shelters and 24 percent of the emergency food agencies had to turn people away, primarily due to a lack of resources. The reason they cited most frequently: cuts in state and federal funding. The report concludes that government policies are out of sync with reality and offers recommendations aimed at spurring elected officials to take action.