A workforce still waiting for a recovery
In Dallas, X, Catholic Charities sta can’t answer all the calls for help. In Minneapolis, MN,requests for food are up 80%. In Wheeling, WV, there has been a 35% increase in food andutility assistance but due to lack of funds, the agency can only assist 20%. And in Pueblo, CO,the housing and homeless prevention program went from seeing 346 clients in the 3rd quarter of 2009 to 650 this year -- and they still turned 1500 people away. Who are the faces in need? More and more, agencies responding to the snapshot survey reporta steady increase in the number of working poor seeking assistance with basic needs, especially emergency nancial assistance. In the 2nd quarter of 2010, 71% of agencies noted an increase inrequests from the working poor, now 81% report an increase. All signs suggest this number willcontinue to rise.
Overall, agencies report increases in requests for help from the following groups:
• Working poor - 81%• Families - 71%• Seniors - 48%• “Te number of moderate income families continues to increase. A group that in thepast was not in need of the type of assistance we provide started to access our pantry andnancial assistance – these families report a loss of nancial assets due to the loss or lack of employment. We have seen a 37% increase in the number of families accessing our servicesthis quarter; the overall number for the FY is 93%.”
Linda McKamie, Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, Inc.
• “Tere is a signicant increase in immigrant families coming to us for basic assistance and jobsearch/placement requests. Very high increase in pregnant, indigent women coming in forbasic assistance.”
Douglas Alles, Catholic Charities Portland, OR
• “Te Butler County oce is seeing a signicantly higher number of homeless pregnant women and more families with children in need. Our Allegheny County Basic Needs Assistance program continues to receive record phone calls for assistance making it dicultfor the caseworkers to answer all calls and eectively assist clients.”
Clare Kushma, Catholic Charities Diocese of Pittsburgh
State Budget Cuts: Closing down programs and scaling back services
Catholic Charities funding sources are varied and the support of individual and private donorsis invaluable, yet a large percent (nearly 70% in 2009) comes from government entities. Since2009, state budgets have become tighter and the toll on social services has been enormous, oftendevastating.In San Francisco, CA, Gabrielle Slanina shares, “Many state proposed solutions are focusing oncutting services that are imperative to supporting those who face generational poverty. By cutting housing support, child care and aging services, the state will essentially be putting all the progressto combat poverty back 20-30 years.”In Yakima, WA, John Young reports that programs that have been in operation for 15-20 yearshave been discontinued – including those for child care, pregnancy counseling, and medical casemanagement. Forecasts show dramatic cuts to social services in the coming months.
Photo by: AmericanPoverty.org
• Immigrants - 48%• Homeless - 45%