Hunger and Homelessness Survey; A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities A 25-City Survey

Source: United States Conference of Mayors, December 2014

From the press release:
The 32nd annual assessment of hunger and homelessness, conducted by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and released today in Washington, found increased demand this year for emergency food and housing across 25 cities whose mayors are members of the Conference’s Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Low wages led the list of causes of hunger citied by officials in the cities surveyed, and lack of affordable housing was seen as the chief cause of homelessness for both families with children and unaccompanied individuals. ….

Findings on Hunger: Seventy-one percent of the cities in this year’s survey reported that requests for emergency food assistance increased over the past year. Across all the survey cities, the requests increased by an average of 7 percent. Of those requesting assistance, 56 percent were persons in families, 38 percent were employed, 20.5 percent were elderly, and 7 percent were homeless. Low wages led the list of causes cited by the survey cities, followed by poverty, unemployment, and high housing costs. ….

Findings on Homelessness: Overall, the total number of homeless persons increased across the survey cities by 1 percent. The number of families experiencing homelessness increased by an average of 3 percent, with 43 percent of the cities reporting an increase and 22 percent saying the number stayed the same as in the previous year. The number of unaccompanied individuals experiencing homelessness over the past year decreased by an average of just under 1 percent, with 35 percent of the cities reporting an increase, 26 percent saying the number stayed the same, and 39 percent reporting a decrease. Across the survey cities as a group, 28 percent of homeless adults were severely mentally ill, 22 percent were physically disabled, 15 percent were victims of domestic violence, and 3 percent were HIV Positive. Eighteen percent of homeless adults were employed and 13 percent were veterans. ….

The 25 survey cities, whose mayors are members of The U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness, are:
Asheville, NC, Boston, MA, Charleston, SC; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN; Norfolk, VA; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Plano, TX; Providence, RI; Saint Paul, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; Trenton, NJ; and Washington, DC….