ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As the country begins to recover from the initial impacts of COVID-19, millions of families — the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population — are at heightened risk of falling below the poverty line and entering a multiyear cycle of challenges. A profound crisis — pandemic poverty — has been created by COVID-19 and is causing significant spikes in food insecurity, unemployment, housing, and a host of other critical factors that contribute to homelessness. With growing concerns about evictions, the nation’s largest social service provider, The Salvation Army, is providing assistance to help families stay in their homes and avoid the long-term impacts of homelessness and poverty.
The eviction moratorium has protected tens of millions of Americans across a range of income levels including families. The organization recognizes the essential need to keep roofs over heads and help keep families out of poverty and has provided more than $655 million in direct financial assistance to meet immediate needs like rent, utilities, food, clothing, and household goods. That represents a $100,000,000 increase from the previous time period in 2019.
“Every day, the menacing threat of pandemic poverty knocks on the doors of millions of Americans,” said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army. “In any given year, falling below the poverty line presents unique challenges for hardworking families. The global health crisis, however, has created unprecedented, multi-faceted, and potentially multi-generational cycles of poverty. But with the support of generous Americans, we can keep families in their homes and above the pandemic poverty line.”
Nearly 3.1 million people are at risk of becoming homeless due to multiple compounding factors causing Americans to seek assistance from The Salvation Army:
- Nearly 50% of adults with low income are behind on their housing paymentsi
- 57.3% of individuals with low income experienced income loss or unemployment in the last yearii
- 32% of adults with low income have battled feelings of depressioniii
- 80% of four-person households have already spent stimulus payments on either paying off debts or essential household expensesiv
On average, individuals with low income have a one-in-three chance of escaping poverty in any given year. For the most marginalized populations, however, it is less likely. The rate of Black Americans in poverty is double that of the overall poverty rate in the United States.v Additionally, households headed by women and households with children have a lower probability of getting out of poverty, so the need to support these communities is greater than ever.
After the Great Recession, The Salvation Army saw an increase of 10 million requests for service over three years, and the organization anticipates service requests will continue to grow as a result of pandemic poverty. Through 7,600 local service centers, The Salvation Army is providing rent, utility, and food assistance to individuals and families in need.
During National Salvation Army Week (May 10–16), The Salvation Army is raising awareness of this crisis and asking supporters to help support vulnerable families. Originally declared by U.S. Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954 to recognize the work of the organization, The Salvation Army is using it as an opportunity to shed light on the important challenges facing the country’s most vulnerable.
Generous Americans can help their vulnerable neighbors stay above the pandemic poverty line by giving just $25 a month, which can be the difference between a family being housed or homeless. To learn more, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org/USN/video-hub.
To make a difference in the lives of those in your community, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.
i Human Rights Watch
iv U.S. Census Bureau
SOURCE The Salvation Army
Originally Appeared On: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americans-on-cusp-of-losing-their-homes-as-new-pandemic-crisis-looms-301287606.html