Whenever this blog shines a spotlight on how many Americans go hungry every day, our readers respond with surprise and skepticism. Most Americans live in a cultural environment that looks away from poverty, and even the impoverished themselves tend to hide their unfortunate circumstances. In America, it’s noble to inhabit the working class but undignified to struggle feeding your family. Although most of our readers are in the social services profession, even they seem unaware of the depth and breadth of our marginalized population where hunger is still a prominent issue. They consider ads with a picture of a sad-looking child on billboards, the internet, and television saying, "No school means no school lunch. Donate now [to] Feeding America," a cry for help from a select few.
As we reported earlier this year, few Americans know that hunger has become a serious social problem in the U. S. We tend to think of countries in drought plagued Africa or the war-torn Middle East as places where children suffer malnutrition and die of starvation. However, food insecurity and nutritional depravation continue to haunt Americans in urban pockets of poverty and remote rural regions across our country.
The latest government statistics report that approximately one in five adults reported experiencing household food insecurity at the end of 2022. High food price inflation, along with elevated costs for other basic needs, such as transportation and rent, have likely eroded food budgets in the last year, and some of the safety net responses that buffered food insecurity in 2021 are no longer in place. In addition, 35% (229 million tons) of all food produced in the U.S. every year goes unsold or uneaten and is thrown away while nearly 42 million Americans – one in eight – struggle with hunger.
In our last report on hunger in America we highlighted the role of nonprofits and social service agencies in the battle against food depravation. This week we would like to shine a light on one “for-profit” company that is making an amazing contribution to the fight against hunger in America.
Fueled by a long-running housing shortage, rising rent prices, and the economic hangover from the pandemic, the overall number of homeless in a federal government report to be released in coming months is expected to be higher than the 580,000 unhoused before the coronavirus outbreak.
Larry Breitenstein, PhD, chair of the social work department at Slippery Rock University, remembers child protection work in Kentucky in the early '70s. "I used to carry extra canned food in my car, just in case. Almost half my families needed help with food. Food stamps were new and food banks were scarce. We had petty cash for food, but it was never enough. I almost always bought food because I never knew when I was going to find a starving kid."
We recently overheard two nine-year-olds discussing a Thanksgiving food bank ad they happened to be watching on T.V.
NYO#1 “Look at all those turkeys. Who gets them all?"
NYO#2 "Hungry children in China."
NYO#1 "Do they have Thanksgiving in China?"
NYO#2 "I guess so. They must, or they wouldn't need so many turkeys."
NYO#1 "Wow. They sure have a lot of hungry people."
NYO#2 "Yup. They do. Everybody in China is hungry."
Every now and then this blog takes a close-up of the work an individual agency is doing. This week we would like to profile Starting Over, Inc. a small Los Angeles agency dedicated to helping individuals who have fallen by the wayside and are trying to reenter the mainstream of normal life. Starting Over Inc. is dedicated to helping Southern California's most vulnerable by addressing homelessness, recidivism, and reentry. Although providing transitional housing is an important part of their service, over time the program has evolved a seven-part service model that seeks to address the complex of conditions that hinder a successful reentry into the mainstream.
An estimated 4.2 million teenagers and young adults are homeless each year. Children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless have higher rates of mental health problems such as behavioral issues, anxiety, and depression than children who live in unstable households.
The importance of mental health in programs for homeless young people cannot be overstated. Furthermore, most people's willingness to seek therapy is limited by a lack of access to mental health care. For organizations and services that work with at-risk youth, emphasizing mental health is critical to long-term sustainability.
Case workers involved in health and human services are in a unique position to be aware of families in the communities struggling to make ends meet.
On any given night, approximately 553,742 people in the United States are homeless, according to national data. And around 38,000 of these are veterans. This means that veterans account for approximately 8% of the total homeless population.
This is a sad state of affairs, given that these people have spent a significant portion of their lives serving the country, only to find themselves homeless on the same country's streets.
Men, women, and people of all races and backgrounds are among the homeless veterans who have given their best year to this country. So, why are they homeless during their most vulnerable years?
This site is dedicated to educating readers about the homeless community, as well as the triumphs and challenges encountered by those who are committed to helping them. Government organizations and nonprofits are working hard to create solutions for this vulnerable group. Case management software with a focus on homelessness can aid in making the process of finding a solution more manageable by giving organizations the tools they need to coordinate and speed up the various services and activities aimed at eliminating homelessness. The following are a few benefits for organizations who decide to invest in case management software that focuses on homelessness.