The U.S. Conference of Mayors released their 2010 Status Report on Hunger & Homelessness in American Cities yesterday (WARNING: ‘Tis a PDF), and the results aren’t pretty. The nation’s homeless population grew by 9 percent this year, and paints a bleak picture for the country. On an average night, roughly 1,000 families are on the streets, with nearly 11,000 seeking respite in emergency shelters. As previously reported by LEO Weekly, the number of homeless students enrolled in Jefferson County Public Schools increased by 23 percent since 2009.
So aside from kicking children to the curb, how does Louisville fare in other homeless-related areas?
Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the numbers:
The number of homeless families in Louisville decreased by two percent over the past year despite experiencing “an 11 percent increase in requests for food assistance, and neither the city’s budget for emergency food purchase nor its overall food distribution matched this demand,” the report says — this despite the efforts of the Dare to Care Food Bank, which the report commended for distributing approximately 1.5 million pounds of food to the city’s most at-risk families.
The total amount of food distributed to the needy throughout the city in 2010 was 14,053,774 pounds, representing a 15 percent increase over 2009.
An overwhelming majority of food (63 percent) was donated by gerocery chains and other food suppliers, with fed programs donating just over 27 percent.
Sadly, the city did not add any new beds to homeless shelters despite a worsening recession and increased demand for social services aside from a mere dozen categorized as “transitional housing.”