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Hunger, homelessness on the rise in US: Report

23 December 2015 7:03


Hunger and homelessness are on the rise in major cities across the United States, largely due to low wages and a lack of affordable housing, according to a new report.

In the 22 cities included in the report, homelessness increased by 1.6 percent over the past year, the US Conference of Mayors said on Tuesday in its annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey.

The amount of emergency food assistance distributed by those cities increased by three percent, the survey found.

The largest increase in homelessness was in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, where the number of people experiencing homelessness rose by 28 percent and the number of homeless families went up by 60 percent.

Requests for emergency food assistance in the city rose by 27 percent during the same period.

Los Angeles, California and Seattle, Washington also experienced sharp increases in homelessness. Other cities included in the survey were Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and San Francisco, California.

Like previous years, mayors from those cities identified low wages and a lack of affordable housing as major factors contributing to hunger and homelessness.

A growing number of cities and states have recently sought to reduce poverty by raising wages, spurred in part by a series of nationwide strikes and protests from fast-food employees and other low-wage workers.

Meanwhile, hunger has remained consistently elevated nationwide since the Great Recession while the budget for food stamps has been significantly reduced over the last few years.

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