Saturday, November 24, 2007

Too Many Americans are Working Hard but Cannot Make Ends Meet

Catholic Charities USA, President Father Larry Snyder urged our federal government to do more for the poor when he described the current state of poverty in the United States as both "unacceptable" and a "moral crisis".

"Poverty in America: Beyond the Numbers",a report that offers a national and state-by-state snapshot of how and where local Catholic Charities agencies across the country are serving the greatest numbers of individuals in need of healthcare, food, employment, and housing services," shows Catholic Charities USA served 7.9 million clients (1 out of every 10 people below the poverty line) in 2006.

Between 2002 and 2006:

The number of clients receiving food service programs increased 60%.

Request for temporary shelter increased 24%!

45% of Catholic Charities' clients were either under 18-years old or over 65.

In April of 2007, Father Larry Snyder gave testimony before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support of the House Committee on Ways and Means on the steady increase in the number of families seeking assistance.

"Through our daily work at Catholic Charities agencies across our nation, we see the impact of poverty on families. The many misconceptions about the nature of poverty in the United States reinforce the commonly held view that poverty is due to failures and deficiencies of individuals, rather than the failures of structures that we put in place through the economic and political choices we make as a nation. While it is true that individual choices and behaviors do influence one’s chances of living in poverty, these individual behaviors are frequently outweighed by the structures and policies that shape the opportunities of people who are poor." -- Father Larry Snyder


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