A report released yesterday by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness noted a 28% increase during 2004 for emergency food assistance requests. The same study reported a 27% increase in requests for emergency shelter.
Sure fits what I see everyday in my corner of the world.
Twenty-five per cent of emergency food distributors said that they had to turn people away because of scarce resources. When it comes to emergency shelter providers, 75% of these agencies had to refuse service to those in need due to lack of funds and space.
What I am waiting for is a National Politician's Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness.
Or, how about an United Church Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness?
Even better, a National Business Roundtable Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness.
Why are the really important, thoroughly human matters almost always left to students?
The Bush Administration, for all of its spin about "compassionate conservatism," proposes to cut $2 billion from HUD's community development efforts at the very time when low-income communities need help and while cities are tightening belts.
Even programs that reward and encourage people to work are not immune from the federal pin knife. The very successful Earned Income Tax Credit, the program that provides tax refunds to very low-income working people, will lose $81 million in FY2006 and a total of $622 million over the next five years.
Think about it. Where do working people put their refund money? Grocery stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, auto dealerships, housing developments--hmmm, sounds like the poor aren't the only ones hurt by the loss of these work benefits and incentives. Something about being a penny wise and a pound foolish crosses my mind.
Underneath all of this detail lies a troubling reality: these are increasingly harsh times for people at the bottom of our economic ladder.
Even more troubling to me is the illusion of progress that permeates media and the collective popular mind these days. For all our talk about values, morality and national honor, could we be peering through a looking glass that distorts everything in a fantastic manner. Could we be in a fantasy land of denial that simply serves our own pleasure while protecting our positions of advantage?
The Messiness of Ministry
20 hours ago