Homeless families in Portland increase by 29%
Following up on the podcast we did about homelessness in Portland, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released their 2011 Hunger and Homelessness report on Thursday. Portland was one of the 29 cities surveyed, and the result was not good:
Traci Manning is the Director of the Portland Housing Bureau. She says the number of homeless families increased by 29 percent this year.
“When the count was completed it showed a large jump in the number of homeless families and that’s very concerning. That means that there’s children out on the street,” says Manning.
The report also revealed that there has been a 15 percent increase in requests for food assistance. Although the city expects requests for food assistance to only increase next year, city officials also believe that the amount of available food assistance will not be available to meet this increased demand.
In related news, the Eastminister Presbyterian Church in Northeast Portland recently opened a homeless shelter in the past couple of years and is now facing an overflowing need to provide sleeping arrangements for up to 90 people a night- half of which are children, most under the age of five.