ON THIS WEEKEND

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Food hand-out demand shoots up 12 percent across U.S.

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake On average, 18 percent of the requests for emergency food and 14 percent of the requests for emergency shelter are estimated to have gone unmet during the past year. Eighty-seven percent of cities said the length of time that people were homeless, an average of seven months, increased during the past year. Lack of affordable housing topped the list of causes of homelessness. Low-paying jobs, mental illness, substance abuse and other things also were factors. Fifty-four percent of the people asking for emergency food were families, children and their parents. Forty percent of the adults requesting food were employed. Officials said evacuees from hurricanes Katrina and Rita have not caused a significant strain on resources, but warned that the impact might be felt next year. SAN FRANCISCO – Americans nationwide needed more emergency food and shelter last year than a year earlier, according to the results of a 24-city survey released Monday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Overall, requests for food assistance grew by 12 percent during the past year with 76 percent of the cities surveyed reporting an increase. Appeals for shelter assistance increased by 6 percent with 71 percent of cities showing an increase, according to the annual Hunger and Homelessness Survey. “The statistics continue to get worse and worse in spite of our Herculean efforts,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who, along with Mayor Paul Pate of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, co-chairs the conference’s Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Among the survey’s findings: The data analyzed were collected during November and December 2005 for the period of Nov. 1, 2004, to Oct. 31, 2005, from city officials, community-based providers and government agencies. It was supplemented by population, poverty and unemployment figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more