"Homeless and at-risk populations are vulnerable to disaster. They lack cushions and buffers that let other people get by in rough times." (As sited by the Iowa Institute for Community Alliances, originally from "Population Composition, Migration & Inequality by Donner, William & Havidan Rodriguez, 2008.)
The 2009 Annual Report on Homelessness in Iowa came out several weeks ago. The report shows a very dismal picture of homelessness among families-- more than 60% were homeless for the first time in 2009. The report also showed that the top cause of all homelessness was economics, reaffirming what the staff at St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter already know through the daily phone calls they receive from families seeking shelter. In June alone 75 families were turned away because the rooms at the shelter were already full!
The expansion of St. Joseph Emergnecy Family Shelter is coming at a time when the need has become more obvious than ever. Doubling the number of rooms and making upgrades to enhance services to families staying at the shelter are a huge part of helping this vulnerable population but we encourage you to learn more about the causes of homelessness, including poverty, domestic violence and other social justice issues.
One place to start is to check out Catholic Charities' Social Justice Consortium.
During the month of August, Catholic Charities’ staff and committee members are "Blogging the Build". Follow our blog for updates on the expansion of St. Joseph Emergency Family Shelter.