03.08.2021 23:22

The Salvation Army Braces for a Potential New Wave of Homelessness


ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With the eviction moratorium having officially lapsed over the weekend, The Salvation Army is preparing for a surge of new requests for assistance as millions of Americans who are struggling to pay bills find themselves at risk of losing their homes.

The organization is asking for support from the public to stop a surge in the homelessness crisis before it starts.

"The line between homeless and home is dangerously thin," said Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, national commander for The Salvation Army. "The most important action we can take right now is to keep people in their homes. Our failure to do so will only make the problem worse."

Studies show that it can be three times more expensive to help a family get back into housing than it is to keep them housed in the first place, but after more than a year marred by job and income loss, this week marks a new, worrisome milestone in the road to recovery.

The federal government estimates that the eviction moratorium kept 10 million Americans in their homes — roughly the population of Michigan. While it could not be extended indefinitely, the expiration may thrust millions onto the brink of homelessness.

People living in poverty have felt the economic effects of COVID-19 more quickly and acutely. In fact, 2020 marked the most significant single-year jump in poverty since the government began tracking it, and many are still struggling to catch back up.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Surveys, 20 million Americans report their household often or sometimes doesn't have enough to eat and more than 62.6 million are having difficulty paying bills.

As a result, a record number of individuals sought assistance from The Salvation Army because of the pandemic. Since October 2020, the organization has provided more than $100 million in assistance, which already exceeds what it provided in the 12 months prior.

The Salvation Army is concerned that the influx of need is just the beginning. Conservative estimates show that the organization is on pace to help more than twice as many people stay in their homes this year.

The Salvation Army anticipates spending more than $175 million over the next year to support those seeking rent, mortgage, and utility assistance before the end of September. 

To learn more and make a difference in the lives of those in your community, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of "America's Favorite Charities" by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country's largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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SOURCE The Salvation Army

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