Economic turbulence, rising inflation, and lingering impacts of the pandemic have left our clients with many challenges. Hunger rates are continuing to rise well above normal levels across the country. As eviction moratoriums ran out, community members looked to us for help. The waitlist for housing in Bucks County continues to grow as a result. Here’s a snapshot of the need we face right now.
- The number of calls to the Bucks County Housing Link increased by 10% from 2018-19. Given the sustained effects of the pandemic, this number will continue to increase.
- According to a 2018 study by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, the average person needs at least $24.35/hour to afford a two bedroom housing unit. This is more than three times the current minimum wage.
- Roughly 10% of those that are homeless are experiencing chronic homelessness – a state that refers to those who repeatedly experience homelessness and are often experiencing mental illnesses/substance abuse issues. (Bucks County PA Homeless Shelter Directory)
- In 2019, the number of people who were homeless for the first time in Bucks County was at 709, the rate housing organizations could help people exit from supportive housing into permanent housing increased to 51.5%, and the average length of time people stayed homeless decreased to 188 days. COVID-19 threatens to reverse this progress, with many of these numbers bouncing back to the status quo or worse. (Bucks County PA Homeless Shelter Directory)
- Pennsylvania is the 8th highest state in terms of number of individuals experiencing homelessness, topped only by states that are much more populous like California and Texas . (US Interagency Council on Homelessness)
- The pandemic also hampered a decades’ long effort to fight food insecurity. According to Feeding America, as much as 13.3% of Bucks County may suffer from some level of food insecurity in 2021.
These aren’t just numbers: we face this reality every day in the form of longer lines at our pantries and sustained demand for the Emergency Rental Assistance program. If you want to learn more about our impact, click here. If you wish to join in our efforts, click here to learn about the many ways to get involved.