Vulnerable. It’s a word we often use to describe the clients our programs target—individuals who have serious health, mental health, and substance abuse challenges; who are frequent utilizers of hospitals and emergency rooms; and who are at high risk of dying on the streets. Veterans, seniors, families, and youth also often fall into that category. But, when we’re talking about more than 650,000 homeless people in our country, what does “vulnerable” really mean?
Tag Archives: seniors
Popular centrist Matt Miller has joined the chorus against health care and pension programs for seniors, i.e., Social Security and retirement benefits for state public employees. They’ve saddled the government with obligations that leave it without “the cash or flexibility to address emerging non-elderly needs.”
He’s not the only one to pit the interests of seniors against those of the younger generation. Stephen Marche, for example, styles spending on Social Security and Medicare as “The War Against Youth.” The baby boomers, he says, are “eating the young at the dinner table.”
So how many poor people are there in the U.S.? We have a new answer from the Census Bureau, which has just released a report based on its supplemental poverty measure.
According to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), 49.1 million people in America were poor in 2010 — 16% of the population. That’s about 2.9 million — 0.9% — more than the Bureau reported based on the official poverty measure.
I’ve remarked before that the measure the Census Bureau uses for its annual poverty reports was crude from the get-go. Three times the cost of what was then the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s lowest-cost food plan.
The measure has become increasingly inappropriate over time, as food costs have come to represent a smaller portion of basic living costs and living standards have risen.
With the current devastating economy, most Americans feel the pinch of tightening pocketbooks, and many are fearful of losing their homes. Homelessness doesn’t seem to be out of reach anymore, like it was just a few years ago. More and more families are living a precariously economic balance. More are turning to food pantries and [...]