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In Dallas, a Rise in Homelessness and Hunger Due to "Bleak" Economy

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This morning, outside a rescue mission in Miami, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a study concerning homelessness and hunger in 25 major cities, with Dallas among those participating in the survey. The section dealing specifically with the city can be found on Page 30 of the 85-page report, but according to the study, which says that 21.1 percent of Dallas residents live below the poverty line, "Dallas has experienced a 14 percent increase in people experiencing homelessness" in the last year, with substance abuse, poverty, unemployment, lack of affordable housing and domestic violence cited as the chief causes. Concerning hunger, the report has this to say:

Bleak economic conditions in Dallas are forcing more families to utilize food assistance programs for the first time. Officials recorded a 12 percent increase in demand for food assistance over the last year. Despite a 77 percent increase in funding, a recent study found that 10 percent of the food insecure population is being underserved by the Dallas food panty network. Agencies are forced to limit the number of clients they serve each day and the amount of food distributed to each person. To reduce hunger, Dallas officials cite the need for more affordable housing, an increase in food stamp payments, and low gasoline prices or better public transportation.

The Conference earlier this week released mayors' wish list concerning projects for which they'd like some bailout dough of their own. --Robert Wilonsky

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