Each December the U.S. Conference of Mayors issues a slick report on hunger and homelessness. The minimal media attention this incomplete and distorted report (their own admission) receives further confuses both elected officials and the public about these ever-growing issues of dire consequences.
Furthermore, thousands of poverty-related house fires occur yearly, many tragically taking lives of members of these inadequately housed families. These deaths get cursory media coverage, blurring the connection between poverty and house fires.
Winter finds a drastic spike in fires, with unsafe heaters or utility shut-offs causing households to take desperate measures to stay warm. This issue doesn't even rate a mention in the report.
Urge the USCM to bolster their reporting to do justice to the millions of low-income households and homeless persons in their cities and towns. Insist on complete data from members. Expand to include statistics on house fires.
This report, by its editors own admission, is inadequate, and it conveys a less-than-dire picture of this ever-growing dual crisis in America. The report also overlooks the tragic occurrence, especially as cold weather hits, of house fires, many related to poverty.
We urge the committee to revamp the 2011 report to:
> include comprehensive data from all the cities represented on the committee;
> report on the number of house fires in these cities/towns;
> reflect the dire reality for those experiencing hunger/homelessness; and
> call upon states and the federal government to allocate a significant increase of resources to address these growing issues.