The mission of River of Refuge is simple: help the region’s working poor get out of living in motels and into permanent homes.
The need for this significant non-profit is greater than ever. What started about 2004 with an economic crisis has created ripple affects for families across the nation and certainly here in Kansas City. Lack of affordable housing, lower incomes, increased rents, unemployment, mortgage crisis after effects and so on.
In April 2013, the National Alliance to End Homelessness issued a State of Homelessness report for the country. There was a trend that showed veterans and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness decreased recently, but families experienced a rise in homelessness – up 1.4 percent between 2011 and 2012.
Although the majority of the nation’s homeless population is comprised of individual adults (394,379 people), the report states that 38 percent of the country’s homeless are families with children (239,403 people in 77,157 households).
According to the report, in Kansas, the number of homeless families rose 7 percent between 2011 and 2012 and in Missouri, that increase was 24 percent. Overall, there was a 1.4 percent increase in family homelessness. 26 states reported increases in family homelessness ranging from 0.7 percent in Illinois to 28.7 percent in Mississippi. While two states (South Carolina and Vermont) did not report any change in family homelessness between 2011 and 2012, 23 states reported a reduction, ranging from 0.2 percent in Texas to 28.8 percent in Wyoming.