Sunday, November 21, 2010

Floridians Who Don't Have A Voice

As Thanksgiving approaches, Benjamin Kirby reminds us of Floridians who are poor, living on food stamps or homeless. The numbers.

# In Pinellas County, 28,821 children live in poverty. That's 17% of children. Their Thanksgiving won't be like yours or mine.

# In Florida, unemployment is at 12%.

# In July 2010, 19.4 million U.S. households (41.8 million persons) received food stamps. That's 1 in every 6 households, an increase of 20% over the previous year. Based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Surveys for 2006-08, just under 60% of families who received food stamps had children under 18 years of age. Of these families, approximately 60% were headed by single females. Food stamps don't usually get you the kind of Thanksgiving you or I will have.

# In Florida, 40% of homeless people are families. 23% are children under the age of 18. Their Thanksgiving won't be like yours or mine, either.
In Pinellas County, there are 2,232 unsheltered homeless persons, meaning they have to sleep on sidewalks, park benches, bus stops, doorways, in encampments, along railways and the Pinellas Trail, etc. This is an increase of 83% from 2007.

# In a ten-year period in Florida, there were 149 attacks on the homeless, and 28 deaths. These are hate crimes, and they happened in cities across this state.

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