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Mayors Predict Bleak Times For Poor

Tue., Dec. 17, 1996

Citing anxiety over the effect of federal welfare reform on conditions in urban centers, big-city mayors predict demand for emergency food and shelter services will rise next year.

A survey of officials in 29 big cities paints “a bleak picture of the impact which welfare reform, food stamp cuts and immigrant benefit cuts will have on hunger and homelessness,” says the new report by the United States Conference of Mayors.

“Virtually all expect that hunger and homelessness will increase as a result of the recently enacted changes in federal programs.”

The annual survey notes that for a 12th consecutive year, demand for emergency services outstripped resources in big cities.

Overall, the report showed that requests for emergency food aid rose an average of 11 percent in 1996, with 83 percent of the cities surveyed reporting an increase. Demand for emergency shelter rose 5 percent overall, with 71 percent of cities reporting an increase.

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