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Fast Facts About Poverty In Lincoln
March, 2013

Section A.

The following information is from the December, 2011, Face of Poverty Survey from the Center for People in Need.

"Face of Poverty Survey from Center for People In Need" The survey was administered to over 2,000 low income respondents (representing families) who visited Center for People in Need in December of 2011.

The 2010 Census Bureau estimates that 43,251 people in Lancaster County were living under conditions of poverty - 15.1% of the county's population. The Face of Poverty Survey, completed by persons from 2,086 households with children, is an attempt to learn about the challenges facing people with low incomes and the effectiveness of programs designed to assist in meeting these challenges. Not all respondents are regular clients of the Center for People in Need - people come in December for toys and gifts - this enables the survey to capture information from more people.

  • 79% of respondents were between 20 and 44 years old
  • 7% of respondents were homeless on the day the survey was administered
  • 71% were US born
  • Most foreign born came from Mexico and Iraq
  • Average household size 4.5
  • 50% have a high school education or GED
  • 44% are working
  • For those not working, 16% were stay at home parents (could not afford to pay for child care) - 27% were disabled and 23% said they could not find a job that paid enough
  • 71% reported having problems buying enough food for their families (lack of money due to choosing between paying bills and paying for food)
  • 65% report using food stamps
  • 78% reported having trouble paying utilities in the past year
  • 69% always or sometimes have trouble paying for their medicine
  • When asked if they had gone without needed medical and/or dental care 40% replied it was because they couldn't afford it; 35% replied it was because they had no money for their copay.
  • 21% receive TANF

Section B.

The following information is in the CSI Homeless Report about to be published for the community (July, 2009) or directly from agencies themselves.

  • In 2012 the Food Bank of Lincoln distributed 7,493,148 meals (29,972 meals per day) totaling 8,991,778 pounds of food. This took 20 full time and 2 part time staff; and over 1,000 volunteers who donated nearly 56,000 hours! The operations cost is $2,982,748. The estimated value of the goods distributed is $14,926,356; with a ratio of $5/$1.
  • Friendship Home, our shelter for battered women and children provided 26,093 nights of shelter; 16,453 of those beds were for children. Friendship Home provides emergency and transitional shelter and has functioned at capacity since the early 1990s.
  • People's City Mission served 1,043 men, 582 women, and 379 children in 2012. Also, their length of stay is up from usual - people are staying longer.
  • From July 2006 - June 2008, 4,749 persons were homeless in Lincoln, Nebraska. 66% were single; and 44% of those single were female. 95% or 20.2% were children under age 18. The average of our homeless is 32 years old.
  • Domestic violence impacts homelessness. 486 homeless women said they were domestic violence victims and 290 (30%) of the homeless children were in a home where an adult was a victim of domestic violence.
  • For some, homelessness in a permanent condition. 383 persons (23%) of the homeless June - December 2006 were homeless for four consecutive 6 month periods. Homelessness for children in Lincoln is more frequently an ongoing condition than for homeless adults.
  • The greatest reason for homelessness in Lincoln is addiction/substance abuse; with economic (unemployment), domestic violence, and release from an institution.
  • 164 different types of services are offered to homeless people in Lincoln. They range from emergency shelter to counseling, food and clothing.
  • Homelessness is expensive. $732,465 was the cost of providing over 3,000 emergency services by only 20 homeless people!
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