Achieving economic security by strengthening the safety net

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is committed to leading on critical community issues, including strengthening the safety net.

Why is this important? The quality of life in our region depends on increasing individuals' and families' access to high quality food, shelter, and services.

The greater Washington region has one of the strongest economies in the nation. Unfortunately, poverty continues to grow. In addition, the demand for safety net services continues to increase as available resources drastically decrease.

According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s 2012 Count of Homeless Persons, there are 11,830 homeless people in our region with children and youth representing 29% of the homeless population. Homelessness among the region’s families has increased nearly 23 percent since 2008 in our region, compared to 1.2 percent for the nation since 2009.

The region’s overall increase in family homelessness is attributed to the impact of the economic crisis and the lack of affordable housing. Service providers are unable to meet the increased and steady demand for shelter, housing, emergency financial assistance.