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Snapshot Survey: Crisis Exceeds Financial Woes

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2009


Contact: Patricia A. Hvidston | Vice President, Development and Communications

(703) 236- 6259 |


Snapshot Survey: Crisis Exceeds Financial Woes


Alexandria, VA  A Catholic Charities USA survey of local agency services during the first quarter, 2009 reveals that the nation’s financial crisis has caused an increase in domestic violence, more interactions with child protection services, accelerated cases of sexual assault and more middle class people seeking first time food and housing assistance.  Forty Catholic Charities direct service agencies participated in the survey and documented recent trends.  Agencies experienced an increased demand for services from new populations coupled with a decrease in government funding and philanthropic donations.


Catholic Charities Central Texas reports, “We are seeing new middle class and working poor in our food pantry.  Out of 6,644 individuals, 5047 were new.  This is the same experience with screening and enrolling families into Food Stamps, CHIP, Medicaid, etc.”


Agencies identified alarmingly higher requests for services from the working poor, seniors, middle class clients and families.  They reported increases in domestic violence issues, more interaction with Child protective services and increased enrollment in Medicaid, SCHIP, and SNAP (Food Stamps).  More people, including first time users of emergency services, have requested clothing, counseling and mental health services, food, foreclosure prevention, job training and placement, permanent housing, prescription assistance, rent or mortgage assistance, temporary housing, utilities assistance and emergency financial assistance.


Father Larry Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA stated, “This survey confirms that more members of the middle have been plunged into poverty since last fall.  We will continue our work to reduce poverty in America.  Our agencies provide safety nets while we continue to urge the Administration and Congress to take steps toward long term recovery for each member of our community.”


Catholic Charities urges Federal Lawmakers to distribute increased funding through national nonprofit intermediaries rather than through state government, to fund critical child welfare and safety net services directly, and include the marginalized in recovery programs. The continuation of funding for job training programs is essential as the nation prepares for a new post recession economy.  Read survey results at  


About Catholic Charities, USA

Catholic Charities USA’s members—1,700 local agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for nearly 8 million people of all faiths, social and economic backgrounds. For more than 280 years, local Catholic Charities agencies have provided vital services in their communities, ranging from day care and counseling to food and housing.




Catholic Charities USA
Sixty-Six Canal Center Plaza

Suite 600

Alexandria, VA 22314

Main Switchboard: (703) 549-1390

Fax: (703) 549-1656

Working to Reduce Poverty in America


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