The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers the following statistics that should serve as a wakeup call to all Americans. In 2009:
- 1.6 million people were homeless and spent at least part of the year in a shelter; nearly 325,000 of them were children.
- 15 million people were unemployed, 6 million of whom had been looking for work for more than half a year.
- 44 million people were poor, 19 million of whom had incomes below half of the poverty line (half of the poverty line corresponds to an income of $5,478 for an individual and $10,977 for a family of four).
- 50 million people lacked access to adequate food at some point because they didn’t have enough money for groceries. Nearly 18 million people lived in households where one or more people had to skip meals or take other steps to reduce their food intake because of lack of resources.
- 51 million people lacked health coverage.
Is this the kind of country we want? We can change these numbers. If we want to change them.