A timely, multidimensional view of poverty-related need

In the News

Food stamp recipients will soon be able to order groceries online

Beginning this summer, some Americans who receive food assistance will have a new way to feed their families. The Agriculture Department said that it will test a program that allows people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP, known as food stamps — to order groceries online through various retailers. The ability to shop […]

Majority of U.S. Mayors Say Poverty Is Their Top Concern

While the growing divide between “coastal elites” and Middle America has been a hot topic in recent months, many mayors from red and blue states have strikingly similar policy priorities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Boston University Initiative on Cities.

Editorial: Don’t criminalize feeding homeless in Tampa park

The city of Tampa has committed an avoidable legal, moral and public relations miscue with its arrests of volunteers feeding the homeless in a downtown park. The permitting requirements need to be changed, the police need to move on to bigger things and the volunteers need to assess whether this is really the most effective […]

Mayor de Blasio Scrambles to Curb Homelessness After Years of Not Keeping Pace

During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first year in office, the Department of Homeless Services created 16 new shelters across New York City to house more than a thousand families and hundreds of single adults. Then, for eight months, the city stopped opening shelters. With the number of people falling into homelessness still rising and with […]

U.S. Ranks 23rd Out of 30 Developed Countries for Inequality

The United States is one of the richest countries in the world. It is also one of the most unequal. As a report released today shows, the U.S. ranks 23 out of 30 developed nations in a measure known as the “inclusive development index,” which factors in data on income, health, poverty, and sustainability. The […]

Homelessness declining in nation’s cities, but hunger is on the rise

Even though homelessness in America’s cities continues to decline, food banks and pantries are still being stretched thin as the number of people seeking emergency food assistance climbs, according to a survey of mayors from 38 of the nation’s cities. The number of people seeking emergency food assistance increased by an average of 2% in […]

Seasonal charity is a kind gesture, but it won’t undo poverty

Every year around the holidays, nonprofits’ phones light up with people wanting to donate a turkey. The impulse is a nice one. In this season of giving, people consider their good fortune and want to share. It feels good to give a turkey, or toy, or to participate in a food drive. Those of us […]

A Billionaire-Backed Plan to Use Shipping Containers to House the Homeless

Tiny houses have emerged in the past decade as a promising way to house more homeless people for less money. Now the idea has gained a powerful proponent in the billionaire California real estate developer John Sobrato, who unveiled a proposal this month to build 200 micro-apartments for homeless and low-income renters in Santa Clara.

Is Homelessness a Right? Seattle Grapples With How to Respond to a Growing Crisis

For the last three years, Erica Semrau has lived in and out of tent encampments around Seattle, often finding shelter underneath I-90 just east of the city. But her makeshift home has increasingly come under threat. Driven by concerns over unsanitary conditions and crime in Seattle’s homeless encampments—including two homicides this year in one called […]

A Dilemma for Humanity: Stark Inequality or Total War

Is there nothing to be done about galloping inequality? Last year the typical American family experienced the fastest income gains since the government started measuring them in the 1960s. But the top 1 percent did even better, raising their share of income higher than it was when President Obama took office. Mr. Obama has led […]