Better way to track poverty? Index aims to measure needs faster

(Oct. 9) – In an effort to better measure the needs of nearly 47 million Americans living in poverty, one non profit and university are taking a different approach. The Salvation Army partnered with Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to unveil Wednesday the Human Needs Index, an instrument which tracks state and national data online monthly since 2004.

New ‘Human Needs Index’ to Measure U.S. Poverty and Its Effects

(Oct. 8) – The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Salvation Army have announced the launch of a multi-dimensional index of basic human needs in the United States. Designed to track on-the-ground indicators of poverty and its effects with less lag time than  traditional government data, the Human Needs Index (HNI) will aggregate data on seven services commonly delivered by nonprofits — meals provided, groceries, clothing, housing, furniture, medical assistance, and help with energy bills.

Parkersburg Reflects State-Wide Trend of Growing Poverty

(Sep. 18) – Data from the U.S. census Bureau shows West Virginia has the ninth highest poverty rate in the nation. This translates to almost 20% of West Virginians living in poverty. While these numbers may seem high, volunteer officials in Parkersburg say the local community seems to be having just as big of a struggle. A Salvation Army official says the demand for their services is extremely high and still growing. “When I found out that we had a budget to help and assistance of a thousand dollars, we quadrupled that to four thousand, and then six thousand,” said Major Mike Morton. “And we’re still running out of funds. So were seeing an unprecedented demand for our services and our assistance. People are coming to us everyday looking for the basics.”