As part of an overall framework for our grantmaking, our advocacy and our leadership, the Community Foundation is focusing on four key Results, including this one: Individuals and families are economically secure.
Far too many residents in Greater Birmingham face situations that threaten their economic security. The lingering effects of the recession, including high unemployment, continue to compound the already existing disparities in income level and opportunities from different communities across our region.
The poverty rate in the Greater Birmingham region is over 15 percent. While these families and individuals face significant struggles to meet basic living expenses, there are thousands more in our community who are living just above the poverty level but who still face economic insecurity. We know that we can enhance the economic security of our residents by investing both in programs that provide direct services to low-income residents, and by supporting important public policy changes.
One of the greatest financial burdens facing low-income families is the cost of housing. Many residents in the region pay more than 50 percent of their income toward housing, leaving them with few resources to meet other needs. The most severe manifestation of this housing challenge is homelessness, as more than 3,000 people in our community are homeless on any given night.
Our grants for this Result focus on two strategies:
- Improve housing stability.
- Increase public policy changes and direct services that positively impact low-income individuals and families.