By the Numbers
It is estimated that there are 2,000 people on any given night in Milwaukee who are homeless. Sadly, the rate of homelessness for women and families continues to escalate, marked most recently by our nation’s economic crisis. The need for emergency shelter services and related assistance grows.
Most of our clients are burdened with the experience of generational poverty, suffer from mental illness or addictions, have lost employment or are the “working poor”. The majority of our clients are single women and single mothers with school aged children, though more fathers have found their way to our doors in recent years. All of our clients are at or below poverty levels and the vast majority have no income at all. The average number of children per family served is 3.
Cathedral Center Emergency Shelter Statistics
- 2004: 1,077 (745 single women, 157 families with 379 children)
- 2005: 1,182 (467 single women, 213 families with 549 children)
- 2006: 1,452 (533 single women, 348 families with 808 children)
- 2007: 1,464 (539 individual women, 268 families with 657 children)
- 2008: 1,286 (539 individual women, 215 families with 532 children)
- 2009: 1,107 (639 individual women, 135 families with 331 children)
- 2010: 934 (549 individual women, 112 families with 273 children)
- 2011: 882 (521 individual women, 117 families with 244 children)
The number of individual women served has been relative stable for a period of three years. The spike in 2009 can be directed attributed to our nation’s poor economy, a lack of safe and affordable housing, life sustaining employment opportunities, and little to no support for health and medical needs. The same can be said of what is lacking for families. However, in addition to this list of unavailable resources, families found it nearly impossible to secure life supporting income and safe and affordable housing. All of Milwaukee’s family serving agencies found themselves at full capacity in 2009 - 2011. Therefore, they could not accept referrals from emergency shelters such as The Cathedral Center with the degree of efficiency they had in the past. This results in the average length of stay to rise consistently in 2009 and 2010 and we find that we are providing critical services to fewer individuals for longer periods of time.