Just a few facts to chew on:

(Compiled from the National Coalition on Homelessness and the Council on Economic Opportunities of Greater Cleveland)

* The top 20% of the population has as much after tax income as the bottom 80%
* After inflation, the average after tax income of the richest one percent of the population has increased 91% since 1977, those in the middle class has grown one percent while the low income have seen a 17% decrease.
* Income disparities are wider in the united States than in seventeen other industrialized countries.
* From 1980-1994, there was a 37% increase in minimum wage and a 205% increase in corporate profits.
* Those in poverty in 1992 were significantly poorer that those poor in 1979. 10.5% more poor persons had incomes at 50% of the poverty line in 1992 than in 1979.
* There were 273,907 poor residents in Cuyahoga County in 1994 with 1.69 million people below the poverty level in Ohio.
* The poverty rate in Cleveland is 42% with some neighborhoods as high as 80%.
* Cuyahoga County's employment growth rate has fallen to 85th among the 88 Ohio counties.
* Nationally, 25% of all private sector jobs created are temporary jobs.

Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine published January – February 1996 Issue 13