"The Bible insists that the best test of a nation's righteousness is how it treats the poorest and most vulnerable in its midst." — Jim Wallis

According to the most recent data, poverty affects 43.1 million Americans, and disproportionately impacts minorities, the disabled, women, and children. Too many Americans have been left behind as the income gap between the richest and the poorest has widened. Programs that help the poor are constantly under attack, threatening to push even more of our fellow citizens into poverty.

In a typical year, approximately 3.5 million people will experience homelessness, including 1.5 million children. Among homeless families, an estimated 84% are headed by women. Almost 9% of the homeless population are veterans. People of color are disproportionately represented in all groups of the homeless. 

Proven solutions to reducing homelessness already exist. In Utah, the state was able to reduce chronic homelessness by 91% and save money in the process. Many cities, such as New York City, Austin, and Los Angeles, are working on innovative solutions to solve the problem of homelessness.  

As the wealthiest country on the planet, we must do better than this. Income inequality must be addressed. The wage gap between men and women must be closed. Programs that support children and disabled citizens must be strengthened. Efforts to reduce homelessness must be expanded. 

We must work together to protect the most vulnerable Americans.