ROCKFORD (WREX) - The recent census report that says 14.3% of Americans lived in poverty last year is no shock to the people at the Rockford Rescue Mission.
Rockford Rescue Mission Executive Director Sherry Pitney says they have seen steady and significant growth in the number of men, women and children requesting assistance with food, shelter and other basic needs since the recession began.
"These numbers confirm there's no end in sight to the tidal wave of citizens here in Rockford who'll need our support in the coming weeks, months—even years. And as we ramp up our ministry and outreach, we'll be turning to the community to ask those who can help with financial support to please give as generously as they can," Pitney said.
The number of meals being served at the mission has risen by as much as 22 percent in the past two years and an increase in nights of shelter provided has increased by 63 percent.
"Our work at the Mission is not only about providing food and shelter for today, we also want to help struggling families break the cycle of poverty and build stable futures for themselves and their children," said Pitney. "We have programs and resources in place to help men and women get adult education, retrain for the work force and regain vital self-esteem that was lost when their world crumbled around them."