Demand for Emergency Shelter Sees Largest Increase in Ten Years: We Talk to Cheri Honkala of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union

December 18, 2002

The country’s mayors are releasing a report today that concludes this year has brought the largest increase in demand for emergency shelter in a decade. In addition, the demand for food aid rose throughout the country by some 20%. Working families top the list of the most needy; there are signs that lack of food and adequate shelter for the working poor is becoming an endemic problem.

At the same time, the mayors say they have received less money to care for the poor, due to federal budget cuts as well as a drop in private contributions.

Meanwhile, a Philadelphia group of poor and homeless families and their supporters has just completed a national bus tour to document and protest economic human rights violations in the United States.

Cheri Honkala is director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. She joins us on the telephone.


  • Cheri Honkala, director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.

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