[NEW] No Place to Call Home


BY JEANIE DONOVAN, M.P.A., M.P.H., Fall 2016 JustSouth Quarterly 

“A house is much more than roof over one’s head. [It is] a place where a person creates and lives out his or her life,” said Saint Pope John Paul II.1 Having a stable home to establish our daily routines and relationships is something many of us may take for granted. The benefits of secure, affordable housing are numerous and well-documented, especially for children and other vulnerable populations.[2,3] Unfortunately, millions of working families in the United States and thousands in the Gulf South struggle to find affordable, safe housing where they can create and live out their lives.

The root of the problem is two-fold: household incomes have not kept up with inflation and funding for housing assistance programs has not kept pace with the growing need. The results include: homelessness; families forced to forgo other necessities such as food and medical care; and an increase in the number of low-income households living in substandard or overcrowded housing. Leaving families to live in such situations violates a basic premise of Catholic social teaching—the right to life is fundamental and includes a right to food, clothing, shelter, rest, medical care, and essential social services.[4] Fortunately, the affordable housing crisis is not a problem without solutions; with appropriate policy changes and public investments we can and must increase housing security for families and children.


Banner Photo: Shutterstock 


An Introduction to Poverty and Measures of Poverty

By Fred Kammer, SJ

Poverty is one of the three focus areas for the work of JSRI. In their 1986 book-length pastoral letter Economic Justice for All the US Bishops reminded us of the importance of confronting poverty in these words: "Dealing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can attend when it finds the time and resources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority."

But what does it mean to speak of poverty in the United States? Drawing on the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, the bishops explained it this way, “By poverty, we are referring here to the lack of sufficient material resources required for a decent life.”  Then, in the next sentence, they acknowledge the complexity of the question, “We use the government’s definition of poverty, although we recognize its limits.” And a footnote introduces elements of the national debate about what we call “the poverty line.” [Continue on to MORE about measuring poverty and poverty in the Gulf South.]


2016 School Readiness Tax Credit Fact Sheet 

2016 Medicaid Expansion Fact Sheet 

2016 EITC Fact Sheet 

The Suffering South: Anti-Union and Poorer for it-- Kammer 

Katrina and the Least Among Us: A ten year retrospective- Part 1 -- Kammer

Overtaxing the Poor and Blaming Oil in the Gulf South-- Bustamante

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Homelessness, Housing Shortages, Funding Cuts, and Misplaced Priorities-- Kammer

Oil Prices or Tax Structures: What does the price of oil have to do with cuts to higher education and healthcare?-- Bustamante 

Louisiana's $1 Billion Giveaway: giveaways cost the U.S. taxpayers $50 billion a year-- Kammer

Another Misleading Proposal: U.S. House Budget Committee Opportunity Proposal -- Kammer

Refusing To Expand Medicaid: Political Decisions with Deadly Consequences -- Kammer

The KIDS COUNT Gulf South: Children in the region continue not to count much! --Kammer

Raise the Minimum Wage! It's a Matter of Justice-- Kammer

The Affordable Care Act- Who, Why, and What?-- Kammer

The Relentless Assault on America's Hungry-- Kammer 

Labor Day justice: What's the real cost of your cheap, fast food? --Kammer

Where are the Jobs? Continuing Unemployment and Worse-- Kammer

Taxing the Poor: The Regressive Nature of State-Local Tax Systems--Kammer

The Tax Deal... and More Coming Horrors--Kammer

Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Slope, or the Common Good: The U.S. Debt and Deficit Crisis, Lame Ducks, and a New Responsibility--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Global Financial Systems--Kammer

21 Million Americans Kept Out of Poverty: Social Security critical to income of millions--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and the Common Good--Kammer

Fairy-Tale or Worse? The Ryan-Romney Budget Plan and Catholic Moral Criteria--Kammer

Health Care Reform for Some: Governors play politics with health of low-income citizens -- Kammer

Does Relative Mobility "Cure" Inequality?--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Distributive Justice--Kammer

Growing Economic Inequality Matters!: Why People of Faith Should Be Concerned--Kammer

The Common Good and Election 2012: It’s not about my business, my taxes, or my family -- Kammer

The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich

Catholicism and Capitalism -- Kammer

No Relief in Sight: Persistent High Unemployment for African Americans and Latinos in Gulf South States -- Mikulich

 View all Poverty articles »

Related links

Banner Image: Brenda Ann Keneally/AmericanPoverty.org