Homelessness, hunger are real in Clinton County

“Eric” (not his real name) gets up at 5 a.m., walks an hour to get to his job early, works his shift and then walks home. “Eric” is homeless and works 40 hours a week and does not make enough to pay for food, medicine and housing. He is not alone: Nationwide, there are an estimated 553,742 people experiencing homelessness daily (https://endhomelessness.org/).

Locally, a new United Way ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) report has revealed that nearly two out of every five Clinton County households are struggling to afford basic amenities and services. These are people who work at low-paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency away from falling into poverty. In Clinton County, 38 percent of households live below the ALICE threshold; 25 percent are unable to afford life’s basic necessities despite having income above the Federal Poverty Level (www.unitedwayalicereport.clinton). These are families and neighbors who make up our community.

Nov. 12 to 15 is National Hunger Awareness Week. Join with others for an Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. RSVP to 242-7611 or lfreudenberg@clintonfranciscans.com by Nov. 12. Tickets are $10 and a food item.

A free movie, "Storied Streets," featuring real people’s personal stories will be shown Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at 841 13th Ave. North, Clinton. Providing insights about our local Clinton area will be guest speaker Cheryl McCulloh, executive director of the United Way of Clinton County, Iowa. For more information, visit www.ClintonFranciscans.com or call 242-7611.

Lori Freudenberg,

Community Outreach Director

Franciscan Peace Center