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Poverty & Homelessness in Pierce and St. Croix Counties
The Census estimates that there are 7,482 people living in poverty in Pierce and St. Croix Counties. And 26 percent of those living in poverty were 18 years of age or younger. Darker zip codes in map indicate poverty is concentrated in the eastern portions of Pierce and St. Croix Counties. A 2010 UW-River Falls survey indicates at least 33 families in Pierce County and 42 in St Croix county experienced homelessness in the previous 12-months. This study estimates that 130 Pierce County and 170 St Croix County households had experienced homelessness in past 5 years. UWRF estimates that more than 1,100 Pierce County and more than 1,400 St. Croix County residents have missed at least one utility bill during the past 12 months because of an inability to pay. More than 700 Pierce County and more than 900 St. Croix County residents are estimated to have missed a rental or mortgage payment during the past twelve months because of an inability to pay.
Homelessness is a growing problem. While we might not think we see it in our own neighborhood, we can become aware of it existing in our community. There is homelessness here in River Falls, St. Croix and Pierce Counties that affects many individuals and families, which impacts the community as a whole.
In 2007, West CAP, Our Neighbors’ Place, Inc. partner, received requests for assistance from 5,247 households with a total of 12,417 individuals. The households not receiving direct program assistance were referred to other appropriate community resources. Of these households, 3,353 (64%) were below 100% of the U.S. poverty threshold. Households headed by a single parent (1,651) accounted for 31% of all households served. Of the families requesting assistance, 147 were homeless and 2,553 were renters. These statistics cover West CAP’s service area including all of Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties in western Wisconsin.
Pioneer Press Article : Homelessness in the Suburbs
River Falls Journal Article : A Home for the Homeless