Some Facts about Poverty and Homelessness in Montgomery County

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  • Between 2006 and 2010, the median income in the County was $93,373, with one of the highest costs of living in the country.
  • According to the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Maryland 2012 (Maryland Community Action Partnership), in Montgomery County a family of three consisting of one adult, one pre-school child and one school age child would need to have an income of $77,933/year to be able to live in Montgomery County without financial assistance. (The families we see at the shelter usually have an income of less than $20,000/year and some have no income at all.)
  • In 2009, if you made minimum wage ($7.25/hour) in Montgomery County, you would have to work 168 hours a week (more than four full-time jobs) in order to afford a modest 2 bedroom apartment.
  • The County Office of Legislative Oversight reported that from 2001 to 2009, the percentage of residents in Montgomery County living below the poverty line increased by 55%.
  • According to the 2010 Census, the number of poor children in Montgomery County doubled over the last two years.
  • There are more students in Montgomery County Public Schools eligible for free and reduced meals than there are students in the entire D.C. public school system.
  • In the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, almost 2/3 of women-headed households with children paid a third or more of their income on housing, a level considered by the federal government to be unaffordable. For these same households, the cost of center-based infant care is 52% of their median income.
  • In 2010, 52% of renters in Montgomery County paid more than 30% of their income on housing, creating an unstable financial situation for families and putting them at risk of homelessness.
  • The waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8), which provides housing assistance with rent for low income families, has been closed for more than two years.
  • In 2010, all 430 beds in Montgomery County’s family and single adult homeless systems were full and at one point the waiting list was so high that the County had to temporarily place 61 families in motel. These numbers do not include the “invisible” homeless who “couch surf”, moving between family and friends with no permanent housing.