Demand for Youth Services Rise at Salvation Army Centers as Recession’s Effects Strain Families
Alexandria, VA (March 12, 2012) – The economic recession and its remaining aftershocks throughout American society have had a major impact on American families and youths across the country according to the new report, “Growing Up in a Downturn,” released by The Salvation Army today. The report, based on a 2011 fourth quarter survey, found that 81 percent of Salvation Army social service centers in cities throughout the United States have seen increases in requests for youth programs and services, including education, food, arts and theater, athletics and youth ministries. Despite an increase in volunteerism at some centers, many programs were also forced to cut back on services due to the growing need and losses in funding.
Salvation Army centers, including Corps Community Centers, Ray and Joan Kroc Community Centers, summer and day camps, preschools, daycare and after-school programs, have witnessed the growing need since 2008, when 75 percent of centers first experienced increased demand during the recession. Centers in more than 80 cities, including a dozen major metropolitan areas such as Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco participated in the survey.
“Potentially for years to come, parents across the country may be forced to make hard choices everyday about the welfare and safety of their children,” said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander for The Salvation Army. “Regardless of their troubles, The Salvation Army will be there to help them through these trying times so those hard choices are a little easier to make.”