The Issues

One in five residents of District of Columbia live in poverty. More than ten percent or 115,550 D.C. residents were living below the poverty line in 2013. These statistics paint an alarming picture, but understanding the root causes of these issues, and more importantly, recognizing the needs of the people they impact, is a crucial part of solving them. At SMGW, we address more than homelessness and poverty— we address the issues that contribute to them, one step at a time. According to the National Coalition of Homelessness, there are a number of socioeconomic trends that have contributed to the rise in homelessness during the past several decades. Among these are:

  • A growing shortage of affordable housing
  • Increases in recent foreclosures
  • Declining opportunities for low-wage workers, combined with stagnant wages
  • Reduced availability of public assistance

Other factors can compound these trends. Domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse—these can add up to almost insurmountable odds. There is no single profile of a person who is living in poverty or who is homeless. This is why we tailor our support to meet each participant’s individual needs. For more information and resources on homelessness and poverty in DC, please see the following websites: