Rising poverty in Lansing drives climbing homeless rate

Jan 27, 2016

The Volunteers of America-Michigan specializes in providing services for the homeless in the Lansing area.  Tonight, VOA staff will take to the streets to count the city’s homeless numbers and offer their help. Current State talks with VOA executive vice-president Patrick Patterson about the agency’s annual “Point In Time Count.”

VOA executive vice president Patrick Patterson instructs the Point In Time Count volunteers on their mission.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

A survey by the U.S. Census Bureau finds poverty in the city of Lansing is up five percent since 2010.  Much of that figure has to do with median household income, which has fallen anywhere from 8 to 20 percent in several of Michigan’s largest cities.

One tragic by-product of poverty is homelessness.  Every year in January, the team of the social service agency Volunteers of America Michigan canvass the streets of Lansing to document and serve the homeless population.   The VOA’s annual "Point in Time Count" takes place tonight in Lansing. Current State learns more from Patrick Patterson, executive vice-president for Volunteers of America-Michigan.