Survey: Surprise Data on People's Views of Homelessness

MEDIA ADVISORY, July 22 /Christian Newswire/ — With Albuquerque homelessness at an all time high and city number crunchers scrambling to balance budgets and meet ever-increasing needs, a survey commissioned by Joy Junction Homeless Shelter reveals some shocking facts.

Just over 86% of 400 respondents polled said they believe various branches of government should be most responsible in addressing homelessness.

Clarifying that answer, CRC and Associates President Chris Cordova (whose company conducted the survey) said, “Respondents believed not that the government could do the best job of taking care of social needs, but that it was a governmental responsibility to ensure community and religious groups received the funding they needed to get the job done. In essence, community groups and/or religious organizations are best able to take care of homelessness, but it is the responsibility of the government to provide support to these groups.”

Only 9% of respondents said community and religious groups should be most responsible, while the responsibility of private citizens was relegated to just over 3 %.

Interestingly, more than 73 % of those polled wanted to live somewhere that provides for the care of its citizens, and almost 70% said that communities are safer when people do not have to live on the streets.

In addition, more than 50 percent of respondents said that people who are properly housed use fewer public services and reduce burdens on police and hospitals.

Sadly, more than 20 percent of respondents said that communities should enforce laws to prohibit the homeless from public areas such as parks and libraries.

Joy Junction Founder and CEO Dr. Jeremy Reynalds said, “While we have had countless wonderful donors for many years at Joy Junction, there appears to be a tragic disconnect with many people in not feeling personally responsible to help alleviate some of the social ills they see in their community. I sat in one council meeting where councilors were almost wringing their hands over which of many legitimate needs to meet – all from a very limited pot of money. Issues like these have to be combined social efforts. With our economy, the days of expecting a ‘government financial fix’ are long gone.”

Reynalds emphasized that he is grateful for those precious individuals who allow the continued operation of the faith-based Joy Junction, which has never received any government funding since its 1986 inception.

He said, “We found out in the survey that 80 % of respondents had heard of Joy Junction and more than 75 % believed that we are very effective or effective in alleviating homelessness, and reintegrating people into mainstream community life here in Albuquerque. We appreciate donor confidence so much, and are hoping to expand our services as the Lord allows us to do so.”

Reynalds said that Joy Junction is continuing to feed about 10,000 meals a month and provide about 9,000 nights of shelter.

Other information revealed in the survey was that 77.5 % of respondents said homelessness is increasing in the metro area, and that almost 57 % of those polled said drug and alcohol abuse was a leading cause of homelessness. Almost 70 % said homelessness is increasing among veterans.

Forty-five percent attributed homelessness to mental illness or PTSD and 33% said laziness caused homelessness.

Almost 56 % of those surveyed said that Albuquerque’s efforts to help the homeless are good, but more effort is needed. Just over 34% said the city is doing a poor job and much more effort is needed, while almost 10 % said the city was doing everything it could.

Reynalds said it was interesting to note that there were very few differences in responses to the issues of homelessness from different income groups. Respondents from a variety of walks of life and age all had similar feelings about the issue of homelessness in Albuquerque.

CRC & Associates, an Albuquerque based market research company, in business for over ten years, conducted this scientific telephone poll of Albuquerque residents. CRC & Associates has conducted numerous polls for organizations nationally as well as throughout New Mexico and may be reached at (505) 867-1272. Four hundred (400) respondents representative of the Albuquerque population responded to a ten minute survey on homelessness in Albuquerque. The poll was conducted from July 7th through July 15th, 2009.

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