About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 317 million people live in the United States
3.5 million people experienece homelessness in any given year
More than 1 in 4 of children in the U.S. live in poverty
(Source: National Coalition for the Homeless and U.S. government)
More than 46 million Americans—including 16 million children—live in poverty. According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, the number of Americans living in poverty rose by 3.8 million between 2008 and 2009. From 2010 to 2013, the percent of Americans living in poverty remained steady at 15%. These rates are significantly higher in black and Hispanic communities.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic Relief USA’s domestic programs aim to alleviate poverty, hunger and suffering in the U.S. IRUSA also provides grants for many organizations and sponsors annual events that provide support to local populations.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in United States:
IRUSA provides grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the country, to provide access to quality health care; to promote sustainable socio-economic development; and to elevate the standard of living of those in need.
IRUSA donors have supported relief efforts for some of the most-destructive natural disasters in United States history, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005. And IRUSA’s DART team has been among first responders during such emergencies, including the Alabama tornadoes in 2011; Hurricane Irene in 2011; the Texas tornadoes in 2012; the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012; Superstorm Sandy in 2012; and the Oklahoma tornadoes in 2013. Learn more about these emergency efforts here. To view photos taken by DART volunteers working hard in the field, visit our Facebook albums or the “Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)” album on Pinterest.
GIVING GRAIN FOOD PANTRY
Through this initiative, Islamic Relief USA is working with local community members to provide food aid to neighbors in need. The Giving Grain Pantry aims to serve as a source for nutritious, wholesome food to people in cities across the country.
IRUSA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Capital Area Asset Builders and local groups to deliver a program that provides valuable financial education and a matching-dollars component to empower individuals to build a better future for themselves. The program aims to help individuals attain affordable housing and job training and vocational skills, or to develop a small business. Some 100 refugees and low-income families in DC, MD and VA will benefit. Download this form for more information.
IRUSA is working with community leaders and volunteers to serve refugees in local communities around the United States. In partnership with federally-funded resettlement agencies, volunteers are being offered training specializing in leaders; cross-cultural communication; mentoring; tutoring for English; counseling for best practices in interviewing, resume building and job seeking; and soliciting and distributing Zakah and essential household items for those in need. To participate in this important initiative, visit this Volunteer Opportunities page.
U.S. FOOD SERVICE FOR KIDS
IRUSA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a food service program to provide food to low-income children who rely on school for their meals. IRUSA has been providing healthy meals to kids at summer schools, after-school programs, camps and community facilities at 30 sites within the Muslim community, and plans to have more than 100 sites established within the coming year.
DAY OF DIGNITY
Day of Dignity creates an opportunity for caring individuals from diverse communities to provide services to their neighbors in need. This grassroots effort brings volunteers around the country together each year to distribute food, clothing, blankets, medical care and other services. This project aims to mobilize communities to establish long-lasting efforts to continue the service year-round.