The October Snapshot Survey of the homeless, conducted annually by the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM), reports a sharp increase in reports of abuse via domestic violence and violence on the streets.
Approximately 19,000 people from 114 rescue missions took the survey, which showed a 6 percent increase in reported violence.
AGRM President, John Ashmen, said in a statement: "It's quite possible that the uptick in physical violence ... is due to a friend or family member's feeling of desperation and helplessness accompanying their unemployment and underemployment. Unfortunately, nothing in the report is a huge surprise. Some public figures like to give the impression that government programs are curbing homelessness and hunger. We certainly aren't seeing it."
The survey also showed an increase in homelessness and need for assistance from the missions.
The director of the Boise, Idaho Mission, Bill Roscoe, says there has also been a noticeable increase in homelessness and need for assistance.
"We've seen quite a significant increase in numbers with women and children. In two years the average daily population in our women and children’s shelter more than doubled," said Roscoe.
The survey did reveal, however that despite the reports of abuse, 80 percent of the recipients using the rescue missions still prefer receiving assistance from spiritually based programs.