9/17/12: Poloncarz Notes Upward Trend in Local Need for Assistance

Modified: January 22, 2015 1:11pm

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Despite Signs of Economic Recovery, Requests for Food Stamps, Homeless Assistance Rise

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz acknowledged the upward trend evident in the amount of requests for public assistance received by the Erie County Department of Social Services thus far in 2012. Applications for Medicaid, homeless assistance, food stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”) have all risen from 2011.

These numbers indicate that, while the economy is showing signs of rebounding, there are still more individuals and families in need of assistance,” said Poloncarz. “While we are seeing encouraging signs in economic development, reductions in new bankruptcy filings[1], and a rise in area home sales[2], more residents are having difficulties taking care of basic needs such as putting food on the table or paying for basic medical services. This should be of concern to everyone in Erie County. ”

Through the end of August 2012, the Erie County Department of Social Services had received:

  • 28,237 applications for Medicaid assistance, compared with 27,209 through the end of August 2011.
  • 2,801 requests for homeless assistance, compared with 2,221 requests through the end of August 2011.
  • 27,097 requests for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), which provides food stamps, compared with 25,884 requests through the end of August 2011.

Through the end of July 2012, 13,821 requests for Temporary Assistance for Needy families (“TANF”) had been received; in 2011, that number stood at 13,487 through the end of July.

[1] Buffalo News, 9/10/12.  Bankruptcy Filings Fell Again in August: National Cases Reach Lowest Level in a Decade.    Available at  http://www.buffalonews.com/article/20120909/BUSINESS/120909577/1005

[2] Buffalo News, 9/8/12. Area Home Sales Rise 1.2% in July: Realtors Report Median and Average Prices Also Increased. Available at  http://www.buffalonews.com/article/20120907/BUSINESS/120909691/1005