By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney
The racial wealth gap between black and white Americans might be wider than you think.
Consider this: The median household wealth of blacks was a mere $5,677 in 2009, just 5% of the $113,149 median wealth of whites, according to the Pew Research Center.
That chasm of difference in financial assets is one reason why black families are seven times more prevalent in homeless shelters than white families, according to a new report released by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness. Wealth serves as a crucial safety net during economic downturns.