Reports show that the economy is rebounding, but our local shelters are overflowing.
The Star of Hope Women and Family Shelter is housing more homeless people than ever before, and half of those people are children.
While some kids are in summer camp and getting ready to go back to school, 11 News saw dozens inside the shelter sleeping on floors.
Casey Dunn, who’s staying at the shelter with his wife, said he’s been looking for work for five months.
“I mean the economy is bad. I mean it’s sad when a healthy 25-year-old man can’t get work,” said Dunn.
Another man, Raymond Maracle, is staying at the shelter with his wife and two children. He said never before has he seen so many people applying for the same job he’s trying to get. With two kids, he said he’s out every day trying to get a job, and he will take anything at this point.
“My 1-year-old son has gotten a bad cold or something, some infections, from living like this,” Maracle said.
The Star of Hope said the number of homeless families is surpassing the number of people served during Hurricane Katrina. One night this week, the shelter had 106 people sleeping on the floor.
Its policy is to turn no one away, so as a result, the shelter has filled its main room with cots to accommodate everyone.
But that’s about to change.
Star of Hope spokesperson Scott Arthur said the shelter can’t afford to keep its open-door policy. If money isn’t donated soon, the Star of Hope—like many other shelters in the city—may have to start turning people away.
Arthur said donations are down and that’s put the shelter in a $700,000 shortfall.
There are several ways you can help. For more information or to donate online, click here.
You can also donate $10 just by using your cell phone. Text “SOH” to 20222, and an automatic $10 contribution will go to the shelter.
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