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Some programs for unemployed, homeless reach capacity

Posted November 25, 2009
Updated November 26, 2009

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— Bill Wood, of Raleigh, lost his job in February and a month later his home. His unemployment benefits ran out in May.

“I’m 51 years old. I should be able to stand on my own two feet,” Wood said Wednesday.

Wood, his fiancee and their dog have been staying at his father’s home or living in an SUV.

Wood said his father wants them to move out soon, but trying to find a place to stay may prove difficult.

Some local shelters are at capacity and turning people away.

“There’s just too much need and not enough resources,” said Julie Sager, director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service and Emergency Housing Assistance at Triangle Family Services.

Some programs for unemployed, homeless reach capacity Some assistance programs reach capacity

Triangle Family Services received federal stimulus money to provide emergency housing assistance for the unemployed. When the new program started, organizers said the voice-mail system quickly maxed out at nearly 1,000 messages.

When they opened their doors to walk-ins, the response was overwhelming.

“We’re not doing any more assessments right now and probably won’t open back up until January,” Sager said.

Sager said the agency has reached its case limit and is turning desperate people away.

Sager said shelters are the only other place to turn and, in some cases, they are full.

“There’s just a limited amount of beds and so the shelters are slammed like everybody else,” Sager said.

Wood said he has tried shelters but hasn’t had any luck.

“I was sixth in line yesterday and still couldn’t get in,” Wood said.

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  • cary Nov 26, 2009

    Even more interesting is that out of this whole story, you picked that to comment on. Personally, my dog is family, and I would share what food I had with him. I commend him for continuing to take care of his animal rather than turn it loose to suffer, or turning it in to the pound where others would either have to care for it or terminate it.

  • rlp2451 Nov 25, 2009

    I find it interesting that while being unemployed and nearly homeless, cigarettes and dog food can still be purchased.