Some programs for unemployed, homeless reach capacity
Posted November 25, 2009
Updated November 26, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.