Local News

Homeless Find Shelters Crowded

Posted November 13, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— As temperatures drop, the Triangle's homeless head to shelters in hopes of finding a warm bed, but what they're finding instead is a tight squeeze.

The homeless population in Wake County continues to grow. Nearly half of the homeless have moved here from other counties, or even other states. United Way Specialist Susan Cope says people who are down on their luck are often drawn to the Triangle.

There are only 12 homeless shelters in Wake County, and that isn't enough. Fred Musgrave says in order to keep up with the growing population, something needs to be done.

There are plans to build a unique shelter downtown that would provide people not only with a roof over their heads, but also counseling and training. Cope says downtown is the best place to build.

Finding a location to open a new shelter is not easy. The city has already rejected one possible site, so now organizers must find another place. Even if they do find another location ,the new shelter will fill up fast.

The new facility would hold about 260 people. Once a site is found and approved, it could take as long as two years to get the new shelter open.

Editor's Note:

Here are the figures on Raleigh's homeless situation:

  • To provide bed space to all thefamiliesin need, the shelter would have to supply more than 700 beds.
  • The shelter currently has 147 beds.
  • Individualrequirements exceed 1,200 beds.
  • There are fewer than 300 beds currently available.
  • The current average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Raleigh is $682.

    Photographer:Greg Clark