Shelters See More Traffic

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

Workers with some area shelters say it is not just the cold that provides a challenge. A recent study shows Kentucky had the largest increase in homelessness in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007 and workers with one shelter say the trend is continuing.

Area shelters are seeing more people come through the doors and it is not just because of the cold.

“A lot of it does relate back to the economy. In particular wages have remained constant. And the price of fuel and food and the electric bill, everything has gone up,” said Jennifer Weeber.

Weeber is a director with Community Ministries, which runs the Corner Haven in Hazard. She says the combination of more people and a sagging economy is not good.

“Our funding sources have been stagnant or decreased so our capacity to provide some of theses services at time when there's an increasing need has been challenged,” she said.

“You throw a bad economy into there and it makes everything that much more difficult,” said D.W. Bouchard.

Bouchard is the Executive Director for Community Ministries. He says a lot of the people coming to the shelter have jobs, but still find it hard to make ends meet.

“The margin between being ok and being not ok seems razor thin now and I think a lot people are finding themselves crossing that line,” he said.

He says they will continue to try their best to provide services for anyone who needs them.

“It's sort of a bit of a wait and see game for us, but, we try not to be anything but optimistic,” said Bouchard.

He says while the shelter accepts donations, the majority of its funding comes from state and federal grants, which he says has not been as much this year.

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