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Homelessness: Champaign County

Updated: Wednesday, July 16 2014, 04:30 PM CDT

The Champaign County Continuum Of Care, a group of agencies committed to end homelessness found in a January 28th survey 222 homeless people in Champaign County. That includes 47 children.

Authorities say, although there are a lot of resources, it's still not enough to fill the demand.

Katie Harmon of Courage Connection says, "Our organization has had a waiting list for our transitional housing services for homeless women and children since well before I started working here which was over four years ago."

Susan Hubbard just recently became homeless. She couldn't afford her $250 rent at a local shelter, plus she has a felony on her record, so it's even harder to find a job.

"I am bouncing between three different places, three different homes so I don't know from night to night where I'm gonna be but like I said God's providing," Hubbard says.

Experts say people become homeless for a number of reasons. Most commonly, women fleeing domestic violence situations, some who lost their job and others with significant medical or mental issues.

"A lot of the clients that we work with, they are trying really really really hard to find employment and they're just not able to find steady employment and if they are, and if they have children, it's not enough to support themselves fully to get an apartment to pay their bills," Harmon says.

They feed about 250 people every day at this local soup kitchen and not all of them are homeless, only about a third are and many come just for the opportunity of a home cooked meal.

Staff say weekly attendance at the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen has grown tremendously with more than 145,000 meals served this year alone. Many are thankful for the free food.

I think it's unfortunate that there are a lot of homelessness but I am also grateful that there is somewhere that they can come and eat", says Tina Hobbs of Champaign.

Experts say the best thing you can do to assist the homeless is make donations to shelters and or various agencies. And it's not just money. They except Clothes, various supplies, shoes, almost anything can help.

Homelessness: Champaign County


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