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High Rental Costs Contribute to Homelessness

November 26th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

The high cost of apartment rental, fueled in part by a large student population, is one of the leading causes of homelessness in the area. Kay Freeman of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition says those making minimum wage have long workdays to make ends meet.

“In Tallahassee, in order to afford an apartment, you need to earn about $13.03 an hour because of the rental costs,” Freeman said. “That’s pretty tough. Let’s say you’re a single woman and you have two children, if you’re earning minimum wage, you’re working 97 hours a week to just pay for your apartment, let alone food and utilities and childcare and that kind of thing. And then what happens if you get sick?”

The lack of health insurance is also a leading contributor to becoming homeless .  When those living on the edge of solvency get sick because they have no health care, they lose their jobs and apartments and begin a spiral down.

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