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The Changing Face of Homelessness

September 21st, 2009 by flanews

The foreclosure crisis is forcing families onto the street and changing the makeup of the states homeless population. Florida is receiving 65 million stimulus dollars to help combat the problem. As Whitney Ray tells us, part of the money will be used to keep families from being kicked out of their homes.

Anicia Zaprata, A.K.A. Mama Bear, has been living on the streets for a full year. In that time shes seen the shelter she calls home grow past capacity.

Its really overly crowded, said Zaprata.

Mama Bear says more families with kids are moving in.

There are five families with three kids and two kids; girls are pregnant who are getting kicked out, said Zaprata.

During a one day count this summer, Florida homeless shelters reported 58-thousand people using their services. While the number is slightly down from a year ago, the population has changed significantly.

The foreclosure crisis is forcing more and more families out of their homes and onto the streets.

The state is receiving 65 million stimulus dollars to provide food and shelter for people who have nowhere else to turn. Some of the money will go toward keeping people in their homes.

Its targeted to those renters who are behind in rent, to try and keep them from becoming evicted. Lets get in there and provide them some short term rent subsidies based on back rent bills so they can stay in their apartment and not hit our streets, said Tom Pierce, the Executive Director of the Florida Office of Homelessness.

The state is also giving five million dollars to 13 charities across the state to help build free and low rent housing for more than 500 people.

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