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Temperatures drop and homelessness rises, but this year is worse than ever before

Local shelters are full and people have no where to turn
Homelessness on the rise
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Homeless shelters always see a rise in numbers when the temperature drops, but this year the numbers are higher than ever before.

Now, local people experiencing homelessness are not able to find anywhere to stay because all of the shelters are completely full.

The people who lead Cherry Street Mission Ministries say they are doing everything they can to provide food, warmth and shelter to those in need, but right now, they are having a hard time servicing everyone who needs help.

“Cherry Street hardly ever reaches at capacity, but we are coming upon a time that we are seeing numbers like never before. Due to the pandemic and other things that our community is facing, we’re seeing an increase in numbers along the lines of a 900 percent increase,” says Cherry Street’s Vice President of Engagement Savannah Rayford.

13abc also talked to the president of St. Paul’s Community Center, Joe Habib.

“We are always full by the way, we are always full. As soon as a bed is available, we call United Way 2-1-1 and there’s immediately a person placed in the bed. We get all our referrals from United Way 2-1-1. They are the primary gatekeeper for people calling in to the shelters,” says Habib.

Both shelters tell people to call 2-1-1 United Way of Greater Toledo, but what if 2-1-1 can’t help everyone who calls?

A local couple say every resource they tried couldn’t help.

“So when I called them they said that right now all the shelters go through 2-1-1, and when I called they said they have no open spots,” says Kayla Hess.

“There’s a waiting list for, what is it, three to four months,” says her fiancé Tim Hill.

“And they’d have to put my name on a waiting list and there was nothing they could really do,” says Hess.

The couple told 13abc they only have shelter for the next few days before they have to move on, and they might have to live on the streets until they find somewhere to stay.

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