Shelters Are Seeing An Increase This Summer

June 11, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga.  (WXTX) -- How much is gas and food prices taking out of your budget?  Some people are having such a hard time paying for those necessities and others are now homeless.

"I had a trailer.  I was living in another location, but when my job closed I had to move and couldn't keep my trailer," said House of Mercy Occupant Byron Hayward.

Many Americans are just like Hayward who are having a difficult time making ends meet playing for gas, food and more importantly keeping their home.

When this happens many folks don't know where to turn.  That's where organizations like the House of Mercy and Valley Rescue Mission come into play.

Valley Rescue Mission Executive Director Rhonda Mobley says she's seen a 5 percent increase in their food budget this year along.  "Many people are seeking assistance in rental, utility, and transportation.  They are just really seeking money needs in general," said Mobley.

The House of Mercy has seen a 15 percent increase in the amount of residents at their shelter over last year.  They say despite the increase they're doing more than just providing a place to live.  They're helping residents get back on their feet with employment.  "We can aid them in learning them how to prepare resumes and how to present themselves for a job interview.  We are also teaching different skills like carpentry and basic computer classes," said House of Mercy Director Bobby Harris.

Harris says even though hard times are affecting more people.  Some are still lending a helping hand.  "Many folks tell me even though they may not have everything they want.  They still have just $1 to help somebody," said Harris.