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Washtenaw County homeless shelters see 30% increase in demand

Homeless shelter
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
/
annarborshelter.org
Homeless shelter

Officials tracking homelessness in Washtenaw County are noticing a significant increase in people seeking emergency shelter - and wondering if it’s tied to an increase in evictions.

Each year, the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County begins its winter program in early November. This year, the winter program started about three weeks ago on November 8.

Since then, says Dan Kelly, Executive Director of the Shelter Association, they've seen a 30% increase of people seeking emergency shelter. That’s over the same period last year.

Kelly worries the increase may be tied to end ofCERA funds that were stimulus dollars aimed at stopping evictions.

“From talking with local legal aid, they have been saying that their dockets are long. There are a lot of people are facing eviction right now."

Kelly says it is still too early to draw formal conclusions about the cause. In the meantime, they are watching the numbers and trying to determine if they’ll need to increase shelter space beyond the 175 people a night they can currently accommodate.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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