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Washtenaw County homelessness spikes over Christmas

Delonis Center
Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
Delonis Center

Emergency shelter officials in Washtenaw County report a significant jump in the number of people who were looking for emergency housing this Christmas compared to last year.

Officials with theShelter Association of Washtenaw County say they've been watching the numbers rise for months ever since the pandemic eviction moratorium ended and inflation has increased. They’ve seen the need for emergency housing increase 15% from year-ago levels since the fall.

But over the three-day Christmas weekend…

“We had a 30 percent increase from the last holiday season. More and more people are experiencing homelessness. That’s a striking increase from the previous year.”

That’s Dan Kelley, executive director of the Shelter Association, who says not only is homelessness increasing, but the lack of affordable housing has people staying longer in the shelters.

He anticipates an even higher demand for emergency housing in the months ahead.

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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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