Local News

Aug 1, 2014 2:10 PM by Janine Reyes

Homeless Women on the Rise, Many are One Paycheck Away

CORPUS CHRISTI -- When you think of the homeless, you may picture that person on the street corner holding up a sign, asking for cash.

But, that's not always the case. In fact, 70 percent of the people living at the Good Samaritan Homeless Shelter work for a living.

The problem is, many of them can't afford to move out and now the shelter is at capacity.

"We're just displaced, I call us displaced," explained shelter resident Beverly Turner. She found herself 'displaced' three years ago after divorce. "It was devastating, yeah," she said.

She lived off generosity of family and friends for a while, but eventually, that comes to an end.

She found herself in an Amarillo shelter. Two weeks ago, she came here and found the Salvation Army full.

Good Samaritan had no beds, but made room. "So this is the solution a spot on the floor," we asked.

"Right, which is great, I love it," Beverly exclaimed.

"We're seeing a lot more than what we normally see," Program Director Rafael Ortiz III explained.

Ortiz tells us stories like Beverly's are becoming more common.

Rents are so high in our city that people aren't moving out at the same pace they used too. That's causing a capacity crunch they haven't had to deal with before.

"It hurt to turn people away, but its gotten to the point for safety where we have to do that," Oritz explained.

They take them to other shelters, many of those are experiencing the same problem.

If you think it won't impact you, Ortiz says: think again. "You're going to find more people out on the streets, you're going to find more people hanging out downtown, you're going to find more people in alley ways and things like that because there's no room for them," he explained.

Take it from beverly who never imagined being homeless, it can happen in an instant.

"A lot of people are one paycheck away from where I am right now," she said.

Beverly has been homeless for three years, but she's never actually had to live on the streets.

She says there's a difference between being shelter homeless, like she is, and street homeless.

She grateful she got in before that happened.

By the way, Beverly is pursing a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice right now and plans to be self sufficient by this time next year.


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