New numbers suggest more families are becoming homeless in Greater Cincinnati. The five shelters who serve them (Bethany House Services, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati, Mercy Health at St. John's, The Salvation Army and the YWCA) report a 31-percent increase in the number of calls to a help line in the past year.
Chair of the Family Housing Partnership Gwen Finegan says of the 423 families who called, 39 were placed into a shelter and 33 families were referred to Homelessness Prevention services. She says, "But that means more than 80% are still having to sleep in their cars or sleep on the streets or stay one more night with a family or friend who really doesn't want them there anyway."
- 30% of Hamilton County's homeless people are children
- 10% are under the age of 5
Finegan is even seeing some people return for help who were homeless as children. She says many people are not aware of the problem because they don't see it. A large segment of the homeless family population stay in cars to keep the children together.
The Family Housing Partnership helps people by letting them stay in churches, dorm-units and apartments while they get back on their feet.