No Toys For Children At Family Shelter


The YWCA Family Shelter says overcrowding has prevented it from running its annual toy drive for children in the shelter.

"I know it wasn't hard to get into my situation," said Latrece Froe. "I want to say it probably isn't hard for everybody to get into their situation."   

Froe never imagined she'd be at the YWCA Family Center. She is a mother to two young boys. Her last job didn't pan out.

"My last time working there was January of this year so I've been looking for employment ever since," Froe said.

No income meant no rent paid.

"We were evicted. Me and my baby's dad and my little boy," Froe said. "We moved in with his sister in Colonial Village. She got evicted and when she got evicted, we had no choice but to come here."     

Froe felt she could only bring two-year-old with her. Her five-year-old is staying with her mom and their dad is living elsewhere. She knows Christmas will be sparse.

"It's devastating actually. It's disappointing. It breaks my heart," said Froe.

Sadly, the family center can't help.

"Well, we felt bad. It's not easy to make that decision," said center director Angela Stoller-Zervas.

The annual toy drive is nixed this year because the center is beyond full.

"This facility was built to shelter 50 families," Stoller-Zervas said. "Right now, we are sheltering about 100, 125 families consistently every night."

Every space is being used.

This is a common area where families gather and we can divert into some sleeping space for a couple families.

The pods in the parking lot are jam packed with family's belongings. There's nowhere to house toys for the drive and nowhere for the kids to put them once they're received.

"I think the better thing is for them to house all the families instead of having to put families out and hold space for toys," said Froe.

The YWCA agrees. They say this just emphasizes the huge need for more housing for people in need.

The center is asking those who want to help to donate gift cards. They will give those to the families instead.