Maria Dennis tries to be cheerful for her daughter Jenah.
“"We got the best room again,” Maria tells her daughter.
But it's tough, because for 10 days, home has been a room at the YWCA Family Shelter.
Maria's fiancé lost his job. She's out of work, and was just diagnosed with cervical cancer. In February, they were evicted from their apartment.
For a few weeks, they stayed with family.
“Everybody is struggling right now, so it's hard enough to ask family members for help. And you know, I have asked. I don't want to exhaust them,” said Maria. “Every day is a struggle with me right now.”
So many families are struggling that the shelter has seen a 70 percent increase since 2009.
The Y’s Ginger Young said they move people to permanent housing as fast as possible, but more people come each day.
“So, we can accommodate 50 families in rooms, sleeping rooms, if you will. And just in the month of January, we actually had 120 families come through our doors,” said Young.
No one is turned away, but a shortage of affordable housing makes their work challenging.
“Housing stability is the best thing for a family, and it's obviously the best thing for children,” said Young.
Though the local economy is getting better, Young said it takes two years for affordable housing to catch up.
She said they still have a lot of work to do.
The Community Shelter Board will use your gift to keep shelter beds open and help people find safe and affordable housing right here in central Ohio.
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