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Area homeless number down from last year

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WILMINGTON -- The numbers are in for the tri-county's homeless population, and the news is encouraging. Last year volunteers counted more than 600 homeless people living in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties. This year, they counted just under 500. Here's how the numbers break down: 416 were counted in New Hanover, 80 in Brunswick and in Pender Counties The drop in numbers can be attributed to the housing authority issuing more section-8 housing subsidies. We also now have 50 more affordable housing units in the Cape Fear area. Anita Oldham with the Southeastern Center for Mental Health said, "From here we just try to help the agencies that are serving the homeless people in any way we can try to encourage developers to build more affordable housing. Obviously, the link is there to help the homeless situation and that's what we need more of." The count also includes people in domestic violence shelters. Even though they may be able to afford housing, they cannot return to their residence because of domestic abuse. Wendy Bonham at the Salvation Army says another reason the numbers are down may be because of more community support agencies that help people find jobs and get back on their feet.

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Homeless

I too was homeless one time. I lived at the Salvation Army Shelter for a year, paid a monthly service fee and went through the Homeward Bound program. Today I am happily married and live in a nice apartment in a nice neighborhood. As for this person on here writing about the homeless and stereotyping them is a disgrace. How do you sleep at night Commonsense ? You have no conscience or compassion for others You are so self centered. What did Jesus teach us to do ? Not all homeless people are as you said. My Dad went through the depression and he raised all us kids and took care of Mom. He was what people described as a Hobo but as I said he took care of his family. You call my Dad a drunk or crazy then I know for a fact what you are. BTW, do you remember the old cliche', "it takes one to know one ?" If the shoe fits wear it bub.

Year old homeless stats

Its a shame that we cannot find a way to be able to report these statistics in real time. Reading a report that stated that the ranks of homeless people has dropped by 100 people may give some of us warm and fuzzy feelings but the reality of the current economic crisis will show "next year", that figure increasing and maybe even doubling. Labor rates in this area are ridiculously low. Unemployment is up to 6.1%. Who can afford to pay an $850.00 per month rent for a singlewide trailer 15 to 20 miles from Wilmington when they are now paying more than half their hourly wage for a single gallon of gas? I moved to this area almost 4 years ago from the DC area. Paid cash for my home in Pender County. Had a nice little nestegg in the bank. Set up a small contracting business that was growing in leaps and bounds the first two years. Then the housing market slump began to hit this area. Business slacked off some but I had a couple of invesors as clients which kept me going. I was forced to contribute to the unemployment rate because I no longer had the work to support my workers and had to let them go. The past 11 months have been devistating to my livelyhood. The investors are now performing their own repairs due to the housing crash. One man has a dozen empty homes, he cannot sell them and he worries every month if he can even find qualified renters. Since January of 2008 I have spent over $1000.00 in advertising in local papers. That thousand dollar investment has returned only 1800.00 in sales. The investors are doing their own work and word of mouth has generated only 7200.00 in sales in NH Co and only 1500.00 in Pender. For 9 months I have been aggressivly searching for a construction job. I'm overqualified or I need to accept $7.50 per hour and driving almost 60 miles per day to do it. My tax bill for this year went up more than 12%. Food costs have gone up almost 30%. My worry now is that my little nestegg is gone and I will, except by the grace of God, probably not be able to pay my homeowners tax in January. This means I may be part of the homeless stats people will read about in 2010. Pretty sad reality for many of us as I cannot imagine I am the only one with this challenge.

More about those hopeless homeless

I'd suggest that everyone who loses sleep over the plight of the homeless go to ABC News and read about Adam Shepard. Here's a short excerpt: "Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charles¬ton, S.C. Shepard's descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents' home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year. To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education. During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company. Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. ***BUT BY THEN HE HAD MOVED INTO AN APARTMENT, BOUGHT A PICKUP TRUCK, AND HAD SAVED CLOSE TO $5000.*** The effort, he says, was inspired after reading "Nickel and Dimed," in which author Barbara Ehrenreich takes on a series of low-paying jobs. Unlike Ms. Ehrenreich, who chronicled the difficulty of advancing beyond the ranks of the working poor, Shepard found he was able to successfully climb out of his self-imposed poverty." ************************************ I guess the difference was that Adam wasn't investing every cent he made in something to pour down his gullet, smoke, or snort. Plus he didn't have little green men whispering how nice it would be to sleep under a bridge into his ear. Adam Shepard was basically a normal guy. That's the point. "Basically normal people" who fall on hard times somehow manage to get through them and aren't in tough times for long. The chronic homeless aren't in that state because of poverty or a lack of affordable housing. They're there because they're drunks, druggies, bonkers, or a combination of all three.

Homeless shelters Do they help?

I have to say I am one of many that had to resort to being homeless for a bit longer,try six months every so often. I am not into drugs,the bottle or anything else that could lead me away from the goal I set for myself, getting a job and then a place to live. Maybe I am one of a kind, decided to marry a British citizen in the UK. He dosn't make enough money to quilify for a spouse visa so I can stay in his country with him or to work as well. No I find myself coming back to the USA without my husband and without a place of my own to stay. In NC I decided to try staying in one of the homeless shelters on the coast and I had found myself disappointed and not only that but I ended up more homeless when the people running the shelter desided to take my bags, rip them open to find interview cloths,shoes, uk cell phone, yes money. They said they were justified in not giving me all they had found because of one of their so called rule, Not allowed to leave your bags in a certain spot on their floor after 2:45PM because the bags would be moved again in their hallway. When I asked them nicely if they could give me back my money and my cloths, their response was 'No, and if you decide to call the police then I was not allowed to stay in their shelter anymore'. I ended up not going to the police and stayed for six months doing odd jobs, not enough to get a place of my own. The DSS would not help me at all. Their excuse was that my husband was responsible for me and that they could not help me at all. No food stamps, nothering. Yes I saw some of the homeless people living at the shelter with substance abuse problems but I can a sure you that there were less of them and more of the others that really needed help by DSS and other homeless organizations. I left North Caroline to go to New York, upper state and found a whole different world there. There was help for me and many others and when I had to explain why I left NC the social workers were'nt surpise one bit about what happen to me and lots of others. They just shook their hands with discuss and said thats the way they do things down there. One man succsess dose not mean everyone can do the same. We are all different with different situations and when is it ever going to be apparent that the homeless people could be and is your daughters,sons,grandparents,uncles,aunts...

Area Homeless

There are more homeless persons than the street people we see walking downtown. Private charities seem to do a better job of helping the career homeless, as well as the temporary homeless. The Salvation Army has always been there for those in dire need. This organization is a sincere, hands on group that understands the problem, and knows how to effectively deliver the necessary help. I can understand why a huge donation went to the Salvation Army from the WalMart fortune.

Something To Think About...

Contrary to popular belief, not all homeless people are drug addicts and drunks. Many of us are a couple of paychecks from being homeless--we are the working poor. We clip coupons. We save what we can for rainy days. We do without luxuries. Those of us without wealthy parents to help us out in times of need would be homeless if we suddenly found ourselves jobless. I was laid off from a company in Wilmington and nearly lost my house and car---if not for my well-off parents, I would have lost everything in the months it took to find a job that would pay my bills. For fodder: The president of the company that did the abrupt layoffs had promised a $30 million expansion in the preceding months (never happened; and he never explained why)---and because of his delusions of grandeur he let a lot of seasoned employees down. So, we nearly lost everything we owned, while he sat in Landfall with his BMW and Porshe. Many of us earning close to minimum wage had better credit than he did. I guess we should have all left the company when the collection calls for his home gym equipment and cars came to the office...Good thing he lived in a gated community where the repossession team couldn't get to him.

Something To Think About...

Your words rang deep into my soul. I totally understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I detest how wealthy people like this man enjoy his fortune knowing it rides on the backs of his workers while he glides through life virtually unscathed... Shame on these types of companies and people like him who have no loyalty to the people that have helped him build his fortune and then discard these people like like they are nothing, no matter how long they were in their employ. Perhaps all that karma is coming back to bite them in their big fat rumps and not a moment too soon!!

Be optimistic!

Maybe a few dozen of them sobered up, or headed to warmer climates where the panhandling is easier?

optimism????

...shame on you! How about you remembering that you create your own life experiences by how YOU live and think? I have spent 17 years in shelters as a volunteer. I have witnessed breathtaking generosity of spirit, courage, and humor from people who work so hard every day, just to survive. Panhandlers? You believe men and women can be grouped as a 'type'? I guess I'm wondering, how would YOU like to be catagorized? I'm sure of ONE thing, I believe you'd need that optimism as you waited for us to 'evaluate' you!

Feel free to evaluate me

If you had my DBA, you could start with Dun & Bradstreet. I think it's great that you have spent seventeen years shepherding drunks, druggies, and crazies (which constitute about seventy percent of the homeless). Me? I find that managing MY life is entertaining enough. Just think of it - everyone responsibly managing his or her own life. Wow, what a concept! Where might this nation be? What might we accomplish, if we were totally free of the dead wood who won't pull their weight? BTW, THEY are the ones who need that lecture about "creating their own life experiences," not me. I'm not homeless. My life is great.

Feel free to evaluate me

Perhaps you could use a lesson in humility and being non judgmental to people that aren't as FORTUNATE as you! Be glad you aren't there because anyone could be, including YOU!