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Homeless shelter demand nearly doubles

March 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The number of homeless families in need of emergency winter shelter in Los Angeles County has nearly doubled.According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 620 families sought out vouchers for motel stays this year compared with 330 families last winter.

Executive Director Rebecca Isaacs told the Los Angeles Times, "I think the economy has been really hard on families." She added, "There are many triggers for homelessness: an eviction, an increase in rent, the loss of a job, a health tragedy, domestic violence. A lot of people are living very close to the edge."

The Times reports the number of individuals seeking out shelter this winter also increased by about 4 percent countywide.

The joint city-county agency funds several shelters year round, but also spends $4.3 million a year for winter shelters, which open their doors from December 1 through March 15.


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