More Cleveland-area homeless women and children being turned away from shelters

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Local homeless shelters are turning away more and more women and children, because there is not enough room to house them.

The Cleveland City Mission says it had to turn away 73 women and children just one night this week.

Kennysha Hill, along with her 2-year-old daughter McKenzi and 7-year-old son Caiden, went from sleeping on couches to trekking to the shelter in downtown Cleveland when she lost her job.

"We caught about 12 buses a day, sleeping on cots, on the floor, and it was really hard," she said crying.

Everything got a lot better when they made it to Laura's Home, a women's shelter on the city's west side, operated by the Cleveland City Mission.

But it hasn't been easy on her kids.

"I just let them know that I'm trying, that this too shall pass. It's not something that will last forever," Hill said.

Laura's Home is at capacity, with 160 people seeking shelter.

There's a wait list to get in, and that's pretty typical.

Now that it's warmer, they're seeing more demand.

CEO Rich Trickel says that's because in the winter, people stay in temporary housing just to stay out of the cold.

"The real story here is that there are so many women with children that are homeless in our community, right now tonight and every single night. And there are very few facilities available to care for them," Trickel said.

Kennysha and Monique Jordan became friends quickly.

They learned homelessness doesn't look like what you think it would.

"It's so diverse, you know. It could be you, it could be anybody because of the economy. It's not just the poverty ridden, or lack of education," Jordan said.

They know they're not alone, but that doesn't make it okay.

"To see so many especially young women, with no place to go, it's hard for me to watch. It's so hard," Hill said. "It's just like with a little guidance, and a little more support and help, people could be so much further in life," she said.

Laura's Home does not turn people away if they have no where to go.

The shelter says the number of homeless women and children has gone up 25 percent since 2015.

The mission is in the early stages of exploring the idea of expanding the campus to increase space to meet demand.

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