Cleveland crisis center reports more women, children in need of shelter in summer

Cleveland crisis center reports more women, children in need of shelter in summer

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Laura's Home Women's Crisis Center reported a record number of women and children in need of housing this Summer. The center is a branch of The City Mission.

According to the privately funded organization, the problem gets worse in the summer.

Laura's Home is always at capacity, forcing them to turn people away, but Tuesday was particularly high. They reached a record high for the summer when they were unable to shelter 102 women and children seeking refuge.  On Wednesday, it was 87.

That's almost double what they see in the winter months.

Kortne Jackson and her seven children moved in to Laura's Home in May. It took her over five weeks of calling and asking for a room.

"I had a bad situation back home and I needed to get away," said Jackson.

Unfortunately, hundreds of women and children still looking for a place to go aren't as lucky. They have to keep on waiting while living somewhere else.

City Mission CEO Richard Trickel said many who can't secure a spot with Laura's Home are forced to either stay in or go to public shelter overflow facilities.

"I think it's tragic that we are allowing the most vulnerable in our city women and children to be in this situation," said Trickel.

He said he's angry the county isn't taking better care of them.

"How is it that we're okay to allow women and children to sleep on a gym floor on a mattress. Why aren't we providing a better space?," Trickel asked.

He said the men's facility also operates at capacity. Often men have to sleep on mattresses while they wait for availability. But he added, "a single man is an entirely different situation," and one that can be handled much easier "because they're not vulnerable like  a woman with children."

The numbers are staggering, but according to Trickel, the numbers are always higher in the summer.

He said it's  partly due to children out of school and in the winter they simply find other places to go.

"They're all over they're in cars they're in abandoned buildings they're everywhere," Trickel said.

A typical resident usually stays at Laura's Home for about nine to 12 months. There, they take classes and try to get back to life as usual. Most exit with a job, income and housing.

Jackson's advice to those still where she was before she moved in in May: "Try to be the first one when they take phone calls at 7 o'clock. Don't give up."

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