DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The number of homeless people in Montgomery County has skyrocketed higher than it was during the pandemic.
The short answer to this problem is tied to another issue that people all over America also are facing; a lack of housing and inflation.
“People are having to stay sometimes in housing shelters longer, and they have a housing subsidy in hand,” Diane Almanza said.
An annual point in time count conducted by the Montgomery County Job Center showed an increase from 463 people in shelters in 2021 to 531 as we head into this year.
Although these people are in shelter, many of them have HUD Housing but they have no place to rent from because prices of units, the units do not qualify, or they are just simply not available.
Kathleen Shanahan, a program coordinator for Montgomery County homeless solutions, says that they are in need of people willing to rent their units out to those in need, since the loss of so many units due to the 2019 tornado.
“If they’re a landlord, I would love it if their call to action would be, I have an available unit and I would like to be able to rent that unit to help somebody exit homelessness and become stably housed back in the community. We are still reeling from the loss of thousands of affordable units in our community from the tornadoes of 2019,” said Kathleen Shanahan, a program coordinator for Montgomery County Homeless solutions.
Operators of homeless shelters are also calling asking the public to take their families back in if they know they are homeless.
St. Vincent DePaul felt the impact of the increase fairly hard, saying while people are donating to the shelter, they still need more help.
“We’re asking landlords and family members to help us out by trying to accommodate their family members at home if they can for now because we will reach capacity soon and with that comes the need for blankets, personal care items, any kind of help we can receive from the community with clothes and shoes because we have a lot of people we have to outfit for the night and outfit and clothes as well,” Almanza added.
St. Vincent DePaul does have a link to donate to on their website, as well as an Amazon wish list, and their dock is open 24/7 to accept any in person donations.