Price inflations forcing some people into homelessness

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)(Mark Lennihan | AP)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 10:44 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Inflation for our basic necessities such as gas, food, and housing have shelters like The Haven experiencing a spike in people looking for help.

“Everything is more expensive. It’s harder to live when you don’t have jobs that pay enough and we have housing costs that are skyrocketing,” Community Engagement Coordinator Ocean Aiello said.

“It hit them really hard. It hit them right there in their pockets, and a lot of people lost their life savings,” Shift Supervisor LaQuinn Gilmore said.

Charlottesville groups who fight homelessness and housing insecurity say the problem is spreading to more middle-class families.

“It’s only getting harder and harder, especially for people who are working multiple minimum wage jobs and not making enough money while having to make so many hard decisions,” Aiello said. “All of those things coming together makes the line that much thinner between stable housing and homelessness.”

Now, Aiello says more low-cost housing is being used for business opportunities.

“Affordable rental units get flipped into Airbnb’s and student housing and things like that. I think anyone, no matter their housing status, is feeling that difficulty of really flourishing out in the community,” she said.

Shelters like The Haven say they are trying everything to prevent people from falling through the cracks.

“It can look like helping people access other community resources to help pay rent,” Aiello said. “It can look like helping folks find a new places that is more appropriate for them.”

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