By Charlene Cooper SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Salvation Army is having a hard time fitting people into its Syracuse area shelters as the number of homeless families goes up.
The warm weather is drawing homeless people back to Syracuse who moved down South during the winter months, Liddy Hintz, a Director at the Salvation Army, said.
“ We’ve had between 80 and 90 people in a family shelter that’s meant for 60,” Hintz said.
Families are also coming back to take advantage of the resources the city has available for the homeless population.
“The Department of Social services has some great connections with local hotels where they try to fill in and do some overflow when the family shelter isn’t enough,” Hintz said.
The Salvation Army is working to place families in permanent homes, but Hintz says the biggest challenge comes from a lack of housing in the city.
“We really have a difficult situation in Syracuse where we’ve lost a lot of houses and so rehousing people and putting them into apartments that are reasonable is hard,” she said. “We’ve lost several low income apartment complexes and the city didn’t build any new ones.”
To help with this problem, The Salvation Army is now using a new federally funded housing program to more quickly put homeless families into permanent, affordable homes.