Local nonprofits see spike in homeless families – CBS Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — A local nonprofit sees a spike in homelessness and a large increase in families in need of help.

Leaders of an organization in Hillsborough County called ECHO say other nonprofits are also seeing the increase and struggling to keep up with the need for food and sanitation supplies.

READ MORE: Construction closes main highway in Tampa

“We see people homeless for the first time. And it’s heartbreaking. So are women in their 70s who are homeless for the first time,” said Eleanor Saunders, ECHO Executive Director.

“Families that were stable at one point, like the middle class, are now either homeless or evicted because their rent went up,” said Jennifer Miguel of ECHO.

The Emergency Care Help Organization in Brandon is seeing a huge increase in the number of people and families needing help.

“We have two different outreach centers, so on average eight or ten families came in in the morning. Now we’re seeing double that every day,” says Saunders.

Saunders says it’s getting a little difficult to meet demand.

READ MORE: ‘Ted Lasso’ ends with season three

“Even smaller food pantries call us looking for food,” Saunders says.

She says it’s all because of inflation, the housing market and gas prices.

“A lot of our families have jobs, but if you raise someone’s rent $500 overnight, they can’t make it,” Saunders says.

The organization offers counseling, temporary housing solutions, job search assistance, and more. It also offers a food pantry and a thrift store for those who need clothes.

“Food and clothing but also work to become stable, looking for shelter. Many shelters are fully booked and they have no beds available,” Miguel says.

Saunders says nonprofits need food and other donations.

MORE NEWS: Apple Unveils iOS 16 Making Changes to iMessage and Lock Screen

“We need financial support to pay our phenomenal staff and keep the lights on. But then toiletries, which people don’t always think about. And not travel-sized… family-sized shampoos,” says Saunders.

Leave a Comment