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Homelessness Up in Joplin and All Shelters are Full - KOAM TV 7

Homelessness Up in Joplin and All Shelters are Full

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

According to the Economic Security Corporation, there are currently 297 homeless people in Joplin, a number that's increased since last year. Officials say it is due in part because there are no places left for people to go.

Debbie Sanchez bravely takes the pain of a tetanus shot, knowing its likely her only chance to get medical care. She's been staying at Watered Gardens for 2 weeks but before that, “I was homeless. I lived with anybody and anybody I could. I even slept outside."

She and dozens of others take advantage of several different resources at the homeless coalition's homeless connect event. This year the number of people to serve is larger.

“Last year we had 258 and we have now increased this year another 60 individuals, so it’s on the increase again,” says Debbie Markman with the Economic Security Corporation.

An increase that is noticeable in shelters which still can't meet the needs.

“We are full on the girls side, there’s 10 of us and there’s 10 beds. And the guys there’s like 25 or 28 beds in there, we are packed,” says Sanchez of Watered Gardens.

Right now in Joplin there are 65 people that are literally homeless, with no shelter to stay in. Officials with the homeless coalition say a big reason for that is the lack of affordable housing.

“Most of the housing is going to be $500 to $600 a month and on $9 to $10 an hour that’s really, it’s tough,” says Markman

But there are ways the community can help those 65 people.

“We need landlords or people that own property, we're just looking at maybe a little cheaper deal than what they would normally do,” says Markman.

And until then, “my adopted daughter over there, she’s sleeping out on the grass until there’s a bed open. And I’ve slept out on the grass too. I've slept out on a back porch, sure did. And it’s rough. It’s really rough,” says Sanchez.

The homeless coalition holds a homeless connect event twice a year. The next one will take place in January.

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