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Homeless Advocates Bemoan Lack of Government Funding for Winter Shelters

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Denecia Ferrell lost her job in 2008.  Her fiance lost his a year later.  She says they and their five children survived on unemployment until it ran out in May.

FERRELL: "I started calling shelters three weeks before.  I ran into a lot of the same things. They were full, they didn't have any more room for families, or they were only taking singles."

The Loaves and Fishes shelter says the funding shortage couldn't come at a worse time because the number of homeless families is on the rise.  The county's Bruce Wagstaff this is the second year there's been no shelter funding in the budget.

WAGSTAFF: "Last year's winter shelter effort was a partnership of government agencies, community providers, the faith-based community, the private sector."

Wagstaff says the county is in the middle of transferring homeless assistance efforts to Mayor Kevin Johnson's Sacramento Steps Forward non-profit. 

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