Shelters working to keep homeless people out of the cold - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Shelters working to keep homeless people out of the cold

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A big increase in homeless people taking advantage of new shelter rules, and trying to get out of the brutal cold.  

Ryan and Veronica Hill lost their rental home last fall after the landlord decided to sell it.   Ryan was laid off from his roofing job.  They're staying at the Dream Center and their two kids are  with relatives. 

"We was living there for about a year and he came in mid October and said that he had to sell the house.  He gave us time to get out.  I knew my job was not gonna be lasting much longer," he said.

"We didn't know it was gonna happen.  He gave us a month advance and told us," Veronica said.

They're among the 67 homeless people now staying at the Dream Center up from  22  last January.   The homeless can now stay 24 hours a day 7 days a week.   The Dream Center helps them find access to jobs, housing and food. 

"We are constantly case managing, getting people some place more permanent.  We have the computers for them to put in applications.  We have people who are constantly bringing down job leads," said Dream Center Housing Program Director Kristy Schofield. 

Single homeless men are taken them to the salvation army's 24 hour shelter.
 
During the month of November we only saw 39 men a night, now that's up to over 50 men a night.  Within the last two days I did see in the intake room they got a sign showing "beds full," said Salvation Army Spokesman Rich Draeger.

As for the Hill family they were scheduled for an interview for an apartment inside the Dream Center Village housing program. 

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