Area homeless shelters nearing capacity due to effects of inflation

With the rising costs of living, Grand Island Hope Harbor and Crossroads Mission Avenue locations in the Tri-Cities are seeing more people reach out for help.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 2:52 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - With inflation through the roof, more people are struggling to keep up with everyday costs now more than ever.

From rising prices of gas, to groceries, to housing and more, many are struggling to get by, and homeless shelters like Crossroads Mission Avenue are seeing an alarming increase in the amount of people reaching out for assistance.

In the Housing Census Report for all three Crossroads locations in the Tri-Cities, the number of guests that have stayed at the shelter now since the beginning of the year have increased by 43% when compared to this same time frame in 2021. A number that’s considerably even more alarming — the amount of food boxes the shelter handed out has gone up 844%.

Crossroads Executive Director Daniel Buller said he didn’t expect the living costs to go down anytime soon either.

”The concerning thing is, to look at each individual to understand that, without nonprofits available to help them, they wouldn’t have food on their table tonight or, many of them would be living in a car, or living under one of our bridges or, living in an alley in town,”

Crossroads isn’t the only shelter in the area seeing the effects of inflation.

During the first quarter of 2022, Hope Harbor in Grand Island was operating its shelter at 50-60% capacity. This quarter, 80-90% of the shelter rooms are full.

“We’re running low on our food pantry items, we’re running low on formula, we’re running low on diapers, we’re running low on shelter space so, inflation is affecting everybody from any poverty class and, those that we serve that may fall in the lower poverty class are feeling it even harder,” said Hope Harbor Marking Coordinator Jennifer Figueroa.

Both Crossroads and Hope Harbor are always looking for volunteers to help out around their shelters.

If interested, you can get signed up to volunteer by visiting their websites.

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