Number of Homeless in Erie County Expected to Show Increase - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Number of Homeless in Erie County Expected to Show Increase

Posted: Updated:

"I see whole families out here, newborn babies with no boots on the babies' feet," said Percy Horton. Horton fell on tough times and is currently a patron at Upperroom, a day shelter for those in need. This season, Horton noticed that Erie's shelters have been busier this season.

Though this year's official numbers on the Erie County homeless population isn't out yet, officials already expect the data show an increase from last year.

The county collects information on the number of homeless by conducting a one-day survey in the third week of January, talking to all the shelters county-wide and tallying how many people are receiving help at that point in time.

The Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation (C.O.R.E.) at Penn State Behrend crunches that data.

While the 2013 data counted 1,995 homeless individuals, C.O.R.E.'s founder and director, Carl Kallgren, expects to see an increase in the 2014 totals,  including that of homeless women and children.

"The face of homeless is changing," Kallgren said in a phone interview on Monday. "The big concern is what's going on with women, and especially women with children. That's where we've been seeing some increases. It's frightful," Kallgren said.

2013 data counted 255 homeless children in Erie County, more than doubling the count of 128 from 2012.

That number was only 76 children in 2010.

"It's probably the most alarming of all. To know that nearly half of our children (in the City of Erie) are living in poverty. I don't even know how to get my mind around that," said Pastor Rick Crocker, executive director of the Erie City Mission.

The Erie United Methodist Alliance "Hope House" is a shelter that specifically helps families with children. Connie Miller, a program supervisor, has noticed more people calling for assistance this year.

"We generally have 50, sometimes as much as 100 individuals on our waiting list," said Miller. Hope House only has resources to support nine families at a time.

"It's very tough to have to turn folks away and not be able to meet the need," Miller said.

Kallgren, at least in part, cites a sluggish economic recovery as reason behind the increasing trend of homelessness in Erie.

"People have been so fragile economically that they can be giving to the food bank, and in the next step, going to the food bank," he said.

Shelters agree that the weak economy plays a role in the higher demand for their services.

"Due to our economy and people not working, it's to be expected," said Ron Cooley, supervisor of operations at the Upperroom, a day shelter for those in need.

"While it (the economy) may be recovering in some parts of our country, it seems that in Erie, the recovery is slower," Crocker said.

The unusually harsh winter proved an extra challenge to those already struggling.

"The cold weather, it doesn't help - especially when the economy is sluggish. You might not be able to pay the bills, so you get ousted. They end up on our doorstep," Cooley said. "Then we do what we can for them."

The official 2014 data will be released in mid-March.

Submit your event now
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Second Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Two Days

    Second Fatal Motorcycle Accident In Two Days

    Saturday, July 19 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-07-19 22:50:19 GMT
    One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on I-90.More >>
    One person is dead following a motorcycle accident on I-90.More >>
  • Millcreek Police Say Bank Robberies Connected

    Millcreek Police Say Bank Robberies Connected

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:16:53 GMT

    Police say the two latest bank robberies in Erie County were pulled off by the same man.

    More >>

    Police say the two latest bank robberies in Erie County were pulled off by the same man.

    More >>
  • Erie Forge & Steel Continues Demolition

    Erie Forge & Steel Continues Demolition

    Monday, July 21 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-21 23:08:50 GMT
    Work continues nearly one month into the demolition of Erie Forge Steel's former melt shop.More >>
    Work continues nearly one month into the demolition of Erie Forge Steel's former melt shop.
    More >>
  • Roar on the Shore 2014 Concludes

    Roar on the Shore 2014 Concludes

    Sunday, July 20 2014 6:03 PM EDT2014-07-20 22:03:07 GMT
    With every sweep of a broom and dropping of a tent, crews cleaned up downtown Erie Sunday as Roar on the Shore comes to a close.More >>
    With every sweep of a broom and dropping of a tent, crews cleaned up downtown Erie Sunday as Roar on the Shore comes to a close.
    More >>
  • Grape Juice Of Wrath: Local Farmers Feeling The Pinch

    Grape Juice Of Wrath: Local Farmers Feeling The Pinch

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:45:55 GMT
     In a push to aid local grape farmers, U.S. Senator Bob Casey is looking to the U.S Department of Agriculture as the state embarks on a surplus of Concord grape juice. Its grape juice made possible by more than 150 grape growers here in Pennsylvania who cultivate nearly 7,000 acres of product on a national scale. More >>
     In a push to aid local grape farmers, U.S. Senator Bob Casey is looking to the U.S Department of Agriculture as the state embarks on a surplus of Concord grape juice. Its grape juice made possible by more than 150 grape growers here in Pennsylvania who cultivate nearly 7,000 acres of product on a national scale. More >>
  • Two Hospitalized in Millcreek Motorcycle Accident

    Two Hospitalized in Millcreek Motorcycle Accident

    Friday, July 18 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-07-19 01:19:26 GMT
    Friday night there was more warning for all drivers on the road to be alert, when a motorcycle collided with a car.More >>
    Friday night there was more warning for all drivers on the road to be alert, when a motorcycle collided with a car.More >>
  • Prime State Street Properties Still For Sale

    Prime State Street Properties Still For Sale

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:41:21 GMT
    Two prime business locations on State Street, that were put up for sale months ago, have yet to be sold. Under the Clock restaurant, inside the old Boston Store building, was closed on November 20. The Cell Block nightclub closed on March 2. John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership, says his agency is helping to locate potential buyers. He says he has been in contact with a few people who are interested in the Under the Clock location. Buchna said a possible sale of the Cell Block...More >>
    Two prime business locations on State Street, that were put up for sale months ago, have yet to be sold. Under the Clock restaurant, inside the old Boston Store building, was closed on November 20. The Cell Block nightclub closed on March 2. John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership, says his agency is helping to locate potential buyers. He says he has been in contact with a few people who are interested in the Under the Clock location. Buchna said a possible sale of the Cell Block...More >>
  • Cafeteria & Custodial Workers Protest in Oil City

    Cafeteria & Custodial Workers Protest in Oil City

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:23:03 GMT
    Members of the SEIU 32BJ union say it's a decision that would destroy their lives. "This isn't even just about a paycheck," said SEIU 32BJ representative Peter Schmidt. "This is about saving peoples livelihoods and keeping something good here in Oil City." On Monday, the group met with the Oil City School Board, to protest the district's plan to outsource cafeteria and custodial jobs. "These people aren't going to care about the children like we do,” said custodian Vickie Conn. “They're not...More >>
    Members of the SEIU 32BJ union say it's a decision that would destroy their lives. "This isn't even just about a paycheck," said SEIU 32BJ representative Peter Schmidt. "This is about saving peoples livelihoods and keeping something good here in Oil City." On Monday, the group met with the Oil City School Board, to protest the district's plan to outsource cafeteria and custodial jobs. "These people aren't going to care about the children like we do,” said custodian Vickie Conn. “They're not...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile:
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
Droid
iPhone
iPad
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com