Plight of the homeless hits home

Published 5:38 pm Thursday, July 14, 2022

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As of January 2020, Alabama had an estimated 3,351 people experiencing homelessness on any given day, as reported by Continuums of Care to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Even though there are multiple causes of homelessness, according to internet “authorities,” addiction, job loss and mental health issues rank as the top three causes.

However, around Troy, the top causes of homelessness are said to be the high cost of rent and the lack of few “decent” affordable places for those who find themselves struggling with their life situations.

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One man in that situation said his Social Security check is not enough to pay the rent, utilities and have anything left for food.

“I got put out of the place where I was living and can’t find anywhere else to live,” he said. “The rent is too high. My check is $800 and rent would take most or all of that. So, what do you do?

Some people like me are staying in condemned houses just to get under a roof but that’s hot and dirty. You’d be better off sleeping in the bushes or under a bridge.”

The man said that homeless people are looked down upon.

“People think homeless people are just sorry and won’t work and are out there looking for a handout,” he said. “Some may be but homeless people, like me, have just gotten knocked down someway and need help getting back up.”

Donna Kidd, director of the Pike County Salvation Army in Troy said it’s true that life can be a kick in the face.

“Some people can be going along okay and, then, just one thing – a lost job, high utilities, sickness–and they can’t even buy groceries,” Kidd said. “There are a lot of needs in Pike County right now. Every day, we see people in need and we are seeing more homeless people now than before. We are doing the best we can to help but there is only so much we can do. But, we don’t have shelters here for the homeless. There are shelters in Dale County and in Montgomery but shelters are not a resource that we have and hotel lodging is costly. We do all we can with what we have.”