Reuters reports on St. John’s Shelter

Hi. Please read this article. Even if you don’t live in Sacramento. Even if you don’t live in California.

Nearby St. John’s Shelter, which caters to women and children, has been running at or near capacity for months — filling roughly 100 beds a night — with a waiting list well over twice that long, case manager Kellie Dockendorf said.

This is up from the daily average of 80 women and children turned away in 2008. And getting in can take up to 45 days.

The mix of clientele is changing too, she said.

“We’re getting a lot more working people. We’re getting more people with education. We’re getting a lot more people who are working part-time or not getting enough hours to pay their bills,” she said.

Keysia Bell, 38, had made a living as a caregiver for the elderly until full-time work became harder to find.

After a period of paying to stay with friends or relatives for weeks or months at a time, then renting a house she could no longer afford, she ended up at St. John’s two months ago with her 17-year-old and 10-month-old daughters.

“I’m out of a job. I’m out of a place to stay. I have a baby daughter, and it all just became overwhelming,” she said.

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