Phoenix family shelter struggles to meet high demand as eviction rate rises

PHOENIX — More and more Arizonans are being deprived of their homes, and some can no longer afford to pay rent.

Maricopa County Courthouse data released last week shows eviction filings in July are higher than at any time in the past 13 years.

In July, 6,405 evictions were filed with the court, more than any other month since October 2008 at 6,975, according to the court.

Homeless shelters are also struggling to meet this demand.

Jackson Fonder, executive director of UMOM’s New Day Centers, says more than 240 families are on his emergency shelter waiting list.

This means that there is approximately a 13 week wait to enter the shelter.

This time last year, Fonder said there was a waiting list of 50 families and a two-and-a-half-week wait.

“I have been at UMOM for about two years. I have not seen such a high need. We are in a crisis situation. Affordable housing is needed now more than ever, and having so many families on a waiting list is a crime,” Fonder said.

Families are also staying longer at the shelter, making it difficult for other families to gain access. Fonder said some families are struggling to find affordable homes to move into.

“We are seeing more and more evictions. I think you also see families who have had price kicked out of their apartments or homes,” Fonder added.

The shelter is a place mum Brynnicka Bradford does not want to be with her six children. However, she tells ABC15 that it’s better than sleeping on the ground or in a tent.

Over the past year, Bradford has stayed in other people’s homes and shelters. She has been at the UMOM shelter for a month and a half, trying to get back on her feet.

“It’s exhausting, it’s just overwhelming,” she said.

Bradford says a year ago she was kicked out. She had problems with her bank and couldn’t pay her rent. She has also been looking for a job since then, but she has to face some circumstances since she is a single mother.

“I try to keep them out of this situation until I can get up so we can be happy,” she said.

UMOM said it was doing what it could to help the families.

Fonder says they’re seeing more “newbies” than ever before.

“There are so many organizations doing good things. Seriously, it’s amazing,” Fonder continued. “But sometimes we feel like we’re barely making a dent. We need people to help us. »

UMOM said it needed more volunteers as well as donations to help families in need.

If you need help fighting eviction notices or need rental assistance, there are resources in many counties. You can find a list of resources through the state housing department here.

Regarding eviction filings, a Maricopa County Courthouse spokesperson said it’s likely that eviction filings will continue to increase as they have observed this trend over the past few years. month.

The court added that it is important to note that while eviction filings are increasing, Maricopa County’s population size has also increased over the years.

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