Cherie Moore, 49, and her son, who just turned 18, slid into homelessness in the way an increasing number of families do, first bunking with relatives and friends until those options run out.
Although Moore works as a care-giver for the elderly and disabled, the number of hours she works often fluctuates. The job pays only about $11.55 an hour -- not enough, Moore says, to pay for housing. Her son, Cody Barnes, does not have a job and has not been attending school.
During the winter, they rented a room in a house from an acquaintance. But drug and alcohol use by others living there, among other problems, prompted the pair to move out and live in her truck for three weeks in May.
Moore tried contacting services for homeless families, but had fewer options available to her because she had a teenage son. Eventually, Moore connected with the YWCA, which moved her and Cody into a Tukwila hotel and then an emergency shelter in Kent.
Caseworkers at the YWCA and Solid Ground helped Moore apply for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. With aid from the program, she was able to afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Kent. They moved into their new apartment in mid-July. Their rental assistance will likely taper off over the course of a year before ceasing completely in 2011.
Read the full story of Cherie and Cody and about the growth of family homelessness.
The homeless you don't see
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