Local shelter says number of Wichita families becoming homeless skyrocketing since WERAP ended
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - "A lot of people are going through hard times. Loss of family members, stuff like that. It's hard out here," said William Dickerson.
For so many people like Dickerson, the pandemic came with an endless list of challenges. Now, he says the Wichita Emergency Rental Assistance Program was the only thing keeping a roof over his head.
"I got evicted. So I can't find no house. Nowhere for me to stay. I'm blind, I need my own house. My own place," said Dickerson.
And he's not alone.
ShaiLyn Malsky and the team at Family Promise work all year round, providing shelter and resources to families who, for one reason or another, lose their homes.
"Families are really struggling right now. The pandemic still is rearing its head and causing some issues with employment. And the inflation rates are also causing issues with being able to make those payments," said Malsky.
Malsky says since WERAP ended, the number of families losing their homes and needing shelter has skyrocketed.
"Unfortunately, there's not a lot of community options for financial assistance," she said.
Since most of the Wichita shelters are full, Malsky says that sometimes there's almost nothing they can do.
"I really hope that community, the Wichita community, kind of comes together and continues to support folks that are struggling. Especially family systems," said Malsky.
Dickerson says he hopes city leaders will see how serious this issue is and find a solution as soon as possible.
"[I hope] that they find some more programs, like rental assistance. That they help people like me with rent," said Dickerson.
Malsky says there are lots of ways you can help, from donating to volunteering or even just spreading the word that there are resources for those in need. Click here for more information.