Help for the homeless in demandby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Groups that help the homeless say they continue to see steep demand for services, particularly by families.
In two thirds of cities surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, emergency shelters were forced to turn people away for lack of beds - and requests for emergency food assistance jumped 24 percent over the last year.
Jeremy Rosen, the policy director for the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, says homeless people are at risk of hypothermia this time of year.
"Especially these last few years we are seeing more and more families with children becoming homeless," Rosen said.
Rosen said more federal and state funding is needed to preserve essential safety net services.
"People with no place to go...have the potential to sometimes be on the street, to be sleeping in cars, to be sleeping in dangerous and unheated and unsafe housing and that puts them at risk," Rosen said.
He said thousands of homeless people died last year across the country from the cold