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West Virginians Volunteer to be “Homeless” for One Night

November 21, 2008

Berkeley Springs, WV – A group of West virginians is hitting the streets and staying there all night to show support for those who have lost their homes.

Audrey Morris, Morgan County Starting Points coordinator, says their goals also include raising visibility of the issue, because the homeless population tends to be hidden, whether sleeping in cars or campers, or moving around.

"They lose their home, they lose their rental unit, and they move to grandma's house, until grandma can't take it anymore. And, so then, they move to Aunt Susie's."

Some state and federal money is available each year to help homeless families, but Morris says those sources have been depleted.

"Right now, I have a mother with six children who is going to lose her home. I don't know what she’s going to do, I mean, we have a week to find her someplace to move."

Morris points out that not every county in West Virginia has a shelter for families; Morgan County doesn't. She says her group, and others, have put together an affordable housing plan to address the issue which includes rental payment assistance.

The "night out for the homeless" is in front of Berkeley Springs High School.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WV