March 8, 2009
Sacramento has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the United States.
As many as 50 people a week arrive at the tent city and the authorities estimate it is now home to more than 1,200 people.
[efoods]Now its homeless population hope an Oprah TV show about recession, foreclosures and homelessness will help them out of poverty.
They hope the segment on the national talk show will prompt more donations and government help. Producers visited Sacramento in February to visit the homeless shelters.
“We’re very glad that Oprah and her team have chosen to give this crisis a voice, because it is a crisis,” Michele Steeb, executive director of St. John’s Shelter, said. “Our turnaway numbers have risen from 20 women and children being turned away per day in 2007 to 80 in 2008 to our current number of 230 women and children being turned away a day. It is a crisis and it’s only getting worse. We’re so glad that she’s giving the crisis a voice. We’re honoured to be part of the discussion because it’s an important discussion to have,” she said.
The city and county of Sacramento have already received $34 million to help fight the effects of the foreclosure crisis but, in the meantime, hundreds of people have moved into the shelters.
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