During the recent cold snap around Thanksgiving, Catholic Community Services of Lane County exhausted its supply of motel vouchers for families seeking overnight shelter. Efforts are underway to prepare for the next cold snap.
Tom Mulhern is Executive Director of Catholic Community Services of Lane County. He says over the 6 nights of sub-freezing temperatures, the agency gave vouchers to 16 to 21 homeless families each night. He says in previous years, only a handful of families sought vouchers. Mulhern says more families are homeless, often living in their vehicles.
Mulhern: “It’s a function of the economy. There are many people who are still struggling to get jobs and there are single parents who are in really difficult, challenging situations where they don’t have the resources to provide for their family, they’re not getting the child support that they’re supposed to be getting.”
Mulhern is working with Lane County, other non-profits and cities to provide a more affordable place for families on cold nights. He expects they’ll add a couple more sites to the Egan Warming Center-- for families only.