Boil order in Geneseo

Homeless worries amid federal budget cuts

Since January, when he first arrived at the Humility of Mary Shelter in Davenport, Alan Peterman has learned to live with a little less independence.

“I like to get up, make my own meals, get ready for work,” said Peterman. “I have my routine. It doesn’t happen here. But, it’s better than the alternative.”

He lost his job last fall and never thought he’d end up at a homeless shelter.

“I was bumming around from friend to friend, staying on people’s couches and I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t do this,” he said. “I’ve been beating a path out here, walking, taking buses and I’ve got like 46 applications out. I had like nine of those in before I ever came in here.”

At the shelter there are more than 80 beds, which workers say on any given day, will all be occupied.

It’s a similar scene across the country and it could get much worse.

The Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, recently said the sequestration could result in more than 100,000 homeless and formerly homeless people being removed from their current house or emergency shelter programs- putting them at substantial risk of returning to the streets.

That makes it all the more important for local shelters like Humility of Mary to get help from community donors.

“Getting a job sometimes is not difficult,” said Cindi Gramenz, the shelter’s Program Director. “It’s the other barriers we need to help them with so they can sustain that job.”

Thanks to a $100,000 matching grant from the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, the shelter’s one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal of $250,000 by April of 2014.

As for Alan, he’s hoping for help in the form of a job.

“They keep telling me maybe the middle of this month, but we’ll see. All you can do is just forge ahead.”

The shelter took over in 2008 for now-defunct John Lewis Community Services.

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