More adults facing homelessness for the first time

Posted at 6:47 AM, Dec 09, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- More than one in three adults who seek help are facing homelessness for the first time, that's according to a new survey of rescue missions across the country.

“I want to get custody of my grandson that’s why I'm down here," explained Mildred Hasley.

The 42 year-old has called the Open Door Women’s Center at Degage Ministries home for the past month.

But, she’s determined to not get too comfortable.

"In six months, I see myself in my own place.”

"We are seeing many women who are homeless for the first time," said Marge Palmerlee, executive director at Degage.

According to the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, more adults are facing homelessness for the first time.

Degage’s Women’s Center expanded last year to accommodate up to 40 women a night.

And in Ottawa County, the Holland Rescue Missionreports homelessness is a new experience for 32% of the people they’re helping.

What’s more, 56% of  the people they help completed high school, even some college.

It’s the unexpected circumstances in life that brings them in.

"The women who come to see us are dealing with illness, substance abuse, fleeing domestic violence, lots of different trauma in their life," Palmerlee added.

But with goals and the right assistance, places like Degage are helping get people back to independence at faster rates.

"We are that safety net that they can stay here while exploring other options.”