More out of work people are ending up homeless - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

More out of work people are ending up homeless

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The government announced Friday the national unemployment rate climbed to 9.7-percent.

It's a good bit higher than that throughout South Georgia.

With so many people out of work, more of them are ending up homeless.

The number of people staying at a shelter in Tifton nearly doubled in the past year and a half.

Rod Maggert is the shelter director at Brother Charlie's Rescue Mission in Tifton.

They're seeing more men here as a result of economic hardships.

"You have a lot of people in here because they've had a bad turn in their jobs, more people now are living paycheck to paycheck," said Maggert, Shelter Director.

"This is a private funded operation so the public helps immensely," he said.

The help is definitely needed.

"When I got here we were running between 20-25, we're over 40 in the dorm now," said Maggert. "We provide them safe shelter, we provide them meals. We give them the opportunity to get themselves back up."

An opportunity the center gave him a year and a half ago.

He found himself homeless after a heart attack and mounting medical bills.

"I actually walked from Memphis to Gulf Port," said Maggert.

After weeks of walking he found shelter in Tifton.

Frederick Lee is at the shelter trying to get back on his feet after his house burned. The 65-year-old tried get into a nursing home.

"It didn't work out, I'm a veteran also, I called my rep and he brought me here," said Frederick Lee, Shelter Resident.

With limited resources Brother Charlie's is helping Lee and others.

"No one expects to be in a shelter, but it's good to have one, but also have a place to nurture you," said Lee.

"If we help one person then that's a success," said Maggert.

"I'm looking to leave in December I'll have my own house by then," said Lee.

And as some leave the shelter, the economy will dictate how quickly others take their place.

If you'd like to help Brother Charlie's, call (229) 382-0577.

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