Social-service providers gathered today to tell how they’ll have to limit services to low-income families from the state’s budget cuts enacted in last week’s special session. Nancy Wolf-Keith is director of “The Home Connection,” and says nonprofits must speak up about what they need to keep offering help to the poor.She says they need more shelter, food, and staff to help people who are being evicted and have nowhere to go. Eve Hickman works with homeless and runaway kids, and referred to a striking front-page story in Tuesday’s Des Moines Register about two runaways found living in a storm sewer.She says every night the counselors go out and find teens and young adults, homeless or runaways, in numbers too great for the existing shelters. Claudia Hawkins is with the YWCA of Greater Des Moines, which operates a 120-bed shelter. Hawkins explains many of the “working poor” are closer to homeless because of the travel and service jobs that have dried up.Hawkins says they’re the folks who worked in hotels before September 11, and don’t have those jobs now. Hawkins says many of those workers made less than 10-thousand dollars a year and already lacked health insurance and the ability to pay rent. The speakers urged restoration of money cut from state human services, and suggested business partnerships to donate food and money for the holidays.
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