JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some shelters in Jacksonville are booked. People staying in those shelters say it’s because of rent inflation -- and having nowhere else to turn.
The Clara White Mission said inflation has impacted their housing availability through the Clara White’s Veteran Housing Program.
Inflation in rent is causing delays in getting residents into permanent housing. While it’s not a huge problem at the moment, Clara White Mission says it’s something they have to watch for.
Russell Greaney is a supervisor at the Veterans Drop-in Center. He says he’s been there for two years and started as a resident.
The mission changed his life and helped him get back on his feet after being homeless. Now he’s working with veterans who are worried they can’t be placed in housing due to inflation increasing rent, gas and food prices.
“They’re worried about where am I going to be able to get food and money to be able to buy groceries to keep my family safe. The husband is going out trying to use his resumes or trying to apply to different jobs. It must be a really, really sometimes terrifying feeling,” Greaney said.
Shelters that help transition people into housing were already dealing with an affordable housing crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic.
One agency told News4JAX that the time it takes to get enrolled and get a lease has more than doubled.
Meg Fisher, Clara White Chief Operating Officer, says the veterans housing program is booked and spots are filled quickly.
“We’re seeing that we’ve had a couple of delays in people who were ready to move to an apartment. There was a little bit of a snag with getting the funding ready for them to move forward. But for the most part, we’ve been able to bridge the gap on all of this situation,” Fisher said.
Greaney says he’s trying his best to encourage the veterans he works with to be proactive and patient.
“These programs they have is a two-way street. We hope that the people in charge are doing their due diligence to help out,” Greaney said. “But also the veterans have to go ahead and step up and take responsibility and go out and do their job by going out looking for the apartments.”
They also hope the inflation doesn’t get any worse.
The United States interagency Council on Homelessness says the VA vows to house 38 thousand veterans experiencing homelessness in 2022.
They’ll do it with Housing and Urban Development VA supporting housing, like Clara White.