Monday, November 07, 2011

"Sign of grim times: Kids in Nickelsville" (Seattle-with slideshow)

K'eet Dundas, 11, walks among the tents in the Nickelsville tent community in West Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011. Over 130 people are housed here on any given day and as the weather gets colder many are struggling to stay warm. K'eet's mother Martina said its really cold and there needs to be more funding for families. She said there is almost always a place for a couple but there is not very much support for families that want to stay together. Currently there are at least four pregnant women living Nickelsville.Photo: JOE DYER / SEATTLEPI.COM

Vanessa Ho, with slideshow (
In January, Seattle's annual homeless count delivered some seemingly good news: It found fewer people sleeping without shelter than in years past.

But a month later, a deep cut in state benefits went into effect, devastating thousands of poor families. Suddenly, social workers in Seattle began seeing a spike in families losing housing, searching for shelter and finding none, in a grim trend that shows no sign of abatement.

"I've never had seen it like this," said Jeanice Hardy, a longtime housing director for the YWCA of Seattle. MORE...

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