VENICE, Fl - In south county the focus is on homeless children and families. Monday morning hundreds come out to hear homeless expert Robert Marbut present his report to Venice, North Port, and county officials.
Marbut says a lack of facilities in Englewood and North Port is causing more to sleep in cars, the woods, or motels. Nearly half of the 350 homeless families reported in the area are in south county.
Those working to help families like Ellen McLaughlin with the Sarasota YMCA's School House Link program say Marbut's report shows the need for one or more emergency intake facilities. "There is a tremendous need for an emergency type shelter so families will have a place to go when they are in a desperate situation."
Danzey Allen says she's struggling with three kids. She is currently sleeping in her car and finding little help. "There is help for kids and help for single people but no help for families."
As a band aid right now the Gulf Coast Community Foundation is one organization helping with motel vouchers until families can find more permanent housing. Problem is the motels are expensive and don't provide any support services.
We will have much more on this story coming up at 5pm tonight on ABC 7. Also check back on the website for the full report later this evening.