Salvation Army of Savannah sees increase in people seeking rental assistance, shelter

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — In the next two months, 62% of adults statewide are likely to face eviction or foreclosure, according to data from the Census Bureau.

The federal eviction moratorium expired at the end of August. Here in Chatham County, 418 eviction notices have been given out since Sept. 1, officials with the sheriff’s department told News 3.

Local homeless shelters are seeing more people come through their doors. Linda James, director of the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Shelter, said their numbers are starting to tick up across all of their programs.

“It’s hard, you know, when you have people coming to your door that has no idea where they’re going to stay the next day or how they’re going to pay their bills the next day,” James said. “It’s heartbreaking when you see individuals that way.”

The Center of Hope Shelter is housing 65 people as of Friday. That’s about half of the shelter’s full capacity, but James said over the past month more people having been coming in for help.

“We’re just seeing people who don’t have the complete bandwidth to take care of everything that they need to pay for such as their rent, utilities,” she said. “Even people that are having issues with food.”

Every day the shelter is working with people facing eviction, James said. Salvation Army is also offering assistance in paying rent and utilities through partnerships with Georgia Power and Chatham County.

“We see individuals that have not been able to pay their bills for a whole year, and so the amount of money that has built up,” James said. “But we also look to the landlords, you know, that’s their, that’s how they live as well in terms of collecting those rents.”

James is hopeful the Salvation Army’s programs will help both renters and landlords recoup and move forward.

There is currently a backlog of up to 60 people looking for rental assistance from the organization. If you are in danger of facing eviction, James urges people to call for help right away to avoid getting stuck in a backlog. 

If you need assistance, you can call the Salvation Army at 912-651-7420.

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