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ABUSE SHELTER OPENING DOORS TO HOMELESS

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Seekhaven Family Crisis and Resource center, which operates a shelter for abused women, has been extending its services to meet a crucial need in the Moab area - housing for the homeless.

Many women coming to Seek-haven cannot go "home," as it is unsafe. Some lose their housing because they cannot pay the rent when a partner abandons the family.In cooperation with Grand County Housing Authority, as well as the Utah Department of Human Services, the Sheriff's and Police departments, the Ministerial Society and other social service agencies, Seekhaven is also helping other homeless families, including men, in the Moab area.

"A majority of homeless people here are residents of Moab," said Daniel Shellabarger, Seekhaven's Homeless Coordinator. "As is typical in tourist areas, these people are homeless because their wages can no longer cover the ever-spiraling rent, or the house they were renting has been sold and they must move."

There are some transient people who are homeless, as well. They come to Moab to get a job in the tourist industry, only to find that their wages cannot come near the high rents generated by the tourist boom. They end up camping on the river or sleeping in their cars.

Grand County Housing Authority has limited funds to help homeless families. The two agencies work together to prevent Moab families from becoming homeless. The federal government has created a Homeless Prevention Fund which matches money 50-50 with a homeless family to provide first and last month's rent and security deposit. Other agencies, such as Social Services and the Grand County Food Bank, also help homeless families with rent subsidies and/or utility assistance.

Seekhaven has limited funds to carry on its work. Both Seekhaven and the Housing Authority are in search of houses, apartments, trailers, and rooms for rent.

If you have space to rent or can make a donation to Seekhaven's homeless project, please call Seekhaven at 259-2229 or the Housing Authority at 259-5891.