LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The director of Advent House says in her almost 30 years of work in Lansing, she has never seen so many homeless people in need.
Most shelters in the area are full, and affordable apartments have waitlists that could take months for you to get in.
“The beginning of 2023, the numbers increased 300%,” said Advent House Director Susan Cancro. She said her organization is seeing an unheard-of increase in the homeless population.
Advent House has workers on the streets looking for the homeless, but they’re having a hard time keeping up
“When I first started they were finding maybe one or two people every other day now we are finding five to 15 people every day,” she said.
The problem is, when workers find people needing help, they have nowhere to place them.
Cancro added that Lansing has a limited amount of affordable housing, and that was only made worse the pandemic’s impact on inflation rates.
“Recently when units were opened up that could be affordable, there were thousands of applications and there were only a few units,” she said.
Cancro says the housing situation has gotten so bad that they have resorted to putting people in hotels. She says it’s obvious the area needs more affordable housing and improving the existing homes.
Ultimately, Cancro believes Lansing needs another shelter that can house anyone.
“If you’re going to build something, make it flexible so you can accommodate, say families right now, and if we begin to diminish in that area, have that flexible enough that it can accommodate an older person who needs an accessible unit,” Cancro recommended.
It won’t be just one organization that is going to turn this problem around, Cancro declared.
“It feels sometimes endless and it doesn’t need to be,” she said. “I think if we all work together we can solve this but we have to get landlords and agencies and government all together on the same page.”
To donate or volunteer with Advent House, click here.