High rents hurt poor: family shelter, food requests up in Silicon

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 21 Nov 1998 22:36:08 -0400


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FWD  San Jose Mercury News -  November 15, 1998


NEED FOR FOOD GREATER THAN '97
HIGH RENTS HURTING SILICON VALLEY'S POOR

By Betty Barnacle
Mercury News Staff Writer


The story is the same from one end of Silicon Valley to the other: the
poor, working or not, are spending most of their income on the area's
sky-high rents.

``Then they come to us for the rest,'' said Barbara Zahner, executive
director of Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose.

Zahner and other Silicon Valley caregivers are finding their list for food
and clothing much longer this holiday season.

About 140 people on average now go to the Centerville Free Dining Room in
Fremont for meals, which are offered twice a week, according to coordinator
Arminta King. That's up from about 100 to 110 people this time last year,
she said.

And at the Tri-City Homeless Coalition in Fremont, more than 25 families
are on the waiting list for shelter, about double the number at the same
time last year, according to spokeswoman Jean Morgan. Many people served by
the coalition have jobs, yet they can't afford housing in the area, she
said. ``The economy hasn't been that kind to a lot of people,'' she said.

Sacred Heart in San Jose, which moved three weeks ago from cramped quarters
on First Street to a new center at Alma and First streets in San Jose, kept
its old clients and picked up another neighborhood of needy people.

The pantry section, which hands out bread and sacks filled with three days'
worth of food, used to serve about 240 clients a day. Now there are 360
people in the bread line each morning, said Nona McHale, Sacred Heart's
office manager.

Jenny Luciano of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo
counties said the agency gauges its needs by what it hears from
organizations that receive its food.

``And the need is up significantly,'' Luciano said. ``We need 25,000 frozen
turkeys and chickens where last year we wanted 16,000. To purchase food
we're seeking $2 million this season compared to $1.5 million last year.''

``People are caught between low wages and the high cost of rent,'' said
Joey Scanapico of CityTeam Ministries, which expects to feed more than
25,000 people this Thanksgiving season. ``They're unskilled and take the
low-paying jobs -- janitors and busboys -- and you can't live on those
salaries in the Silicon Valley.''

Parents who bring their kids to CityTeam for a meal tell staffers that they
work so many jobs they hardly see their children, Scanapico said. In
between minimum-wage jobs, they clean houses, cut hair and sell clothing
from their homes.

``They are using creative ways to make ends meet and still can't make it,''
he said. ``The cost of living is so high even these extreme measures don't
help.''

At the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto, Nevida Butler,
executive director, is worried because so early in the season she has had
more than 180 new people phone in for holiday food.

``We'll probably get 1,000 requests by Thanksgiving and we're aiming for
just 500 food boxes,'' said Butler. ``We won't be able to do anything for
the rest unless there is a miracle. The need is great because a lot of
rents have gone up and people with welfare cuts, even though they work,
still don't have as much spending money because now they have to have car
fare and clothes for work.''

In Mountain View, Maureen Wadiak, director of program management for
Community Services Agency, said: ``The majority of our clients are the
working poor. They have two and three jobs. Part-time usually, with no
medical coverage. So if the kids get sick, they have to pay for treatment
and then have trouble paying the rent and PG&E.''

Seniors on fixed incomes also are feeling the pinch of rocketing rents,
Wadiak said, and have to seek help to feed themselves.

``In this community, this shouldn't happen,'' she said.

END FORWARD
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receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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FWD  San Jose Mercury News -  November 15, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>NEED FOR FOOD GREATER THAN '97

HIGH RENTS HURTING SILICON VALLEY'S POOR


By Betty Barnacle

Mercury News Staff Writer 

</paraindent>


The story is the same from one end of Silicon Valley to the other: the
poor, working or not, are spending most of their income on the area's
sky-high rents.


``Then they come to us for the rest,'' said Barbara Zahner, executive
director of Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose.


Zahner and other Silicon Valley caregivers are finding their list for
food and clothing much longer this holiday season.


About 140 people on average now go to the Centerville Free Dining Room
in Fremont for meals, which are offered twice a week, according to
coordinator Arminta King. That's up from about 100 to 110 people this
time last year, she said.


And at the Tri-City Homeless Coalition in Fremont, more than 25
families are on the waiting list for shelter, about double the number
at the same time last year, according to spokeswoman Jean Morgan. Many
people served by the coalition have jobs, yet they can't afford housing
in the area, she said. ``The economy hasn't been that kind to a lot of
people,'' she said.


Sacred Heart in San Jose, which moved three weeks ago from cramped
quarters on First Street to a new center at Alma and First streets in
San Jose, kept its old clients and picked up another neighborhood of
needy people.


The pantry section, which hands out bread and sacks filled with three
days' worth of food, used to serve about 240 clients a day. Now there
are 360 people in the bread line each morning, said Nona McHale, Sacred
Heart's office manager.


Jenny Luciano of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo
counties said the agency gauges its needs by what it hears from
organizations that receive its food.


``And the need is up significantly,'' Luciano said. ``We need 25,000
frozen turkeys and chickens where last year we wanted 16,000. To
purchase food we're seeking $2 million this season compared to $1.5
million last year.''


``People are caught between low wages and the high cost of rent,'' said
Joey Scanapico of CityTeam Ministries, which expects to feed more than
25,000 people this Thanksgiving season. ``They're unskilled and take
the low-paying jobs -- janitors and busboys -- and you can't live on
those salaries in the Silicon Valley.''


Parents who bring their kids to CityTeam for a meal tell staffers that
they work so many jobs they hardly see their children, Scanapico said.
In between minimum-wage jobs, they clean houses, cut hair and sell
clothing from their homes.


``They are using creative ways to make ends meet and still can't make
it,'' he said. ``The cost of living is so high even these extreme
measures don't help.''


At the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto, Nevida Butler,
executive director, is worried because so early in the season she has
had more than 180 new people phone in for holiday food.


``We'll probably get 1,000 requests by Thanksgiving and we're aiming
for just 500 food boxes,'' said Butler. ``We won't be able to do
anything for the rest unless there is a miracle. The need is great
because a lot of rents have gone up and people with welfare cuts, even
though they work, still don't have as much spending money because now
they have to have car fare and clothes for work.''


In Mountain View, Maureen Wadiak, director of program management for
Community Services Agency, said: ``The majority of our clients are the
working poor. They have two and three jobs. Part-time usually, with no
medical coverage. So if the kids get sick, they have to pay for
treatment and then have trouble paying the rent and PG&E.''


Seniors on fixed incomes also are feeling the pinch of rocketing rents,
Wadiak said, and have to seek help to feed themselves.


``In this community, this shouldn't happen,'' she said.


END FORWARD

- 

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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