ZANESVILLE, Ohio – There are over 200 Zanesville residents who are currently homeless. A new grassroots organization is striving to bring awareness to the homelessness crisis in the city while partnering with homeless individuals. SOS Zanesville is attempting to bring the issue of homelessness to light and help secure affordable housing for area residents. Marcia Hartman, an SOS Zanesville Member, says one key challenge of the crisis is a low rate of compensation across the area.
“There is not enough affordable housing. There was a housing survey done in Zanesville that showed that half or more of Zanesville people do not earn enough to afford housing here. So, it’s just a real crunch of incomes not being enough to pay for the housing that’s available—and there isn’t much housing available in Zanesville.”
While society tends to place a negative and misguided stigma on the homeless population, homeless individuals are normal human beings and it is possible for anyone to become homeless; no matter their current situation. Christy Carter, an SOS Zanesville Member, has been homeless since June of this year.
“I’m homeless, myself. So, if you get to know people not everybody is—you know, on drugs or you know, out stealing and breaking in places. Some of us just got in this situation, unfortunately. Something happened and you know, we’re doing the best that we can to deal with it.”
SOS of Zanesville held an awareness event this evening at St. Thomas Church. Those in attendance wrote down thoughts and ideas on how to mitigate the homelessness crisis with the intent of presenting them at City Hall in the near future. For more information or to join SOS Zanesville, visit their Facebook page or attend their upcoming December 19th Cookie Baking event.