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Close to Homeless
People who are homeless in rural regions like Northern New York are likely to be married, working, female, with children. They move from place to place, staying with friends and relatives, or in a series of substandard apartments and trailers. They are our invisible neighbors. NCPR talks with some of them, and with some of their advocates.

Agency works to prevent local foreclosures

Home foreclosures are on the rise. Stories in the national media tend to focus on metropolitan areas where house prices shot up over the past decade. As real estate values drop and adjustable mortgages climb many buyers can't afford to keep their homes. Rural areas like the North Country are also seeing more foreclosures. Kathy Cary is assistance manager at the St. Lawrence County Housing Council. She watches the court dockets for names of people about to lose their homes. And she says every week the list grows longer. She told Jonathan Brown the reason isn't falling real estate prices, or even the vague-sounding "subprime lender" crisis.  Go to full article

Budget helps low-income housing

The relatively low cost of housing in the North Country draws people to the area. But for people with below-average income, finding a home, even here, is tough. Over the past few years, the military brought thousands of families to Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties to work at Fort Drum. That's made it even harder for low-income civilians to buy a house. Not-for-profits are trying to help. North Country Affordable Housing has been working with people in the three counties for 20 years. Executive Director Barbara Willis says the challenges remain, but this year things are looking up, mainly because of a boost in operating funds in the state budget. Jonathan Brown asked her how low-income people are faring in the current real-estate market.  Go to full article
An "Empty Bowls" wall display at South Jefferson Middle School

South Jefferson School Fights Hunger with "Empty Bowls"

Hundreds of clay bowls that were made over the last few months by students and staff in a Jefferson County school will raise thousands of dollars for hunger relief. South Jefferson Middle School, in Adams, is participating in the "Empty Bowls" program. The basic idea for the project is simple. Participants create ceramic bowls, then serve a simple meal of soup and bread. All the money raised benefits local food shelves and homeless shelters. South Jefferson's dinner is Wednesday night (5-6:30 pm) in the High School cafeteria. South Jefferson Middle School counselor Steve Robinson told Todd Moe that all 450 students participated in the project.  Go to full article

Groups Call for More Government Aid to Help Stop Hunger

The state's food pantries and soup kitchens want Governor Pataki and the legislature to commit more money to help poor New Yorkers pay their heating bills. Karen DeWitt...  Go to full article

Canton Workshops Tackle Hunger Issues

For more than 30 years, Bread for the World has been a non-partisan voice for ending hunger. Bread for the World will lead a series of workshops on advocacy...  Go to full article

$4 Million Worker Housing Project Planned For North Creek

A non-profit group called Comlinks plans to build 20 affordable apartments and townhouses in North Creek. Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton unveiled the $4 million development...  Go to full article

Bush's Budget Plan Could Hurt Rural Housing

President Bush's budget proposes consolidation of 18 housing and community development programs under a new Commerce Department umbrella. Martha Foley talks with St. Lawrence...  Go to full article
Lynee Erlenbach (bottom) and her family

Close to Homeless Update: Lynee Erlenbach

It's been a very good year for Lynee Erlenbach and her mom, Laura Davenport. They were featured in our Close To Homeless series last May. The addition to their...  Go to full article
Laura Davenport and Cassie

Close to Homeless: Surviving Transiency

People who are homeless in rural regions like Northern New York redefine our picture of "homelessness". The National Coalition for the Homeless, a not-for-profit advocacy...  Go to full article
Laura and her family

Close to Homeless Update: Laura Davenport

It's been a momentous nine months for Laura Davenport and her family. Laura regained full custody of her children. The family's social worker said home life seemed stable...  Go to full article

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