KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Elaine Bucholz stands in front of a closet pulling out wash cloths and fitted sheets to stuff into pillow cases. She's getting supplies ready for more people to come to City Union Mission.
One month and one day ago, she got a pack just like it. One day and one month ago, she was a truck driver. She lost her job.
"I've never been one to ask for help, just finding a place to sleep, living on the banks, sleep on the river," she said.
Then someone gave her the number to the homeless hotline.
"The first phone call was definitely hard," she said.
She became part of a frightening statistic.
Just since last year, 17 percent more people have called the homeless hotline. The calls come mostly from single mothers and women like Elaine. Even in a few short weeks, she recognizes the shelter's population is growing.
"I see new faces every morning," she said.
"That's alarming," said Dan Doty, Executive Director of City Union Mission. "Unemployment has just been so difficult for so many families. That is a big part of why we've seen such an increase."
Summers are always hard at shelters like City Union Mission. The need goes up and giving goes down.
"It gets really difficult, especially when children are involved, to say 'I'm sorry, currently there is no space in our shelter or in any other shelter in Kansas City,'" Doty said.
The shelter thrives on donations that average only $15 to $50. If you'd like to give or need their services, visit www.cityunionmission.org/ .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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