Thursday, November 27, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 18
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New Times / Community

The Homeless Project

At New Times, we believe that homelessness is not a problem that can be attacked with money or plans. When we think of homelessness, we don't think of statistics; we think of people. We think of people who've had problems in their lives, and they all have a story to tell. We believe that common sense is the only way we'll ever come close to ending homelessness. This is our common-sense approach, and these are their stories.

Angalina Cofer

Most people would contend that living in a shelter, as a single adult, is difficult. Now imagine trying to raise three children in that environment. This is what Angalina Cofer, 26, faces every day.

Cofer and her children have been living in the overflow section at a shelter in North County for the last five months. She took her three children, ages 14 months to 8 years, to the shelter after escaping what she described as an abusive relationship.

While her older two daughters go to school during the day, Cofer is the sole caretaker for her infant son, Nathaniel, 24 hours a day. “I can’t even shower without having him with me. His grandmother lives at the shelter, too, and I had to make special arrangements so that she could watch him while I drop the girls off at school. I can’t go looking for a job or an apartment because there’s no one here that can watch him for long periods of time.”

Cofer says she would benefit from childcare so she can focus on providing the family with a better living situation. “If someone could watch him, I could get a job and use my housing voucher, which expires in December. It’s been so tough because one of my girls has to stay with her dad most weekends until we get settled in an apartment. It’s breaking up the family.”

Cofer has experience in customer service and also has a housing voucher she has to use by December. She is looking for a safe, comfortable apartment for her and her three young children. Friends describe her as a responsible, good-hearted, loving mother who is just looking for a foot in the door. “I just need to be able to get out there and find a job and a place to live so I can get us out of the shelter.”


Send offers of assistance to homelessproject@newtimesslo.com.

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