Housing crunch hits Advocates Crisis Support Services | CraigDailyPress.com

Housing crunch hits Advocates Crisis Support Services

The housing crunch brought on this fall by an influx of hunters and pipeline workers continues to be a challenge for many.

But for Advocates Crisis Support Services, the housing crunch has been particularly difficult.

When victims of domestic violence or sexual assault need a temporary place of refuge, Advocates finds room for them in local hotels.

In recent months, hotel rooms have been hard to come by in Craig.

When hunters left the hotel rooms last month, pipeline workers and other groups quickly took their places. Hundreds of workers are in town for two natural gas pipeline projects.

The housing market has become so tight that locals are renting rooms to pipeline workers, and others have gone as far as building trailer parks to house workers.

Karen Aragon, volunteer and youth services coordinator for Advocates, said the housing crunch has forced the group to take victims to hotels outside of Craig.

With high gas prices, driving victims and their children to hotels in other towns is an expense the nonprofit can’t afford for long.

The housing problem has been magnified by the rise in the number of calls to Advocates.

This year, Advoc–ates had provided shelter to 47 people through November and provided services to 420 people.

But the group has not turned anyone away because of the housing problem, Aragon said.

“We would never want to do that,” she said.

In the long term, the organization hopes it won’t have to rely on hotels, Aragon said.

Advocates would prefer to have a permanent shelter in Craig where battered women and victims of sexual assault can stay, she said.

But finding a house in Craig that would meet the organization’s needs has been a problem, she said.

The group needs a handicapped-accessible house with a handicapped-accessible bathroom, Aragon said.

“There are very few houses right now that would fit,” she said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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