Economic downturn leads to massive evictions
August 30, 2003
Assistant groups warn the eviction rate is reaching crisis levels as the Western Washington economy continues to struggle.
Chet Samonds, who has three children, doesn't know how much longer he'll have his apartment. Each month he just barely avoids eviction. It's been nearly two years since Samonds lost his computer programmer job. Despite six months of retraining to upgrade his skills, he still hasn't found a job.
"These are mainly folks who are unemployed, their unemployment has run out, and they are at the very end of their tether," said Win Hogben of Hopelink. "They don't know what else to do but to come and ask for help."
Hopelink help whenever they can by providing money, basic necessities and other services, but they're being inundated with requests for help.
"I would say it's up to about 30 to 35 percent more," said
"It's just frustrating - high stress, very high stress," said Samonds.
Economists say there are signs the Western Washington economy is
pulling out of its slump but say it could be a couple years before
the unemployment rates and eviction rates are back to where they should