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Homeless population rises in Eau Claire

EAU CLAIRE - Despite what you might think, the economy does not have to be in the tank for the homeless population to rise. In Eau Claire, advocates for the homeless say the number of empty apartments has dropped – and in many cases, rents have increased beyond some people’s ability-to-pay them.

In the meantime, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says the community’s homeless shelters are full – and waiting lists for potential residents are getting longer.

Eau Claire has a number of shelters that serve different segments of homeless people. The Beacon House can have up to six families at a time. Director Kelly Christianson says that when one family moves out, she considers up to 20 families as replacement candidates. She said the Beacon House turned away over 700 people last year.