As the economy continues to stagnate, more and more people are at risk of getting squeezed out of their homes, says Mark Alston-Follansbee, executive director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition. Though the wet weather limited the field to 932 runners, the agency’s 16th annual 5K race in Davis Square Saturday raised $49,500, with a little over $40,000 cleared after expenses. The agency supports about 140 families and individuals in permanent rental housing, Alston-Follansbee said. Additional families receive one- to two-year housing subsidies. The Somerville Community Corporation recently received funding for eight new apartments in a building on Cross Street. The units won’t be ready for tenants for about a year. Rents will be set at 30 percent of a tenant’s income. The agency also will be supporting four apartments in the second phase of St. Polycarp Village. According to the Somerville Community Corporation, those will be ready in January. “But it does not begin to meet the need,’’ Alston-Follansbee said. “More and more people are struggling to keep their homes.’’ The organization operates two shelters with a total of 36 beds. In the permanent apartments, “We have very little turnover and we never have enough apartments,’’ Alston-Follansbee said. The agency has to reapply for federal funding every year. About $66,000 in annual United Way funds is also used to keep people from losing their housing, Alston-Follansbee said. Those funds once held out for 11 months. Last year, demand was so high that the well ran dry after four months. For more information on housing, see somervillehomelesscoalition.org.
- Danielle Dreilinger