Baltimore County - They are typical chores from Angelica Gasque, a mother of two, with another son on the way, but there is nothing ordinary about her circumstances.
For 16 months, Gasque has lived at the East Side Shelter in Baltimore County, after her mom's house fell into foreclosure.
"I actually catch myself crying sometimes because I'm like oh my goodness, how could this happen," said Gasque.
Ending up at a shelter was never the plan. It's safe to say, no one wants to be there. But it beats the street when there's no where else to turn.
"I thought we was actually going to be out on the streets somewhere, just no where to go at all cause I'm just really by myself. I didn't have nobody at the time."
Gasque is not alone. She is among hundreds contributing to a spike in the homeless population in Baltimore County, an increase of 25 percent from last year.
Officials say roughly the same percentage represents the increase in families ending up in a homeless shelter for the first time.
Kevin Lindamood runs Healthcare for the Homeless, overseeing several jurisdictions. He says typically the finger is pointed at low income and the lack of affordable housing.
"The current economic picture simply exacerbates those circumstances. There are more individuals and families that are having trouble making ends meet that are losing jobs, that are finding it difficult to make their mortgage payment or to pay their rent," said Lindawood.
The director of the East Side Shelter is forced to turn people away every night. Men lay out mats and sleep on the floor.
In a few months, Gasque and her boys will give up their bed for an apartment. She's moving forward, but there are still so many left behind.
Yet another example of the increasing demand for services, Lindamood says an on-site pediatric unit will open in November since more families are ending up in shelters.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact Healthcare for the Homeless at 410-837-5533.
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