Michelle Overstreet is searching for home. She said after an accident at work, she had to have four back surgeries and now, she’s out of a job and disabled. Recently she’s been sleeping in the safest most comfortable spot she can find.
“I might sleep downtown a couple of nights. I might sleep behind a building a couple of nights or if my friend let’s me stay with her a couple of nights. Wherever I can lay my head (and) I feel like I’ll be safe (for) a couple of hours of sleep I’ll do it,” Overstreet said. She said she’s stayed the shelter in downtown Mobile but she’s looking for something more permanent.“There’s a lot of people in Mobile County (who) look just like me that are homeless” Overstreet said.
She’s one of thousands turning in an application to be on the waiting list for section 8 housing.
“They’re applying to be placed on the waiting list. As positions become available, we’ll pull them on the waiting list, determine if they’re eligible and house them,” Felicia Snow said with the Prichard Housing Authority.
The morning of Tuesday, May 27, hundreds of people were camped outside William Bill Clark Family Life Center on Main Street to turn in applications. Snow said the last time people could apply to be on the waiting list was six years ago. “We got a bump in funding because sequestration was lifted so all housing authorities received an increase and we have availability to house some people so that’s why we opened our waiting list,” Snow said.
You can pick up an application for the waiting list at the Prichard Housing Authority building but you have to return the application at the Family Life Center between 9a.m. and 3p.m. Wednesday May 28 and and Thursday May 29. Executive Director of the Prichard Housing Authority Charles Pharr said the application is a first come first serve basis. “We’re going to keep that waiting list update it periodically make sure people are still interested hit that waking list will stay until we can assist those families,” Snow said.
She said to be eligible for section 8 housing, you have to meet an income limit based on family size, be a U.S citizen or eligible immigrant and you can’t be in debt to another housing authority. Snow also said a criminal background check is performed. “If they’re eligible, they receive a voucher to go find any unit we can approve for them and meets our requirements,” Snow said.
Snow couldn’t tell Fox10 News how many vouchers are available at this time but did say applicants should receive something in the mail in few months. Snow said the board has not accepted applications to the waiting list since 2009 and today alone, about 2,500 people turned an application in.