NIAGARA FALLS – Community Missions of Niagara Frontier provided a record number of nights of shelter last year.
The agency saw a 20 percent increase, to 10,986 nights of shelter provided to the homeless in 2013.
“We have seen a steady rise over the years in our crisis housing services, but a 20 percent increase over one year is quite substantial,” said Grant Babcock, director of Crisis Services at Community Missions. “We cannot pin the increase on one particular factor.”
The largest increase came from children 12 and younger, a category which saw a 23 percent increase to 1,315 nights of shelter provided.
The agency also provided 75,980 meals last year, which is a 7 percent increase. The Crisis Services division of Community Missions includes the Community Soup Kitchen, Emergency Housing Shelter, Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, Mark’s Place and Parole Re-Entry programs.
The 88-year-old agency also saw a substantial increase in volunteering, with a 34 percent increase in the number of service hours over the previous year.