Out in the Cold - Part I

Westchester County is well-known for its corporate headquarters buildings, expensive homes and exclusive country clubs. However, there are also hundreds of homeless people living on the streets.

The county estimates 500 people are homeless. News 12?s Shannon White spent several nights meeting with homeless people. Some of those people are in the county?s shelter system, while others wander the streets.

Bob Miller, of the homeless advocacy group Westhab, says people in the suburbs are homeless for many reasons. He says some are temporarily evicted, lose a job or are working and can?t make enough to pay the rent. He adds that many undocumented immigrants are on the streets because they can?t go into the county-run shelter system.

?Hank? roams the streets of White Plains every night of the year. He says when it snows he tries to tuck into doorways to keep warm. He says he has been wandering the streets for years.

David Jackson and Ibrahim Ahmad are also homeless, however, they have been staying at the Open Arms Shelter in White Plains. The shelter is run by Grace Community Church on East Post Road. Jackson says he ended up there after he was released from prison. He says he has had a hard time finding a job because of his felony convictions. Meanwhile, Jackson spends his time at the shelter working on computers for others in the shelter to use.

Homeless advocates say though the shelters are there to help, it doesn?t make sense for some people to go into the shelter system. They say those people who are working and in the system are only allowed to keep $90 a month, while the rest of the paycheck goes to the county to pay for shelter expenses.

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