UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:53am
WACO -- Homeless numbers have gone up significantly since the recession, and this year isn't any different in McLennan County.
According to a report by The National Alliance to End Homelessness, it's up 16 percent in Texas. One Waco shelter says they see nearly 30 newly homeless people a week.
Another alarming find is the number of families doubling up, moving in with family or friends, said Mission Waco Social Services Director, Jarrod Clark, because it can be a pre-cursor to homelessness.
"Now, with the economy as it's been, there's been a lot of people who have been couch surfing, and it's forced people to come to our shelters. We've seen an increase and influx of a population that has never been homeless before in this context of being at the shelter," Clark told Fox 44.
Clark says it's a serious problem in Central Texas and says some ways to help the problem are more affordable housing, more jobs, training and mentoring.