‘Not the way I wanted to live out my life.’ Officials say working homeless population is growing in Bridgeport

Officials say the population of working homeless, people who have jobs but do not have housing, is growing in Bridgeport.

News 12 Staff

Feb 23, 2023, 10:33 PM

Updated 449 days ago

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Officials say the population of working homeless, people who have jobs but do not have housing, is growing in Bridgeport.
"I don't know when it's going to end, and I can't do it much more, and I don't know where to turn," said Pat Morales.
The 60-year-old says she works four days a week at a local gas station.
Her 2008 Nissan Rogue is more than transportation to and from her job. The vehicle is packed with virtually everything she owns, because Morales has been living in her car for the past six weeks, sleeping while parked at night at commuter rest stops.
"I cover the windows every night," she says.
The lifelong Bridgeport resident says she went to Florida back in August with the ultimate goal of retiring there near some family members. But then Hurricane Ian struck, upending her plans and forcing her to return to Bridgeport - out of money and "virtually out of hope."
"It's been almost six weeks and nothing's changing. And 211 has nothing to offer. I'm just a number to them," said Morales.
Even though she is working, Morales says she can't get enough money together to afford an apartment.
"The cost of renting continues to go up," said Doris Latorre.
Latorre and Charlie Griggs, of the Bridgeport nonprofit Building Neighborhoods Together, say 55% of renters in Bridgeport in 2021 were housing compromised, meaning they were paying 30% or more of their income on rent.
By 2022, that number had jumped to more than 64%.
They say that is exactly how people like Morales end up living out of their cars.
"Where are they going to go? There's only one place: homelessness," said Griggs.
Morales, who is diabetic, says she had a vision of what her golden years would be like.
"This is not the way I wanted to live out my life," she said.
Building Neighborhoods Together is a nonprofit that helps people find affordable housing. For more information on the organization, click here.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Morales.


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