New York News
From Fox 5:
A Queens family of three fell on hard times and went from middle class to underclass overnight. They're looking for a helping hand, not a handout, but they say the city's homeless shelter system keeps giving them the runaround.
A room with old blankets tacked up to cover the windows is home to a teenage girl and her parents, Carla and Tim Winterhalter. They say the city pays $3,587.65 per month to house them at the Corona Family Shelter. That is more than double what it would cost them to get their own apartment in a nice neighborhood.
Winterhalter has been a union iron worker for 20 years, but when his wife's employer went out of business last September they couldn't afford their rent and landed in the shelter system. They are depending on public assistance for the first time in their lives.
Carla Winterhalter said she is trying to be strong for her daughter, but it is not easy.
The family of three sleeps and lives in the one room, which has a small kitchen area and a bathroom. Winterhalter says the Department of Homeless Services offered them apartments in tough neighborhoods, which he declined out of fear for his daughter's safety. When he finds a place, he says the red tape of the rental assistance program takes too long.