To avoid staying at a homeless shelter, Kristie Filippello and her three children have been sleeping on the floor of a relative's one bedroom apartment for nearly two months.
Filippello, 32, left her home after the pandemic caused her housecleaning business to go under and the financial stress of unpaid bills led to abuse from her boyfriend of two years with whom she lived.
With nowhere to go, she and her kids, 6, 8 and 11, spent two months at a homeless shelter in Florida before moving to Cincinnati to stay with relatives after getting relocation money from a domestic violence victim's compensation fund in October.
Homelessness is poised to surge in the coming weeks and months as Americans face continued economic turbulence and a pandemic-inspired eviction moratorium expires later this month. But vital housing assistance may not be fully available to families that don’t meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of "homeless," including those who, like Filippello, have had to double up with other households.
Doubling up is when an individual or family lives with another household temporarily or shuffles indefinitely between homes often because of economic need. People who are doubled up are not considered homeless by HUD, and not allotted certain assistance such as rapid rehousing, housing experts said.
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