PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) - Monica McMillian is a single mom. doing the best she can to take care of her two kids. But it's not easy.

The family was recently evicted, forcing them to live out of their truck. "I want the same thing everybody else wants," said McMillian. "I want my kids to know that they have somewhere safe to go - they have their own bed somewhere to take a bath- just know what we are going to eat every day."

Fortunately for Monica, the Umom family shelter in Phoenix took them in and is trying to find them permanent housing. Countless other families aren't as lucky.

Back in August, the Umom Day Center in Phoenix had a wait list of 26 families. Now, they have close to 250 families in need on standby, for temporary assistance.

Mila Balle is director of emergency shelter services with Umom. She said that shelters across the Valley are all seeing an increase in demand for services and there are a number of reasons for it.

The moratorium on evictions was lifted a couple months ago, paving the way for landlords to kick out tenants not paying their rent. 

And then there's the affordable housing crisis. The price of rent across the Phoenix metro area has shot up so much, its nearly impossible to find an affordable place to live.

"There's a lot of 1st time homelessness," said Balle."Not knowing what to do, some of them just moved here. They have an eviction and are looking for shelter. We have over 200 families looking to get into the shelter, some in their car, on the streets, couch surfing. It's no place for a family to be."

There are a number of rental assistance and housing programs available to help families in need. Unfortunately, the number of affordable rental units doesn't come close to meeting the demand. McMillian hopes she'll find something soon.

"I pray," said McMillian. "That's what I do. I'm not going to sugar coat it. I pray."

Here is a list of shelters and programs available.


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