Salvation Army helps N.D. people relocate

Jan. 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

WILLISTON, N.D., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Leaders of the Salvation Army in Williston, N.D., said they are giving money to individuals to help them relocate to areas with more affordable living.

CNN Money said people have moved to Williston looking for work, lured by oil jobs, an unemployment rate of less than 1 percent and relatively high pay -- a job at a fast-food restaurant pays $15 an hour.

But the report said housing has become scarce and rents have increased substantially, leaving many people homeless despite the job outlook.

"If there's [any housing] available, they're going to pay a minimum of $1,200 for a single-bedroom apartment or even studio," said Joshua Stansbury, local head of the Salvation Army.

Stansbury said the Salvation Army has been buying gas vouchers, bus, train or plane tickets for about 20 people per month.

"Sometimes they're better off going back home," Stansbury said.

Stansbury said the organization is also trying to help people who want to stay with everyday costs, including meals, groceries, clothing and medical and utility bills.

CNN Money said the organization helped 3,000 individuals and families last year, up from 80 percent the year before.

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