Area shelters seeing more homeless women and children

Area shelters seeing more homeless women and children

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"It is a really scary feeling because if you don't have somewhere stable for your kids to stay, they can take your kids from you," Amanda Bowling says. "It is a really scary feeling because if you don't have somewhere stable for your kids to stay, they can take your kids from you," Amanda Bowling says.

By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter 

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- When many of us think of Knoxville's homeless population, the first thing that may come to mind is panhandlers, alcoholics or criminals out of jail.

Homeless men are also more common than homeless women, but the numbers may be shifting.

Forty percent of Knoxville's homeless population are women and children.

Amanda Bowling and her three kids, all under six-years-old, moved in to Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) earlier in October.

"It is a really scary feeling because if you don't have somewhere stable for your kids to stay, they can take your kids from you," Bowling says.

Bowling hasn't had a truly stable place to live in at least a year. This is her second trip to the shelter.

In between stays, they lived with family members.

Bowling isn't at KARM because of substance abuse problems. She simply made poor choices in her life.

Bowling says her story is tough to explain to her kids. "I don't tell them things like that because it's not something for them to worry about. That's my job. They ask, 'Where are we going, Mom?' and I say, don't worry about that. Let me worry about that," Bowling explains.

Bowling is worrying less these days. She says KARM is giving her a second chance to be a good mom.

"I've got a phone to use. My kids have got three meals. They are going to school, haven't missed a day of school since they got here. It's wonderful here."

Knox Area Rescue Ministries is currently accepting donations for the holidays. Click here to donate online. On Thanksgiving alone, they expect to provide nearly 10,000 meals for the homeless.

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