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Roanoke Rescue Mission seeing more families at start of school year

Staff says the increase is typical as many families try to give kids stability.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Rescue Mission is seeing a small rise in the number of families spending nights at the shelter.

Staff members say the increase is typical because many families are trying to give kids a stable start for the school year. The summer is also a busier time for the shelter because landlords are less likely to evict renters during cold winter months.

Mission staff members say they do their best to give kids an easy transition from the shelter to school.

"Often this time of year, families with children want to be someplace stable. Their kids are going back to school, they need to know where they're going to school and just plant somewhere. This is a safe place they can plant. They're cared for and sheltered and all those things," said Tracy Altizer, chief development officer for Roanoke Rescue Mission. 

Monday night, 267 people stayed at the shelter; 50 of those were children. But the mission says numbers are still lower than a few years ago.