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No place to sleep: From eviction to shelter

Alissa Groeninger/CU-CitizenAccess — Valentino Plaza was born in Champaign but left when he was eight years old.  His father was in the military and stationed in the county, but was soon out of his life. 

Plaza and his mother moved back to Champaign a few years ago and were staying with her 96-year-old mother. 

“My old neighborhood looks smaller,” Plaza said.

Unfortunately, Plaza’s grandma didn’t pay her taxes. After she died, Plaza and his mother were evicted.

While he has family here, he doesn’t see them.

“They’re right here and look where we are.  They’re not offering to help us,” he said.

Darrell Hoemann/The News-Gazette/Valentino Plaza. Plaza has found temporary housing at Restoration Urbana Ministries, where he lives with his mother after they were evicted from their home.

No place to sleep: Woman struggles to find permanent home

Alissa Groeninger/CU-CitizenAccess — When Tina Lee’s home burned down last year, she and her children saw not only the house but their lives turn to ash.

“We lost everything,” Lee said.

She spent the night trying to find a place to sleep but couldn’t stay at a shelter because her teenage sons were with her. 

There is no emergency shelter in Champaign County where a single mother with sons over 14 can stay.  Also, her family is too big for a shelter – she lives with six of her children.

Lee and her family’s first option after the fire was to spend a few nights with her sister.

Darrell Hoemann/The News-Gazette/Tina Lee and her son, Pierre James. Lee and her family of six had a hard time finding emergency housing after a fire forced the family into homelessness.

Race maps show local divisions

By Pam G. Dempsey — In the past month, media attention has focused on race lines in major cities across the U.S.

CU-CitizenAccess/Visual representation of white and black residents in Champaign-Urbana (Source: 2000 Census)

¨ Copyright 2011 CU-CitizenAccess.