LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Patricia McQueen takes her three kids to the city playground for fun because they all live in her grandparents' basement. Ivory McKinney lives with her children in a homeless shelter for single mothers. While McKinney is unemployed, McQueen is part of a growing segment in society: working full-time, but making only $8.25 an hour as a convenience store clerk. That's not enough to afford a place to live.
They've both spent years on the waiting list for housing assistance at the Louisville Housing Authority. It's a list that has more than doubled since 2004 to more than 25,000 people right now.
"9,999 is where we started at," McQueen said, "Then went to 2,000, then 6,000, then 800, then 1,800."
"I've been on Section 8 since 2008," said McKinney. "I was 10,000 when I first got on. Now I'm 3,000."
They know they may never get off the list.
"Not anytime soon," said Tim Barry, Metro Louisville Housing Authority chief. "I don't want to mislead people, give them false hope. There is movement on the list, but it's slow going. It's really a product of money. If we get more money, like other housing authorities, then we could cut loose more vouchers."
"These are hard working families on the affordable housing waiting list," said Chris Kolb, co-president of CLOUT. "Hard working families should not have to choose between feeding their families and paying rent to stay in their housing. But that's the choice thousands of families make every single day."
Four years ago Louisville established an Affordable Housing Trust Fund. But it still has no funding source.
"All we need to do is get funding to the fund," said Kolb. "We need to fund the fund and that will immediately address the crisis."
In the meantime, single mothers raise their families in the basement of relatives or in homeless shelters.
McKinney said, "They [the kids] just go with the flow," McKinney said. "They don't really complain, just living life like normal."
"It's not fair for the kids to not have a place to go to call home," McQueen said.
It may not be fair, but it's reality for three children whose mother has a full time job to go with full time homelessness.