Thousands of Central Coast families in desperate need of federal help to pay for housing are waiting years for relief. Some have been waiting for aid since 2008.
Santa Cruz county has more than 13,000 families on its waiting list and in Monterey county more than 3,000 are waiting for Section 8 help. With the threat of federal budget cuts, the list could get longer.
"I'm a recovering addict and when I found out I was pregnant I realized that my life was going to change for the better, and I decided to get clean," said Brittney Caldwell, who has been looking for housing for months.
Caldwell has had one door close after another.
"It's very stressful, just trying to create this new lifestyle," she said.
She lives at Siena Maternity House, a non-profit organization in Santa Cruz that cares for at-risk women during their pregnancy and for a short time after, including working with them to find housing.