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West Contra Costa Organization Providing More Help For The Homeless

RICHMOND (KCBS) – Homeless advocates have said about 60 percent of all homeless people in Contra Costa County are in West County, with many now finding employment help from a new non-profit.

Saffron Strand is a Richmond-based organization that works on finding jobs for homeless people. CEO Yvonne Nair said the problem is that the population is growing.

KCBS' Dave Padilla Reports:

"In Contra Costa, prior to the recession, we had about 15,000 homeless people. Now we are up to 20,000," Nair said. "Close to 60 percent of them live in West County and in Richmond."

At a conference on Tuesday in Richmond, people like 24-year-old Phillip Woods, who moved to the Bay Area from Houston, Texas, were looking for answers.

Woods said he has bounced from one foster home to another before finding himself homeless.

"What Saffron Strand did was peel away all of those bad layers of why I was unable to hold employment," he said. "There were barriers."

According to Saffron Strand, 150 people have gone through their job-training program and 69 have been placed, with a majority of them having held their jobs for two years.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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