Detroit foreclosed homes are still soaring, based on the number of homeowners seeking help from housing advocates, nonprofits, counselors and homeless shelters.

According to Congressman John Conyers, about 197 homes are being foreclosed every day in Detroit because the unemployment rate in the area has surpassed 50 percent. He has even stated that the city is suffering from depression and has called on President Barack Obama to take time to help the city.

Conyers joined civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, founder of Rainbow Push Coalition, in holding a meeting in Detroit last week to address the foreclosure and unemployment situation in the city.

The economic situation in Detroit has gotten so bad that there are now a lot of people asking for help from homeless shelters for the first time in their entire lives.

According to Amanda Sternberg of the Homeless Action Network of Detroit, around 9,000 homeless persons in Detroit have asked for help and 28 percent of these reported that they are experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Jason Weller, head of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, contended that the estimated number of homeless persons in 2009 could increase by more than 10 percent due to rising unemployment and foreclosures.

In the third quarter, the Detroit metro area had nearly 22,000 of its households put into the foreclosure process, many of which had already been put into lists of Detroit foreclosed homes. With the pace of foreclosure activity rising by 7.4 percent from the second quarter to one foreclosure out of every 86 households, the Detroit-Livonia-Warren metro area ranked 40th in a list of large metro areas with record numbers of foreclosures.

According to Joseph Tardella, head of the Homeless Action Network, about 20 to 40 percent of people asking for help from homeless shelters in Detroit are experiencing homelessness for the first time. With around 10,000 homeless persons needing help, shelters are overloaded, forcing homeless workers to convert waiting rooms into bedrooms.

Last week, the Hope Now alliance held an event at the Cobo Center to provide assistance to troubled homeowners, but the number of homeowners who sought help had been modest compared to other cities where Hope Now held its counseling sessions.

According to Hope Now spokesperson Bradley Dwin and Diane McCloskey, community director at the Detroit Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Response, the modest response indicated that homeowners believed that loan modifications are useless since they have no jobs.

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