Section 8 housing voucher distribution canceled after thousands waiting in line get out of control
9:50 AM, Jan 12, 2013
5:01 PM, Jan 14, 2013
TAYLOR, Mich. (WXYZ) -
A chaotic scene erupted at the Taylor Human Services Center when the crowd waiting for a Section 8 housing voucher distribution got out of control.
The center is located at Eureka and Lange Roads. That's on Eureka, between Beech Daly and Inkster.
Police say thousands of people from all over the area were at the center. Many were homeless, single moms, or disabled. They were hoping to get help paying for their housing from the government.
"There was elderly, disabled people, pregnant single women. They were here for help, to get their Section 8 vouchers. It just shows you what a desperate need... some were here since yesterday," said Rhianna Rodriguez.
7 Action News is being told there were 1,000 vouchers available and 5,000 people showed up trying to get one.
The crowd had grown overnight as more and more people arrived. Witnesses say the line stretched for a mile down Lange Road.
Police say, when the time came for the vouchers to be distributed, there was a mad rush for the door. Officers tried to control the crowd, but couldn't.
Officers had to shut down several lanes of Eureka Road until the situation could be brought under control. The road is now reopened.
Several people were arrested. The rest were sent home. The day's distribution was canceled and will not be rescheduled.
"There was a lady with an oxygen tank. She was elderly. When they told everybody they had to go home and they weren't going to help, she was in tears," said Rodriguez.
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