In Michigan
6:19 pm
Wed October 7, 2009

Thousands mob Detroit center in hopes of free cash

DETROIT, MI – Police say authorities had to break up scuffles after thousands of Detroit residents tried to apply for free federal money.

Long lines snaked into a downtown center Wednesday morning, but applications ran out quickly on the final day to get paperwork for a homelessness prevention program.

Police say fights broke out as people pushed and shoved for spots in line. Several people have been treated for fainting and exhaustion.

City officials say many falsely believed they were registering for $3,000 stimulus checks from the Obama administration.

The federally funded program is for low-income residents who recently became homeless or are near homelessness. At least one in four Detroit households is in poverty.