In Modesto, thousands wait to get on housing voucher list

Candy Allen wants help paying her rent so she can afford what many consider life's essentials, such as basic cable and her own phone. They are unaffordable luxuries for Allen, who brings home about $1,040 a month and pays about $800 for rent and utilities.

"I've got 75 cents in my pocket, and I don't get paid again until a week from Friday," she said. "But I'm luckier than most people with the way the economy is. I'm working."

Allen was among the small army of the unemployed, disabled, seniors and struggling families who turned out Tuesday at Modesto's John Thurman Field for help renting decent housing. Modesto police estimated the crowd of men, women and children at 8,000 strong during its peak. Police also reported that the crowd was generally well-behaved.

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