Local Agencies Seek Warm Clothes for Homeless
Posted at: 01/13/2013 9:33 PM
| Updated at: 01/14/2013 5:20 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
The Human Development Center Homeless Project and the Leadership Duluth program are teaming up for a second time to help individuals facing homelessness in the Twin Ports by collecting basic essentials and personal hygiene products.
Sunday afternoon HDC and Leadership Duluth volunteers collected items at the Wal-Mart in Superior. The weather wasn't inviting, but organizers said it didn't stop Northlanders from giving.
"We're blessed to have the community respond when we let them know there's a need," said HDC coordinator, Jane Larson. "They've been fantastic. You can see the truck, and they're out bringing things that we need."
The Homeless Project Supply Drive is asking for basic essentials and hygiene products for the homeless, and especially with a Northland winter, warm clothes. The trailer quickly filled up with supplies as cars pulled in with supplies and shoppers added daily essentials for others to their list.
"Here in Superior, it usually gets really cold in the winter time and most of the homeless people don't have enough stuff to keep them warm," said volunteer Nate Peterson, 11, of Superior.
Homelessness is on the rise in the Twin Ports, particularly among the young. According to Leadership Duluth, the average age of the homeless in Duluth and Superior is 9 years old. Since September, 125 students from Superior School District alone are homeless.
"The need is great as ever just like any other organization," said Leadership Duluth member Eric Peterson. "I think our hope is that we collect as much or more as we did last year."
While all donations are gladly accepted, high-need items all center around one thing: staying warm.
"Given the season that we're in, winter wear, hand warmers, long underwear, wool socks, gloves, hats, mittens are greatly needed," said Larson.
Sunday's drive will benefit the homeless in Superior, while HDC and Duluth Leadership will host another drive Saturday, January 19 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Wal-Mart in Hermantown to help those without homes in Duluth. In addition, US Bank's Duluth locations and Essentia-St. Mary's Superior Clinic are hosting a collection bin in their lobbies through January 21st.