Safe Bay, helping people experiencing homelessness in Duluth

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With CHUM closing their warming center for the season, the Stepping on up program decided to create a Safe Bay. Although, the rough weather, it’s been incredibly difficult for people experiencing homelessness to find a place to sleep. Plenty of people are living in their car, while trying to find a more permanent means of shelter.

Joel Kilgour, the program organizer for Stepping On Up, talked more about how the Safe Bay can help those in need. “We know that there are a number of people living outside in their cars trying to make do. A lot of them are working folks. A lot of them have families that they’re trying to keep safe when the family shelter is full.” Kilgour said. “Up until now, their only option is to try to find a, a quiet corner where they can sleep for the night.”

However, the Safe Bay offers more than a place to park for people living in their car. Plenty of resources for people to try and find long-term stable housing. “They’ll have access to hygiene facilities, garbage, coffee. We’re also going to offer people help with housing navigation in the morning. People have access to a bathroom overnight, a shower in the evening, WI-FI access, breakfast in the morning.” Kilgour said. “Our street outreach workers will be making visits in the mornings to try to connect people to resources that they might need, whether it’s housing, health care, so that that folks aren’t alone.

Although, many people experiencing homelessness are unaware of the resources at the Safe Bay. “One thing that’s surprised us, you know, we’re only a few days into the season and a lot of the people right now really aren’t connected to other services.” Kilgour said. “They’ve been out there on their own, pretty scared and unsure what to do. And so this has been their this has been their first contact with people who might be able to help them.”  

Kilgour also said if you want to learn more about Safe Bay you can use their hotline number 218-461-8505. For more information on the Stepping On Up Program you can look here. For more stories happening in Duluth you can look here.