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Community Connect Aids Those Experiencing Homelessness

Updated: January 23, 2020 06:39 PM

On Thursday at the Damiano Center, a Community Connect event helped those experiencing homelessness in Duluth.

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Several organizations set up shop to connect people to resources they could use. This event is also held in October to primarily hand out winter clothes. 

Another function of this event was to get an accurate count for the number of homeless households there are in the area.

"Right now we have over 1,200 households experiencing homelessness," said Rosalyn Horn, Director of Residential Services with the Salvation Army. "And that is both unsheltered or people staying in shelter, or maybe people who are doubling up with a friend, but that's not a long term housing situation."

This one stop shop of resources helps people with formal paperwork like obtaining IDs, and legal services, as well as getting a hot lunch and hair cuts.

Every state is federally mandated to take a count to get the closest picture homelessness across the country. Governor Tim Walz also got involved by helping get a homeless count with 100 volunteers in Hennepin County.

"It's the Minnesota way to care, and on a cold, snowy night, we will encounter adults in the elements and children, and this number will help to tell us how much more housing is needed and lead to short-term rentals," Walz said.

Results from these counts help gauge the effort to reduce their numbers, and influence policy and federal grant dollars toward combatting homelessness across the nation.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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