Even through pandemic, Life House finds housing for 35 homeless youth

Baihly Warfield
Updated: June 11, 2020 06:20 PM

Life House's work could not pause for a pandemic. 

They support homeless youth in the Twin Ports, feeding them, helping them learn new skills and apply for jobs and find places to live. 

Community Housing Manager Kyle Naalsund says typically, they receive between 225-250 requests for help with housing every year. 

Since the beginning of March when the COVID-19 pandemic picked up in Minnesota, Life House has still managed to help 35 youth find a place to live. Tiffany Gunderson makes sure housing applications are filled out properly and teens and young adults can get on waiting lists. 

"Honestly, it was a struggle at first. It's been a lot of communication throughout the whole community. And there's been a lot of emailing," Gunderson said about how the pandemic has changed her job. "Our youth center has been amazing since they're still up and running. And they're making copies of everything and just making sure that the youth connect with them to get the paperwork done and it gets sent back to me."

Naalsund said Life House can do a lot. But they can't do everything. 

"This is a very hard time for everyone," he said. "But what has made this process -- I will use the word a little bit easier is the collaboration amongst the community, the service providers, the landlords, property managers, HRA. Without that collaboration and working together, none of this is possible."

Naalsund and Gunderson said the best way for the rest of us to support what they're doing is by providing basic necessities like groceries, shampoo and deodorant. And gift cards are always a convenient way to help too. 

Credits

Baihly Warfield

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

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