F-M Coalition to End Homelessness Holds Summit to Discuss Strategies, Progress

They released a report about the state of homelessness in the metro

FARGO, N.D. –Not everyone is able to go to bed in a safe place tonight.

According to the F-M Coalition to End Homelessness, a thousand people experience homelessness in the metro on any given night.

The overarching theme at the coalition’s Ending Homelessness Summit is the lack of funding and resources to help the homeless population in our community.

“They just want a safe place to live just like you and I, you want a place where you can go with your kids after school where they can do their homework and make dinner,” Emma Schmit, housing director at CAP LP, said.

Organizers say homelessness can happen to anyone.  Many without homes don’t fit the typical stereotype.

“They have jobs and walking down the street, nobody knows they’re doubled up with friends and family, that they’ve been homeless for some time, no one would know because they don’t fit some of the stereotypes,” Cody Schuler, executive director of the F-M Coalition to End Homelessness, said.

The coalition released its “State of Homelessness” report, which found that employment issues, transportation, and mental health are among the top concerns for the homeless population.

According to the report, 30 percent of those surveyed have jobs and work an average of 24 hours a week.

“Data is a really key part of how we’re going to end homelessness because it helps us identify what gaps and barriers there are, it helps us identify where we need to spend money, tells us what’s effective,” Schuler said.

He says the solution to ending homelessness is affordable housing, increased income, and having enough services in the community. That way, if someone becomes homeless, it doesn’t last a lifetime.

“We know how to end homelessness. We’ve put all the pieces into place as far as a response is there, it’s always growing and evolving, but we’ve put the pieces into place, we need to have the political will and the resources to be able to do what we know can be achieved,” he said.

The Coalition to End Homelessness says funding to fight the issue comes from federal, state, and local organizations.

For the full report, click here.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News