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Spring weather leaves more homeless people looking for shelter – InForum

FARGO – With minor flooding on the Red River and recent rains, spring weather is increasing the number of homeless people seeking help at local shelters and other resources.

While people still live on the riverfront, resources like Fargo’s Downtown Engagement Center are seeing more people stopping by.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in people trying to get to shelter because of the rising river level and just the rain in general. It can also sometimes push people who might be in a more remote or discreet location into a more public space. location,” said Chandler Esslinger, Fargo Cass Community Public Health Officer.

Pastor Sue Koesterman, CEO of Churches United, says conversations with those staying at Micah’s Mission Shelter right now highlighted just how much rain can be for those living outdoors.

“He said he’d rather figure out how to sleep outside when it’s really cold than when it’s pouring rain, right? And so if you’re not sheltered, it really doesn’t matter what the temperature is, it’s a crisis,” Koesterman said. .

These problems are compounded by the fact that the shelters are full.

Koesterman says 62 women, 55 men and 26 families are currently on the waiting list for shelter beds that are shared between local shelters.

“This is a challenge that we see regionally that just the amount of shelter beds is just not enough for the number of people who are seeking shelter and that’s actually because we don’t have enough flow into permanent housing,” he said. Esslinger said.

As the need grows, both emphasize the importance of monetary donations to keep up with demand.

“We need employees who are paid fairly, who are well trained and who are not at risk of needing the services we provide. And all shelters need quite a bit of financial support,” Koesterman said.

You can make donations of money, food and clothing at the Downtown Involvement Center daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. They encourage you to call ahead if you plan to make a donation. Donations can also be made at the Gladys Ray Shelter between 5pm and 8am, and a walk-in call is also encouraged.

You can donate to Churches United at donorbox.org/churches-united-5 or drop off at Micah’s Mission.