A Chance to Help Unravel the Issue of Homelessness
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 14:10
One issue that plagues our area is being overlooked greatly.
Homelessness is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. People are not hesitant to think of a homeless person as lazy, dirty and unmotivated, but the real reason that they are without a place to live, in most cases, is very different from what one might perceive.
On Oct. 25 at the Fargodome, marks a chance for the F-M community to learn more about the causes of homelessness and offer support for them at the same time.
The FM Coalition for Homeless Persons will be hosting three events that correspond directly to the issue of homelessness. Their mission is simply to solve the issue.
Project Connect aims to connect people who are homeless to many services, such as affordable housing and head start programs for homeless children in the area. Project Connect will also correlate with the Veterans Administration Stand Down to bring light of these services to homeless veterans.
The Wilder Survey of Homelessness is a great way for NDSU students to get involved. Its purpose is to conduct interviews on homeless people in the community to find out about their lives and why they are homeless.
The survey is conducted every three years in Minnesota, but the F-M Coalition of Homeless Persons contracts the Wilder Research Institute to do a survey of Fargo because the geopolitical boundaries between Fargo and Moorhead converge.
The survey provides benefits to local, state and federal funding decisions regarding homeless people. It also provides very reliable stats the help the people who work with the homeless.
“It was a life-changing experience to interview the homeless. It made it possible to find out about many aspects of their lives,” said Laurie Baker, the executive director of the F-M Coalition for Homeless Persons, about her experience in doing the survey.
Each volunteer must conduct a 30-minute detailed interview with the homeless that are willing to talk. Volunteers must devote up to two hours of their time, but can do more if they feel like it. Training is also necessary for interested volunteers.
Baker expressed that many times people feel uncomfortable talking to the homeless, but ensured that it is a “safe environment for each interviewee.”
People are homeless for a countless number of reasons. A person cannot judge someone based on the fact that they are given that label. Homelessness has been a shocking detriment to our society for many years now. It is time to help solve the issue.
For more information on how to get involved with the F-M Coalition for Homeless Persons visit http://fmhomeless.org.