Coalition to Find Housing for 20 Northern Michigan Families in 100 Days
Homelessness is a growing problem across northern Michigan and with the COVID-19 pandemic, staff with Goodwill Northern Michigan say the issue has only worsened. This includes individuals and families living in remote wooded areas in tents or even on the streets in the Grand Traverse County area.
“With COVID-19, we’ve seen an increase of people experiencing homelessness that normally would be staying with somebody or are doubled up, so people are trying to reduce their numbers and not being in close contact with people. So, that’s caused some issues for folks were actually staying on the streets as safer,” says Outreach and Housing Navigation Manager with Goodwill Northern Michigan, Ryan Hannon.
The Safe Harbor homeless shelter on Wellington Street in Traverse City is normally opened during the winter months. However, it’s been open during the day while the pandemic is ongoing. The hours are Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.
However, this still leaves countless families without a permanent place to go and that has the Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness creating a solution. The organization has issued a 100-day challenge to house 20-families in the Grand Traverse area by December 1st.
Goodwill Northern Michigan, Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, and Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing are the agencies partnering together for this initiative.
Director for the coalition, Ashley Halladay-Schmandt says the goal is to get the families into permanent housing before the snow flies. It’s something she’s asking northern Michigan landlords to take notice of and step up to help.
If you are a landlord and would like to help with the Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness challenge, you can call Becca Binder, the executive director of Northwest Michigan Supporting Housing at: (231) 463-0201. For more details on the organization and incentive program click here.
For more information about Goodwill Northern Michigan and the Street Outreach program click here.