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Senator Ernst tours homeless shelters in Mason City

Brett Bachtle
Updated: July 03, 2020 10:41 PM
Created: July 03, 2020 06:58 PM

(ABC 6 News) - On her tour of all 99 counties in Iowa, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst visited the Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless in Mason City on Friday.

Ernst toured two of their four homeless shelters to learn about their operations.
 
“Because there are so many challenges across the state, you have to hear directly from Iowans. Some of the issues I was able to see firsthand. Sometimes it gets lost in translation if you’re not actually out on the ground seeing what’s going on and hearing from Iowans,” said Ernst.
 
Ernst said she’d never seen a similar self-sufficiency shelter organization. Executive Director of Northern Lights Alliance for the Homeless Jeannie Kingery said that because they don’t fit into any check boxes, receiving assistance can be difficult.
 
“Some of the application processes for our grants have become non-narrative. Joni and I talked about that extensively and she was really concerned about that also,” said Kingery.
 
Ernst toured both a shelter for women and children and a shelter for homeless veterans. She said she was impressed with the number of shelters in Mason City given the size of the town.
 
Ernst says she’ll now go to work on the federal level using what she’s learned to create change.

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