Non-profits join for forum on homelessness

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(ABC 6 News) – Various non-profits, joined with some Olmsted County government organizations, met Tuesday night at Christ United Methodist Church for a forum on the state of homelessness in the community.

The event was co-sponsored by The Landing MN and Legal Assistance of Olmsted County.

“A lot of folks in this community do not understand the widespread problem of housing instability in our community,” said Karen Nath, Executive Director for Legal Assistance of Olmsted County.

The primary focus of each of the 14 organizations participating is to help people experiencing homelessness.

“We wanted to bring as many of the services together as possible so that the community could become made aware of what the issues are,” said Holly Fifield, Co-founder of The Landing MN.

Non-profits such as The Landing MN provide shelter, meals, medical care and social services to those struggling with housing instability.

Other organizations, like Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, provide civil legal aid to people in poverty.

“There just is not enough emergency assistance to be able to help all the folks who are not able to pay their rent or can only pay a portion of their rent,” said Nath.

According to Nath, the number of evictions happening each day in the county is at least double what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Folks are becoming unhoused, or without stable housing, in some part because of the rising number of evictions in our community, and it is a real problem,” said Nath.

The main goal of the forum was to make the community aware of the widespread homelessness issue in Olmsted County.

The nonprofits featured at the event rely on the help of the community, so they can help people struggling with homelessness.

If you’d like to help, they are always accepting donations in the form of time or money.