LANSING, Mich. — November is Homeless Awareness Month, and with quickly dropping temperatures and an early snow sweeping across the state it's more important then ever for people with transitional homes to find a more permanent place to stay.
Six local shelters are joining together to find 265 families permanent homes by February of 2020.
"That's a very aggressive goal but we are all striving hard to do that" Paul Miller, Street Ministry Director at Homeless Angels said.
The Homeless Angels organization helps meet the needs of homeless individuals and families in Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, and Shiawassee County.
In 2018, 65,104 people were homeless in Michigan.
Of that number, 5,058 lived in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton county.
"What we see is that family homelessness is continuing to rise in our area and so whether its a single-parent family, two-parent family, really family homelessness is a crucial issue," Gabriel Biber, Executive Director of Haven House, said.
And as the weather gets colder, Biber said homelessness only gets worse.
"In the cold months, we see that families have fewer options," Biber said. "Staying in a vehicle or in a tent is not an option anymore and so the shelters are really taking all those families who have nowhere else to go"
City Rescue Mission, Gateway Youth Services, Loaves and Fishes, Holy Cross Services, Haven House and Homeless Angels are focusing on helping those who use their shelters find permanent housing.
"It's changing the way that we're processing our clients and they come in," Before at least at our shelter here we used to be pretty much like an emergency shelter only. Our goal was just to get people out of the cold and into a warm bed. And a hot shower."
The collaboration started early November and in their first week already helped 30 households.
"Whatever given family situation is, we're going to try to help them find housing as quickly as possible and that means that we're hoping to house more families this winter than we did last winter," Biber said.
The shelters are hoping that landlords in the area can help them meet this goal and also that community members will continue to bring in donations.
Both Haven House and Homeless Angels are looking for volunteers and donations.
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