Housing advocates focus on homelessness
This is national hunger and homeless week. A staggering 3.5 million people will experience homelessness in 2015.

There are plenty of people spotlighting this serious issue, including many in the northwest suburbs. They believe no one should go hungry and everyone should have a home.

"Ignoring it doesn't fix it," said Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde. "It's still a problem."

Stamping out hunger and sheltering the homeless is a daunting task and suburbs such as Brooklyn Park are not immune to this crisis.

"People tend to think of homeless in a box underneath the overpass," Lunde said. "They don't realize that it happens everywhere."

Brooklyn Park is actively trying to combat hunger and homelessness. Lunde received an award for his efforts at a special ceremony on Monday.

"The most expensive solution is to do nothing," Lunde said. "It's inexpensive to provide some help."

The homeless problem is even more magnified for teenage moms. Currently there are no shelters in Hennepin County for teens with kids. This can have a negative snowball effect.

"It's been well documented that the children of teen parents suffer adverse child experiences," said Jonette Lucia from NW Hennepin Family Services.

Finding housing for young moms is crucial.

"Once housing is established, everything else then can begin to fall in line," Lucia said. "Housing is a really, really critical issue for this population."

Northwest Hennepin Family Services is looking for places to house young moms.

They're appealing to churches or someone who can donate land that could be redeveloped, or even a house to support the housing needs of teen parents.

There are 1.5 million children who are homeless across the US.

Eric Nelson, reporting

November 16, 2015


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