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WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 22, 2009, 08:58 AM

Local shelters and agencies join together to help those in need

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Fargodome today didn't host a football game or trade show, but people trying to get their lives back together. It is called Project Homeless Connect, an effort by the local shelters and agencies in town to come together to help those looking for jobs and a home.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Fargodome today didn't host a football game or trade show, but people trying to get their lives back together. It is called Project Homeless Connect, an effort by the local shelters and agencies in town to come together to help those looking for jobs and a home.

Hundreds came to the dome to register and get connected to local non-profits and government organizations that provide services to the homeless.

“And everybody needs to be treated with respect. If there's anything we need to understand, that's to treat people with respect. No matter what economic chain you're in, you need to treat people with respect.”

One of those attending the Project Homeless Connect is 50-year old Delaine Minor of Fargo. The grandmother never envisioned the poor economy and her age would land her in a local shelter.

When people picture Fargo-Moorhead, few think of this, a winding line of homeless snaking its way inside the Fargodome. Here, a face and a name to homelessness in our town.

Delaine Minor raised her family in Fargo, had a home to call her own. And do today; she is living in the Churches United Shelter in Moorhead, her husband at the New Life Shelter. She spent the afternoon checking out the availability of housing and jobs.

After raising her children and babysitting her grandchildren, Delaine's priority now is finding work so she can leave the shelter and again find a place to call home. More than 800 volunteers spread thru-out Minnesota today to count homeless people.

The Wilder Survey is done every three years. In our region, volunteers worked out of the Fargodome which was hosting the Project Homeless Connect.

The survey is considered one of the most comprehensive in the country. This comes after a recent study indicated a 34-percent increase in homelessness in Fargo-Moorhead.

“I spoke to a gentleman this morning and asked him where he slept, he said my tent. It's hard not to be moved when I slept in a warm bed last night.”

The last Wilder Survey of Fargo-Moorhead three years ago indicated that on any given day. There are just over 400-homeless people in the metro. Meantime, the Fargo VA worked alongside the Project Homeless connect event to stage a veterans stand down.

Veterans from across the region were able to check out the services and programs that are available to homeless vets. Everything from housing to job searching and medical care they can access. The Fargo VA has 48-local homeless vets from our region in a transitional housing program right now.

“And these events like this are our chance to reach out and locate, veterans, and get them into the system here so we can get them taken care of.”

The Fargo VA operates a program called Project Heart which serves homeless vets from our region.

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