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Published March 30, 2013, 05:40 PM

Numbers drop slightly at a Grand Forks Homeless Shelter

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Things are beginning to slow down at the Northlands Rescue Mission in Grand Forks, after it experienced record highs for attendance numbers.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Things are beginning to slow down at the Northlands Rescue Mission in Grand Forks, after it experienced record highs for attendance numbers.

Officials there say the high numbers had a lot to do with the cold and long winter.

Joseph Hunt is enjoying a hot meal at the Northlands' Rescue Mission in Grand Forks. He is one of 117 people who have a roof over their head this weekend, thanks to the shelter. Hunt came to North Dakota, from the west coast to try and get back on his feet.

Joseph Hunt/Mission Resident: "I'm working right now, but I will probably be looking for a better job, better position."

This past winter, at times, nearly 140 people sought shelter here. 20 more then what the shelter had beds for.

ViAnn Olson/Resident Residence Administrator: "We had them sleeping in conference rooms, our lobby until someone would leave and we could move them into a bed."

Olson says because of the frigid weather they did not turn anyone away. But the high numbers were taxing on the staff and residents.

Olson: "It gets crowded and there maybe not a lot of places to go for privacy. "

Olson says she continues to see people from across the country check into the facility

Olson: "It's probably because of the economy and people are still coming and looking for jobs. "

Joseph Hunt: "I didn't feel odd, east coast as well as the west coast and even in the south."

Hunt says he plans to stay at the mission until he has enough money to get an apartment, He says he loves North Dakota.. but hasn't decided if Grand Forks will be his permanent home.

Joseph Hunt: "The only down side is the weather, but then one guy said it kind of keeps out the riffraff so I don't know.

Officials at the Grand Forks mission says it's typical that the number of people staying there drops in the spring and summer. But this year, so far, they have seen the numbers stay steady.

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