Michigan: Who is taking care of the homeless?

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The homeless population in Michigan has decreased for the third year in a row, according to an annual report released on October of 2018 by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in collaboration with the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness.

But, it seems there is still a long way to go.

According to the Michigan Statistics of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness as of January 2018, “Michigan had an estimated 8,351 experiencing homelessness on any given day, (…). Of that Total, 965 were family households, 693 were Veterans, 604 were unaccompanied young adults (ages 18-24), and 861 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.”

That is why there are some local government institutions that are taking action on this problem by creating campaigns. One of them is the Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness that is seeking for new members for its Policy Council and they are also providing housing assessment and resource agency services.

Beside from this oficial institutions, the regular citizens are also concerned about the homeless people in Michigan, so they are founding nonprofit organizations to help on this issue. One example of this groups is Footprints of Michigan that, according to its website, is “committed to caring for the people of Michigan by providing new and gently used footwear to those in that are in need.”

It was founded in 2014 after Geronimo Lerma noticed a young homeless man in desperate need of shoes. The inspiration for the name “Footprints of Michigan” came from Lerma’s family background because his father was a double leg amputee due to diabetes.

You can run into this organization on local events such as, for example, outside a baseball game at the Lansing Stadium, where, in this case, the crew was collecting shoes in exchange for tickets.

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