Support efforts to end homelessness

Earlier this week, reporter Julie Riddle offered us a glimpse of what life is like for people who are homeless during Northeast Michigan’s frigid winters and introduced us to some of the people working to bring those souls in from the cold.

A 2018 Michigan’s Campaign to End Homelessness report estimated 1,225 “literally homeless” people — those living on the street, in the woods, in emergency shelters, or other places unfit for human habitation — in Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, Presque Isle, and seven other Up North counties. That was a 37% increase over the 2016 estimates.

Those numbers don’t count other people staying in campers, makeshift homes, or on the couches of acquaintances.

Victoria Purvis, housing program supervisor at the Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, called the weeks of plummeting mercury between now and April the scary time of year.

NEMCSA, along with places such as Sunrise Mission, work year-round but especially hard this time of year to end that nightmare.

The groups work to get people help for the mental illness, substance abuse, lack of skills and other systemic issues that contribute to homelessness, but work first to get a roof over people’s head so they have a home base from which to work on those issues.

The icy woods above the 45th Parallel are no place for any man, woman, or child to spend their winters.

So we’re glad Northeast Michigan has organizations working on homelessness, and we hope our readers will contribute in time and/or treasure to help them accomplish that mission.