THE MOST RECENT SHIAWASSEE HOMELESS Coalition meeting was held Friday, March 9 at the Memorial Healthcare auditorium, and as usual, a diverse number of active organizations participated. One notable statistic shared during the collaborative meeting included the current count of 348 homeless school-age children in the county, as defined under state guidelines as “children lacking fixed, regular nighttime housing.” Becky Zemla of Capital Area Community Services (CACS) shared that during the recent PIT count on January 31, taking place from dusk to dawn, 68 individuals were counted as either unsheltered or sheltered homeless.

   In the photo, Les Schneider spoke on behalf of Casey Wilder from the Veterans Affairs and Services office, after she recently resigned to move into a new position. Schneider outlined a plan he is actively pursuing, elaborating on a “homes on wheels” concept. His vision would entail the possible use of county property for the establishment of “tiny homes on wheels” as temporary housing to the homeless. Schneider shared that the dwellings are “simple to build,” though he also shared that the state does not currently recognize the plan.

   Executive Director Mark Criss from the Lansing City Rescue Mission went into further detail over the possibility of purchasing an elementary school in Ovid, stating that the school is “looking good” and would offer a long-term solution involving a series of phases as construction/remodeling took place.

   Alicia LeVezu, staff attorney from the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project, visited the coalition meeting to offer resources related to helping victimized/neglected senior individuals obtain necessary legal representation or advice. LeVezu, located out of Lansing, may be reached by calling (517) 394-2985.

   It should also be noted that the Salvation Army Warming Center, located on Exchange Street, downtown Owosso, will be closing at the end of March, leaving a number of adults unsheltered. The warming center has been seeing eight to ten people every night, and volunteers are still needed.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

Shiawassee Homeless Coalition Meeting was last modified: March 19th, 2018 by Karen Elford