Homelessness in Our Community: “Give US Your Poor,” a national public education campaign addressing homelessness shares, “…there has yet to be determined a master solution to epidemic homelessness – one silver bullet. Homelessness is complicated because so many issues are intertwined. In fact, the word “homelessness” describes one common result (having no home) but with many, many routes to get there.” There are more than 6,000 homeless in the state of Minnesota, according to the area’s last census. Of that total, homeless families make up 49%. Recent studies show that children are especially vulnerable to the effects of homelessness, and are more likely to experience physical, emotional, and educational challenges. Homeless children are sick four times more often than other children and go hungry at twice the rate. Homeless children have four times as many respiratory infections, twice as many chronic ear infections, and are four times more likely to have asthma. Homeless children are four times more likely to show delayed development and twice as likely to have learning disabilities as children who are not homeless. The causes of homelessness in Central Minnesota area are, for the most part, no different than those causing homelessness around the rest of the country. “The most commonly reported reasons for homelessness in Willmar are loss of a job, housing costs, and the breakup of a family.” (Heartland Community Action Agency). The loss of a job and the cost of housing are inherently related because without stable income, one cannot secure affordable housing. The National Center on Family Homelessness’ report states, “…whether made homeless by economic hardship, domestic violence, the trauma of war, or physical or emotional challenges, these homeless families have lost more than their homes. They’ve lost their health, safety, and the capacity to support themselves. The homeless children are young; they have witnessed violence in their families and on the streets; they are anxious, depressed, and withdrawn. Today, they need a shelter. To build a life, they need support.” Family Promise of Kandiyohi County offers hope and assistance to help homeless families once again achieve self-sufficiency. Some of the support we provide includes goal setting, parenting skills, money management, and help with locating housing and employment. We aim to help children and their families realize positive outcomes that lead to greater self-sufficiency. With all that said,please understand that FPKC does not “do” all of this for a family, we help them learn to do it for themselves. “Give a man a fish and he eats dinner tonight…teach him to fish and he eats for a life-time.” This is our paradigm.