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Homelessness on the Rise Locally

A coalition of nearly 20 area shelters and housing organizations in northern Iowa recently completed the biannual Point-in-Time homeless census. Numbers were generally up across the region, but at the Northern Lights Alliance of Shelters in Mason City, individuals counted outside shelters were down. Shelter executive director Jesse Germundson attributes that to the work of his outreach network, and to more leniency during the wintertime.

Germundson says the harsh Iowa weather during the colder months forces them to be more forgiving.

Germundson says he counted nearly 50 individuals indoors during the six-hour census. The numbers are used by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help determine how to distribute housing resources.

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