The Homeless Rate In North Dakota Is Up

North Dakota's homeless rate went up eighteen percent from last year.

That's an increase of more than thirty-six percent since 2010.

Imagine not knowing where you were going to sleep tonight and if you'd have a meal at dinner time.

This is what 1,089 people are experiencing across North Dakota tonight according to Housing and Urban Development.

"Unfortunately after all these years that we have been trying to keep it down that it is a true statement," said Mac McLeod, Minot Area Homeless Coalition Executive Director.

According to McLeod, many of our homeless comes from the oil boom and families who were making good money got laid off or experienced pay cuts and that dramatically affected the homeless population.

"They took a cut staying here because there's no longer those oil jobs so now they're tapping into the resources, the little resources that we have," said McLeod.

KX spoke with the YWCA, which is a women's and kids shelter. The Director said that they've seen increases over the years and many cases revolve around oil.

"We see a variety of issues but definietly some people are still seeing the results of coming up here trying to find the job with the oil boom and being stranded," said Lauren Moore, YWCA Executive Director.

According to Housing and Urban Development, across the nation, one of the biggest causes of homelessness is the price on a home or an apartment.

"We keep on hearing people say, we got plenty of housing, plenty of housing. Yes, we do but it's not affordable to everybody," said McLeod.

When you look at the increase in numbers --- it can be alarming for shelters.

"We recently increased our bed space so we house 21 women and kiddo's total as opposed to 17," said Moore.

To break it down. Fourteen in every 10,000 people are experiencing homelessness across our state.

Of the more than 1,000 homeless, more than 250 are families with children.

McLeod and Moore say that the shelters aren't full yet, but with the temperatures dropping, there's a good chance that many more will knocking on the door.

Of all the homeless people in the state, only 758 are sheltered.

That leaves 331 people not sheltered and that means they could be living in their cars, parks, or sometimes under bridges.


Photo Credit: CBS Newspath

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