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Reader Opinion: We need housing

It is hard for me to accept that shelter, one of our absolute basic needs as a human, is not being met in the year 2022.

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First, I would like to commend the city of Brainerd for the development of the Homeless Warming Shelter it opened last year on South 7th street. This shelter averages 5-7 people every night. However, bridges of hope estimated that every year approximately 200 individuals in Crow Wing County are considered homeless. 10.8% of our community is living in poverty, increasing the potential for resulting homelessness; this is not an acceptable outcome for our residents. I believe the city of Brainerd, along with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, is moving in the right direction as they are currently looking into building affordable housing. However, their progress may be insignificant as the current project is not a substantial amount of housing, and it could not come soon enough. Currently, there are limited low-income housing options in the city. It is hard for me to accept that in the year 2022, one of our fundamental human needs, like shelter, is not being met. It’s devastating watching families with small children carry their belongings in garbage bags to area churches for shelter.

How do we expect people in our community to grow, thrive, and make a meaningful contribution when their core needs are not being met? As a community, I urge us all to ask questions and get involved in finding a solution. The Housing and Redevelopment Authority board meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. in Crow Wing County Land Services Building. For more information and to attend virtually, go to https://www.crowwing.us/413/Crow-Wing-County-HRA .

Lindsey Weaver

Brainerd

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