Eau Claire (WQOW) — Homelessness, and how to combat it, was the focus of discussion at a community meeting Thursday.
Area agencies and community leaders came together to brainstorm more effective ways to help end homelessness in our city. Officials say Eau Claire’s homelessness issue is bigger than you may think. You may recall the most recent ALICE report showed about 42 percent of people in Eau Claire are struggling to get by, and if a stroke of bad luck comes their way, they could end up homeless.
Agency leaders told News 18 they want people to understand this is a community issue that can only be solved if the whole community works together.
“Just acknowledging people that you see on the street that seem to be struggling,” said Paul Savides, community organizer with JONAH. “Saying hello, telling them that you care about them, that you’re concerned. I think a lot of folks feel invisible, they don’t feel like they’re part of the community, and that makes their lives just that much more difficult.”
Savides suggested volunteering at local shelters or assisting agencies along with educating yourself on the issue if you’re looking to help end homelessness.
From here, local agencies and leaders expect to use the new ideas they learned, along with their efforts already in place to be more effective against homelessness.