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Community Outreach saw increased need for shelter in 2020

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CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) - In Chippewa County, more people than ever were assisted with shelter by the L.E. Philips Career Development Center Chippewa County Outreach Office.

Jen Barrett, the outreach office director, said that there were 501 individuals given shelter last year, with a combined 2,121 nights of shelter among them. This is a big jump from 2019, when only 209 people were given shelter, with 719 shelter nights.

She said in Chippewa County people experiencing homelessness are temporarily placed at area hotels, typically for a week or two.

"We knew we provided a lot of assistance," Barrett said. "Financially, we were able to see those bills and see our grant money dwindle down, but to see what that money equaled out to, that it equaled out to five years, eight months and some odd days worth of shelter for individuals, was really eye-opening."

Barrett said that along with a jump in need for shelter, more people than ever donated to the Chippewa County Outreach Office in 2020.

And while the pandemic seems like the likely cause for the increase in need in 2020, Barrett said there are a lot of reasons for this trend, including more people moving to the county.

If you are in need of shelter, supplies or other assistance, click or tap here to visit the community outreach office website.

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Felicity Bosk

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