Posted at: 11/23/2012 7:13 PM
Updated at: 11/24/2012 11:26 AM
By: Nick Winkler
A striking number of children have no place to call home in Minneapolis this holiday season.
People Serving People (PSP), a family focused homeless shelter, says it is seeing a dramatic increase in homeless families. The average age at the shelter is five.
PSP says approximately two-thirds of the people sleeping at their shelter on any given night are children.
PSP blames the increase in family homelessness on three reasons; lack of affordable housing, lack of employment, lack of child care.
The housing bust, which forced many mortgage holders to become renters, further reduced the vacancy rate in Minneapolis.
PSP says many of the people they help find work often lose their jobs because of a lack of affordable child care.
Additionally, fundraising has not kept up with the increase in demand for services. PSP says about 400 people sleep at its downtown shelter on any given night. That's about one-third more than a year ago. To cope, the homeless must often sleep in libraries, labs, or conference rooms.
It's why you may soon see the fruits of a marketing campaign the shelter hopes will attract additional donations. Billboards and public service announcements have been created to raise awareness regarding the problem of homeless children.
PSP gladly accepts donations via its web site.