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Local organization hopes to get the homeless off the streets – and out of shelters

Local News

As the temperature drops, the number of those who are homeless continues to rise – and the freezing weather conditions make it harder to get by.

“It’s difficult to survive in this weather. When I was homeless we wore layers all the time,” said Denise McFadden. “I would stop at restaurants to warm up. During the daytime, you can’t sit in the shelter – they want you out.”

McFadden used to be homeless, going from shelter to shelter, until she met Nick Coulter with Person-Centered Housing Options.

Coulter and his team of four drive around looking for ways to end chronic homelessness. He says many have been living on the streets for years.

Coulter is launching a pilot program that he hopes will help 12 to 15 people living in the city center.

He says first comes the home – then they can assist with documentation and assign each person a case manager.

“We are looking for landlords, resources, donations, we need money to do this,” said Coulter. “We don’t have security deposit funding, we don’t have first month rent funding. This is a total different way of looking at housing.”

Coulter says many of these guys are resourceful during cold weather, but when he visits, he rarely goes empty handed.

Since Coulter says he has seen great success like McFadden – but he still has a long way to go.

“That’s the hard part of this job,” he said. “Once you start to do it, you realize it’s bigger than what you thought it was.”

To learn more about Person-Center Housing Options, visit pcho.org.

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