The record-breaking winter weather this month is having a significant impact on homeless people in the area.
A community organization that helps individuals and families in need has seen an increase in traffic the last several weeks because of the weather.
“The snow accumulations coupled with the bitter cold temperatures has really brought the need to the forefront for us and all the agencies that we work with,” said Bridget Stargardt, Programs Supervisor at L.E. Phillips Career Development Center in Eau Claire.
The organization is a vital community resource, providing nearly a dozen different programs and services to the Chippewa Valley including running the Chippewa County Outreach Office in Chippewa Falls.
“We started the Chippewa program in response to a need in the community–because the organization that was providing homeless services shut down so there was no longer homeless services or a shelter available to community members in Chippewa,” said Stargardt.
The organization provides homeless and eviction prevention services to people in the community.
“We’re contacted by between 7 and 8 individuals and families a day,” said Stargardt.
The organization says it’s running low on funds to help provide shelter to those in need, prompting the start of a campaign to provide emergency shelter.
“We want to help these individuals who are experiencing homelessness by getting them motel vouchers for emergency shelter…our goal is to get 100 different motel rooms by March 31st,”said Annika Sorteberg.
Sorteberg says it’s really important to help community families especially if there’s kids involved.
The organization says so far, it’s raised enough for 30 motel vouchers for homeless in the area—the goal is 100.