Summer Homelessness hits Mason City

SUMMER HOMELESS PKG 6

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MASON CITY, IA – While vacation plans are on the minds of some, for the homeless of north Iowa, resources are now easier to reach.

The warmer weather is now giving the homeless in north Iowa better conditions to make it from place to place.

One of those being the local community kitchen that says they too see an increase in newcomers as well.

“Our numbers increase because people are more mobile and their able to come use our services,” said Amanda Ragan, North Iowa Community Kitchen Coordinator.

For folks like Phillip Ketchum, who have had past issues with homelessness, it it’s hard to survive .

However, with summer around the corner, at least it won’t be as difficult to get where he needs to go.

“I was homeless during the winter time. I was out with a double hernia operation and getting back together. I had to do a lot of walking around,” said Ketchum.

Phil is no longer homeless but he still comes by for help from time to time.

Phil says, others in need should also ask for help if they need it, because you never know who you might meet.

“Come over here, definitely come over here. You run into people who maybe they have a contact or they can steer you to where you need to go,” said Ketchum.

“We give them the basic need of food to start with. We connect them with other agencies that can help them, lift them up and that’s what we’re about. It’s to hold that ladder down and help somebody to the next step,” said Ragan.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, when you look at the overall numbers, the stats are promising.

Last year, the number of homeless in America decreased by only about one percent, but they say the number of those experiencing extreme poverty decreased significantly.

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