© 2024 The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)

The North 103.3 FM is licensed to The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation (WDSE)
Locally Curated. Community Owned.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"In 15 years, I've never seen it so bad": homelessness in the time of COVID-19

Copyright Deb Holman. Used with permission.

There aren't a lot of benefits to being homeless, but Deb Holman says right now, folks are probably safer outside in tents than inside in a shelter.

The good news is that COVID-9 is not taking a toll on people without homes here in the Northland. Street outreach worker Deb Holman of CHUM and HDC says they're offering folks masks and hand sanitizer and taking temperatures as much as they can, and many of what's called "unsheltered homeless" are already staying away from other people.

But the bad news is, the annual Point in Time survey conducted by St. Louis County found an 18% increase in homelessness and more than 100 additional people reporting as "unsheltered" over the previous year.  And when the federal moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent expires Friday, those numbers could start to creep up even more.

But more than that, says Deb Holman, "it's a community problem.  It's not just CHUM's problem - it's a community problem."

People interesting in making contributions of masks, hand santizer, tents and sleeping bags, in addition to financial donations, can find more information here.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
Related Content