A society should always be finding ways to assist those who are most vulnerable within their community. The F-M area is no different. A recent study conducted in 2015 (with findings published in September 2016) by Wilder Research found that in Fargo and Moorhead there was a minimum of 591 men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. Three out of four of those in our Fargo-Moorhead community have serious health conditions, include serious mental illness, traumatic brain injuries, substance abuse disorder, and/or chronic physical health conditions. Nearly 40% of those experiencing homelessness in both Fargo and Moorhead have jobs, and for those who do not, the three most common barriers were transportation, physical health, and child care.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness reports that more than a half-million of our fellow Americans are experiencing homelessness. As we live in the country with more resources than any other in the world, we must find a way to take care of the most vulnerable members of our society.
As a city councilman, John will:
- Work with community and organizational leaders to learn what resources are most needed to assist in providing housing (both temporary and permanent) to those who are experiencing homelessness.
- Advocate for solutions to the most common barrier preventing those experiencing homelessness from finding employment: transportation. After talking with community leaders regarding transportation, possible solutions include increased access to transportation assistance and bus passes provided to shelters to assist temporary residents in commuting to work and around the city. Another solution includes reviewing the MATBUS system to ensure public transportation in the FM Area are adequately serving those who need it most, including both routes and schedules.
- Work with elected officials from Fargo, West Fargo, and Dilworth to ensure that solutions are found for all residents experiencing homelessness regardless of what city they may be located in.