Walk for the Homeless promotes local resources | Social Services | newspressnow.com – News-Press Now

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Clear skies. Low 47F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph..
Clear skies. Low 47F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Updated: November 7, 2021 @ 7:41 pm
Kylee Strough, president of United Way of Greater St. Joseph, front, addresses community members participating in Friday’s Walk for the Homeless. United Way takes an indirect route to providing assistance, so its work isn’t always as public as other groups, Strough said.

Kylee Strough, president of United Way of Greater St. Joseph, front, addresses community members participating in Friday’s Walk for the Homeless. United Way takes an indirect route to providing assistance, so its work isn’t always as public as other groups, Strough said.
The Walk for the Homeless event has been a method of promoting social service programs for a decade in St. Joseph.
Community members showed up Friday afternoon at Messanie and North Sixth streets for this year’s event.
The main event was a march through Downtown St. Joseph to resource centers for homeless people or others in need, where organization members talked about the services offered by each.
But sometimes there are other roadblocks for homeless people that aren’t covered by any of the resources available, said Ronald Lee, who has no permanent housing.
“What few resources there are really don’t help (any) of the homeless,” he said. “Most of us have criminal records. Most of them, like me, I had a drinking problem, and my mom and brother couldn’t take it, so I chose to move out on the street.”
One of the local groups Lee said he had been working with recently was Family Guidance Center.
Many people don’t realize the organizations often work together, said Kylee Strough, president of United Way of Greater St. Joseph.
“If they land here, we can talk to them and try to get them directed. In addition to that, we’re also supporting a lot of those agencies either financially or with volunteers, or just all working together. It doesn’t always take money … to work together.”
United Way doesn’t work directly with those in need as often as other groups, Strough said, but it does provide backing to other groups like the YWCA and Interserv. That provides a unique perspective, she said.
“We just hear a lot of things and get to know a lot of the other agencies, so we can sometimes help make connections,” she said. “How can we align those so that they’re on a continuum and not duplicating?”
One way to fill a dire need would be expanding housing opportunities for the homeless, Lee said.
“A lot of these people, they just want off the street and a chance,” he said.
Other events featured Friday included a clothing and food drive, along with free haircuts provided by Unique Creations Salon.
Alex Simone can be reached at alex.simone@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter at @np_simone.
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