Lending a Helping Hand | VideoAlex Hagan | 2/6/2013
Two organizations in the Queen City are lending a helping hand for those in need.
Dickinson is known as the land of opportunity with many jobs available. Many people come to the Queen City looking for work, but don`t have a place to live or the proper clothing and supplies.
"Start all over from scratch," said Martha Baker.
Baker and her family came from Michigan looking for a fresh start. Hundreds of people come to western North Dakota with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The House of Manna has helped those in need for more than 20 years. Residents donate items such as clothing, bedding, and household items.
Monty Leonard gives every now and then to help out. "I see a need so I decided to donate."
Baker and her family need the supplies to get back on their feet. "Get your silverware, plates, pots and pans and clothing and what little groceries you need."
"It`s really a need for it," said manager Nan Rapp.
Rapp says the organization used to help 60 to 70 people before the boom. Now it`s closer to 150 during business hours. "There`s just more people coming to the area that need stuff too, looking for jobs, because where they`re coming from they have nothing."
The number of homeless living in Dickinson has dramatically increased over the past few years. But homeless doesn`t necessarily mean living on the streets.
"They may even be employed but they`re living in their cars. Their rent is either too high or they simply can`t even find a place to rent even if they could afford it," said Pastor Ron Dazell with Dickinson Churches United for Homeless.
To lend a helping hand, Dazell opened the doors of the Evangelical Bible Church to those looking for shelter.
"Temporary housing for the homeless during winter months," Dazell said.
Dickinson does not have a homeless shelter, but Dazell says providing a place to stay at local churches is the first step in solving the issue.
"We don`t want them to freeze to death in the winter time and so that`s the real issue that the churches have gathered around."
Baker may have a place to stay for now, but she says without the House of Manna and the help from volunteers, they wouldn`t make it through the winter months.
"If you have a family you can start from right here and get them well dressed warm."
Both organizations may not fully solve the issue of homelessness in Dickinson, but they are moving in the right direction in helping those in need.
Dazell says his program started just this week. All individuals must go through a screening process before they can stay the night.
The House of Manna served more than 42,000 people in 2012, a 26 percent increase from the previous year.