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Published October 03, 2009, 09:10 PM

Record Number Of People Using Homeless Shelter

The Northlands Rescue Mission says record numbers of people have used the facility for the past two months. With winter fast approaching, the number is expected to rise.

By: Amy Unrau, WDAZ

The Northlands Rescue Mission says record numbers of people have used the facility for the past two months. With winter fast approaching, the number is expected to rise. For the past 60 days, there have been around 100 people staying at the homeless shelter each night. This number is above average, and the mission is looking for help.

On a Saturday night, most people know they have a safe place to go home to, but for some there is a feeling of fear.

Holden Indvik, who lives at the Mission, says, “I don't have to worry or be looking over my back to see who's going to be stealing my stuff or anything, worrying about if my stuff is going to be safe.”

Indvik is one of the 102 people staying at the Northlands Rescue Mission tonight. Mission officials do not know the exact cause of the increase but expect the economy has a part in it. With the increase, their biggest worry right now is the upcoming season.

David Sena, the executive director of Northlands, says, “Fall, winter... we see an increase in numbers of people. We have not seen that this early and this many people, so we're concerned about fall and winter.”

The mission can accommodate up to 120 people, but Sena says it is possible that this year could break that barrier. If that happens, they will have to set up beds in conference rooms, the kitchen and dining areas.

Sena says, “With more people coming to the mission, if the mission is not able to take them in, we have seen people in the past that make it on their own in cars or streets. With North Dakota winters, it’s too dangerous.”

Sena says now...more than ever...the mission need donations. He encourages the community to take part in what they call the Brown Bag Challenge.

“We're just challenging people instead of going out to eat for a week, to take the money they would have spent that week and send it to the Mission to help people fight hunger,” says Sena.

Sena says he hopes an increase in donations will help them keep the many people who use their facilities safe because for some it's a saving grace.

Indvik says, “If it was a couple years from now, and I had no place to go, I'd probably be six feet under the ground dead, because I was freezing to death.”

To make a donation, you can visit the mission’s website. It’s www.northlandsrescuemission.org.

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