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Long-term homeless housing solution coming to Grand Forks

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - There are more and more homeless in our community with fewer places to go.

Many of them struggling with drug addiction.

But a new facility hopes to provide housing while also helping them rehabilitate.

Ground-breaking for the La Grave on First housing project has been postponed until at least July, as organizers are still working to secure funding.

But they say this project will be built and they are hoping to have it open by next summer.

And people working with those dealing with addiction say it can't come soon enough.

Sue Shirek, Northlands Mission: “Most people want a chance to have a home of their own. And sometimes people have messed up their lives a little bit too much and they don't know if they are going to get that opportunity again. This is an opportunity and a chance for people to have a home.”

Sue Shirek wants to help, but that's not what her organization, the Northands Rescue Mission does.

The mission provides temporary shelter for the homeless, not a long-term solution.

And that's where LaGrave on First comes in.

Terry Hanson, Grand Forks Housing Authority: “What this facility is, it's a permanent housing. This is the individuals home. It's not an emergency shelter such as the Northlands Rescue Mission. It’s not transitional shelter. This is their home for as long as they want to reside there.”

It will be a 4-story building with 42-units. On the bottom floor, social services programs offering substance abuse counseling, behavioral health care, medication monitoring, and job training.

Residents will have to pay 30 percent of their income for rent, the rest will be covered by housing credits.

Something mission residents, and its director are excited about.

The Grand Forks Housing Authority expects construction of the project will cost more than 5 million dollars.