Welcome Table Continues Search - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Welcome Table Continues Search

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A groups hoping to help the needy in our area continues to have a big need of its own.

The Welcome Table was established three years ago in reaction to the Mouse River flood.

And, as Jim Olson reports, it's still hoping to find a place to call home.

On Monday, Minot's City Council turned down the Welcome Table' request for a zoning change needed to get a homeless shelter for men going just east of the Fairgrounds in Minot. But that hasn't dampened the spirit that drives the Welcome Table's supporters.

(Randy Bell, Welcome Table) "We are not discouraged in the least. We still have hope that we can continue to do this."

The Welcome Table got its start three years ago - when the flood had divided the city and the north half of town had very few food shopping options.

(Willy Soderholm, Welcome Table) "And then after that, the more we talked, the more we thought well maybe let's try to put something together where we can get a building or build a building, something like that, and try to get a one-stop shop."

The idea the group is pursuing would offer whatever a homeless person - or someone down on his luck might need to get by temporarily.

(Willy Soderholm, Welcome Table) "We can help that individual find a place to live, get a job, get some food, give them a meal, but it's not something that happens overnight. It takes a bit of time and we feel if we can be in a location where all those services are available together, I think that would be the best bang for our buck."

(Randy Bell, Welcome Table) "We are passionate about serving the needs of the community. We see the people in the food pantry, we see the people in the soup kitchens, and we know we need to meet their need."

That passion continues, despite setbacks in trying to find a suitable location. The problems come down to two major hurdles.

(Willy Soderholm, Welcome Table) "Either the expense or what we're getting is 'not in my backyard.'"

(Randy Bell, Welcome Table) "We hear the similar stories sometimes you know, we don't like it in our backyard or we wish you would go and they point to another area of the city."

Still, the Welcome Table continues its quest - hoping that the right person with the funding or property that's just right will pop up.

(Willy Soderholm, Welcome Table) "There's got to be a piece of property out there someplace and I know there are folks in the city of Minot that would like to step up and give us a hand. It's just a matter of trying to get the word out."

Consider the word...out.

Jim Olson, KX News.

Officials with the Welcome Table say the location turned down by the city council this week for a homeless shelter, might still work for locating all of the other services of the proposed one-stop shop.

They're waiting for clarification from the city.


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