It’s been one year since United Way opened Bismarck-Mandan’s only emergency homeless shelter.
In that time, the facility has served and housed over 600 men, women and children from throughout North Dakota.
They have also helped 50 people get into transitional housing and over 100 people into permanent housing.
Executive Director Jena Gullo says the biggest challenge was raising the money to keep the shelter open. But it was worth the time and effort.
“People don’t think homelessness is a problem or issue in our community. Well, it is an issue and people need our help,” says Gallo. “They shouldn’t be living in their cars or sleeping out on the streets. They need somewhere safe, warm and welcoming. But more importantly, a place where they can access services and change their lives.”
Gullo says one goal for the shelter is to raise $100,000 to expand services to a 24/7 basis. Right now, it serves as an overnight shelter.
The shelter is funded through private donations from businesses and individuals.