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Alpena Homeless Population Rises as Housing Task Force Takes on Issues

“The housing task force met at City Hall to try to find a solution, or a way to solve our homeless population. Now it’s expanded into how we solve our housing issues that exist in our community. Approximately 5o percent of Michigan’s renters and 25 percent of homeowners pay too much for housing. The population in Alice stands for; Asset, limited income constrained, employed,” United Way of Northeast Michigan Executive Director, Joe Gentry said.

“These are working people who don’t have enough income to meet all the basic needs of life. The state average Alice population is about 3 percent and in Alcona and Alpena counties, it runs about 45 percent to 46 percent. In Mount Ramsey, its over 50 percent,” said Gentry. Domestic violence only complicates the situation. “Survivors of domestic violence are facing homelessness, much like many other members of our community. What’s different or unique for survivors of domestic violence is there’s an added layer of safety concerns,” Hope Shores Executive Director, Valerie Williams said. “The current data is going to be released in two weeks. I’ve been able to view the current data, and I can tell you in our service area helping them out, Morenci and Alcona counties all are higher than the state average in Alpena.” Gentry said.