DUBUQUE – November is Homelessness Awareness Month and organizations in Dubuque are working to bring light to the issue by informing the public on ways to help.
Jordan Zimmerman, a resident of Dubuque who has been homeless now for over three years, explains how he became homeless. “The day I graduated high school [my dad] basically said time to figure it out and kicked me out.”
At just 21 years old, Jordan is one of the many faces of homelessness in Dubuque.
“The population ranges from single men, single women, it ranges in all different ages,” Radene King, Homeless Coordinator for Project Concern explains, “there are college students that are homeless, there are people with formal education who are homeless, there are families.”
With such a wide demographic, it can be hard to see at times.
“Dubuque does a really good job of hiding the homeless population,” King says. “Yes, we do have homeless people here and we do have people who need help,” she asserts.
King encourages people to give time, money, or supplies to any of the homeless shelters in Dubuque, such as the Hope House, Teresa House, the Dubuque Rescue Mission, or the Food Pantry. However, if you see a homeless person on the street and aren’t sure what to do, there is one easy way to help.
“Call 211,” Radene stresses. “211 is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week homeless hot line. There is a case manager on the phone who can help find them shelter, anytime of the day, any day of the year.”
Connecting a homeless person to resources can make all the difference.
“I’m trying. I see myself getting a job and getting an apartment with Project Concerns help, and maybe going back to school,” Jordan says.
For those who are interested in learning more about homelessness and poverty, attend a Poverty Simulation event hosted by Operation: New View, Opening Doors, and Project Concern. The event gives participants a budget of a low-income family to see if they can make it a month living in poverty. The event will take place Thursday, November 13 at St. Mary’s Church from 12:30 to 3:00. Register by contacting Amanda Hohmann at email@example.com.
Allison is a senior at Loras College and is a Dubuque native. She's the Producer of LCTV News, along with Payton Van Vors, as well as an anchor and reporter. This past summer, Allison had an internship with KCRG in Dubuque, and she's continuing to work for them this Fall. Allison reports because she loves keeping her community informed on issues and events that matter to them.