ROCHESTER, Minn. - The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live our lives - but it has especially impacted those who are homeless.
After the Rochester Public Library closed, a day center opened at the Mayo Civic Center in March. This week - the city announced the Day Center will now have a different location. But some of the homeless say they hope the city finds more permanent solutions.
After staying at the Day Center for 6 months, Blake Chrestensen just wants a permanent place to call home.
"For about the fourth time now, we've had to move, and it's getting very old, I'll be honest with you," Chrestensen said.
The Day Center at the Salvation Army is temporary - it's set to stay open for 90 days. Lisa Mueller - an officer with the Salvation Army - acknowledges the problem needs to be solved.
"This is just one more band-aid," Mueller said. "A 90-day long band-aid. I don't know what the answer is to it. I don't know if the answer is a permanent year-round 24 hour a day shelter."
Adam Haptonstahl has been staying at the Day Center for only four days but has ideas on what the City can do to help.
"All we can do is put people back to work, people on the streets like me, give them a job, give them a trade," Haptonstahl said.
Mueller believes finding housing for the homeless is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to helping those in need.
"Keeping people housed, keeping people with their medical prescriptions, getting emergency dental care, staying in housing, all of that is still important," Mueller said.
Haptonstahl says solving the problem starts and ends with compassion.
"For me - when I am of service to others - when I give something even if it's just my time, it's a kind ear, a shoulder to cry on - just somebody to talk to - that's one of those things that's invaluable," Haptonstahl said.
So far - the city has allocated $400,000 to support the homeless.