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Tackling homelessness and affordable housing

It's a big problem, but not a new one. Mayor Kim Norton has made it a point to address the issue but community members at Hope Summit Christian Church got together to talk about ways to help out.

Posted: May 10, 2019 12:43 AM
Updated: May 10, 2019 12:45 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - 

While the brutal Minnesota winter might be over, homeless people are still taking to the skyways to sleep tonight like Bobby Sonnenberg. 

"There's a lot of people that go through the subways and the skyway and they see us and they turn their head up like we don't exist, like they don't want to acknowledge that we're there," Sonnenberg said. 

He wonders why people can't imagine themselves in his place. 

"It's like how can you judge us when this could be happening to you? It's just a split decision or something could happen and you got no place to go," Sonnenberg said. 

This is why Steve Frazee - the director of a non-profit says caring is the first step. 

"To be able to offer options to them that they've figured out the best thing they can have right now," Frazee said. "What we want to try to do is try to find as a community to find something better that they will like so we can help them become a member of our community." 

Frazee says showing that we care will create understanding and move us closer to a solution.

"We want to try to help them to believe that we have a community that provides them even better things," Frazee said. "For a lot of their life they have experience that it doesn't include that for them."

This is what sonnenberg hopes for and what he needs you to hear.

"Just acknowledge us," Sonnenberg said. "Just tell us you are here for us. You are thinking about us or praying about us or something to acknowledge that we're here, that we're normal human beings." 

The event was organized by the Landing MN, Inc, which is a new non-profit. 

There are a lot of things that contribute to homelessness. But a big one in Rochester is the lack of affordable housing in the area. The Coalition for Rochester Area Housing is a private-public partnership. The group announced it would approve more than 2 million dollars for four affordable housing projects. It'll go to places like the Zumbro Ridge Estates and Center City Housing. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61839

Reported Deaths: 1707
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19569839
Ramsey7717268
Dakota4507106
Anoka3752115
Stearns290920
Washington216345
Nobles17686
Olmsted176723
Scott159020
Mower11052
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Blue Earth9325
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Carver8783
Clay78840
Sherburne7328
Kandiyohi7021
St. Louis57319
Todd4292
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Steele3512
Nicollet34713
Watonwan3230
Benton3203
Winona26416
Beltrami2440
Crow Wing23814
Le Sueur2261
Martin2095
Chisago2041
McLeod2020
Goodhue1999
Otter Tail1983
Cottonwood1780
Becker1611
Pipestone1589
Polk1554
Waseca1490
Itasca14612
Douglas1441
Carlton1420
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Dodge1290
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Pine1290
Murray1241
Chippewa1071
Morrison931
Wabasha930
Brown892
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Meeker872
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Cass742
Mille Lacs723
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Grant563
Swift551
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Pope480
Houston420
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Norman400
Kanabec371
Redwood360
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Wilkin343
Marshall290
Wadena270
Mahnomen271
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
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Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 49380

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10444208
Woodbury373452
Black Hawk315766
Linn242888
Johnson211819
Dallas189835
Buena Vista179412
Scott174314
Dubuque169831
Marshall145026
Pottawattamie133228
Story117315
Wapello90533
Muscatine85148
Webster8268
Crawford7313
Sioux6433
Cerro Gordo63417
Warren5721
Tama55429
Jasper48127
Wright4751
Plymouth47011
Clinton4164
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2623
Hamilton2511
Franklin24512
Bremer2307
Clarke2043
Clay2011
Carroll1942
Emmet1934
Des Moines1872
Shelby1861
Hardin1840
Marion1750
Poweshiek1608
Benton1601
Floyd1582
Allamakee1564
Jackson1561
Mahaska14217
Guthrie1355
Cedar1341
Jones1332
Buchanan1291
Henry1274
Madison1252
Butler1252
Hancock1212
Lee1183
Humboldt1181
Pocahontas1172
Delaware1171
Lyon1152
Harrison1101
Cherokee1101
Clayton1063
Taylor1000
Winneshiek971
Iowa971
Page950
Monona910
Kossuth900
Mills890
Palo Alto880
Jefferson870
Calhoun862
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Sac860
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Grundy801
Mitchell790
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Davis612
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Fremont430
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