It's been said that 40% of Americans are one paycheck away from becoming homeless, yes 40%. That is 40% too many being on the verge of homelessness. Homelessness exists everywhere, even here in Steele County. Transitional Housing of Steele County was our guest on "Talk of the Town" and some of the statistics are quite sobering.

Right here in Steele County hundreds of people are homeless, many are children. Some of the reasons for this homelessness include:

  • Abject poverty
  • Abusive relationships
  • Job loss
  • Health conditions

There are families couch-surfing, living in their cars, doubled up in unsafe housing, and just trying to survive. We don't see the large numbers of people living on the streets as depicted in movies and TV shows, but, they are there. They are just trying to stay under the radar, hiding their circumstances.

Steele County Transitional Housing is currently working with approximately 20 families in our area to maintain their housing by providing rent assistance, deposit assistance, budgeting skills, and of course case management. The families being assisted are on the program for 2 years, working towards self-sufficiency. Steele County Transitional Housing also helps families who are at risk of eviction by assisting with their rent on a one-time basis. They have a waiting list of approximately 30 families who need their assistance.

It may seem daunting to the average person, wondering how they can help all of those who are homeless, right in our backyards. It takes a village, and we can all help. Several small actions can bring about big changes. It is with this in mind, that there is a big shindig coming up where small actions equal big changes.

On Saturday, November 23rd, at 7 pm, is a community event benefiting Transitional Housing of Steele County. Give Hope, is more than just a community event. It will be a concert, featuring several local musicians, all to raise money for Steele County Transitional Housing. Taking place at the Owatonna High School Auditorium, for a free-will donation, you don't need a ticket, show up and give what you feel. Then stay and enjoy the concert.

Sources: CBSNews.com, Transitional Housing of Steele County