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The topic of housing was front and center today at the Blue Ribbon Crime Advisory Meeting.
"The lack of emergency shelter has really effected families very negatively." said Whitney Lanning, executive director of the Community Action Partnership of St. Joseph, she sees the problem first-hand.
"We're seeing a lot of families, individuals that are coming to CAP St. Joe and asking for assistance." said Lanning.
The mayor adds the problem isn't as simple as just putting someone in a home,
"It doesn't do any good to put someone in a house, and not provide any services." said Mayor Bill McMurray.
There have to be resources for them to sustain themselves.
"When we talk about chronicaly homeless individuals, they really need support and services to be able to maintain a level of a dependence." said Lanning.
Without these services, many end up on the streets without adequate shelter options. Those in critical need of housing have no where to turn.
"Not having that as an option has just further crippled really our housing system." said Lanning.
Now, the mayor is determined to find a solution before the problem spreads.
"This is a problem that we need to work on this is directly related, poverty is a driver of crime, and poor housing is a driver of poverty." said McMurray.