The Crow Wing County Coalition to End Poverty is hosting a special community meeting to address increasing poverty in the region.
The meeting is planned from 5- 8 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria of Central Lakes College, 501 West College Drive, Brainerd.
The meeting will help identify ways for the community to better support people in overcoming difficult economic situations. Community members are invited to offer their ideas and to get involved in follow-up efforts coming out of the meeting.
Dinner will be provided, and transportation and child-care vouchers will be available as needed.
According to coalition leaders, one out of three Crow Wing County residents is struggling financially. Current economic conditions are creating even greater hardship for those who can least afford it.
"We're seeing a lot more people who are not eligible for assistance, but still need help," Tami Lueck, executive director of Bridges of Hope, a nonprofit organization serving Brainerd lakes area families in need, said in a news release. "They have assets like a home and a car, but have seen their incomes drop because someone in the family has lost their job or been injured."
Lutheran Social Services also has seen an increase in requests for assistance. Applications for the organization's energy assistance program are at a 13-year high. Requests for housing assistance have more than tripled during the past three years.
The Crow Wing County Coalition to End Poverty consists of concerned citizens, local human service providers, nonprofit organizations and area faith communities. The coalition formed after a 2007 visit by the Minnesota Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020 and exists to inspire local, grassroots action to address poverty.
For more information, contact Bridges of Hope at 825-7682.
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