U.P. Homelessness, Part 1

Tough economic times are causing the issue of homelessness to be pushed to the forefront in Upper Michigan.

Even in small towns across the U.P., many people are finding themselves without a place to call home.

We have a week-long series for you about homelessness.

Tonight, it’s the story of one woman who is fighting her way back as she’s getting through hard times.

Most people don’t ever imagine themselves without a place to live.

But Welcome Home program coordinator Sarah Fogaroli says for more and more people in Upper Michigan, homelessness is becoming a reality, often as a result of job losses.

Negaunee resident Irene Bradbury found that out the hard way after returning to the U.P. and ended up without a roof over her head.

Irene’s new reality consisted of moving from couch to couch in order to find shelter each night.

When she could, she would also spend the night at Room at the Inn, a seasonal homeless shelter in Marquette.

There was, however, a light at the end of the tunnel — a local program striving for the last thirteen years to help Upper Michigan residents who have fallen on hard times.

Through the Welcome Home program, Irene has been able to secure employment and her own apartment.

After a year and a half in the program, she’s just about ready to be on her own again.

Tomorrow night, we’ll meet a family who is also making the transition thanks to the Welcome Home program.