Residents usually do not see many homeless people in the Upper Peninsula, but that does not mean they do not exist.
There’s an effort in the Copper Country trying to reach out and help the homeless.
Project Connect is aimed at connecting local service providers with the clients that need them the most. People come who need help with a variety of housing related issues, including homelessness.
“We have a lot of caring heats in our communities that you don’t want your friends to be on the street, however with the economy how it is, you can’t afford to feed an extra person long term. Your lease may not allow you to have someone live with you,” Coordinator of Project Connect Romana Vosecky said. “So somebody starts at one place, they go to another place, they go to another place, so you’re not actually seeing them because of the attitude of our community. We want to take care of each other.”
If a person is not homeless, Project Connect still offers plenty of services.
“Even if you come here and say ‘I’m not homeless right now, but my water’s been shut off’, we would count that (person) as homeless, and help them with that,” Vosecky said.
“If they maybe need a childcare referral, BHK is here, or even if you have no issues with your housing you have the Veteran’s Administration here. Anyone can come and get assistance.”
In 2012, 388 people were identified as being homeless in the Houghton, Baraga and Keweenaw counties.