Addressing the homeless issue of Marquette & Alger Co.

As part of National Homeless Awareness Month, the Alger Marquette Continuum of Care (AMCoC) will host a public event aimed at raising awareness of homeless families and individuals in Marquette and Alger Counties.

The event is being held in the Community Room at Peter White Public Library on Tuesday, November 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

The AMCoC is comprised of numerous and varied service agencies, businesses and formerly homeless individuals. According to a press release from the group, the coalition is working throughout Alger and Marquette Counties as part of Michigan’s statewide plan to end homelessness in Michigan by 2016. As part of that effort, the Alger Marquette CoC gathered data on the local homeless population and will present their data on November 12. Of note in the data: there were 815 homeless individuals in 2012 –of 129 were children with an average age of 8 years old.

According to Sharon Kivikko, Executive Director of the Marquette Housing Commission, “We’re finally seeing objective evidence and data to support what we’ve known for some time. There’s a strong need for more quality affordable housing in our region. Many of our homeless are working poor. They need jobs paying wages to support the cost of basic housing.” She continued, “The film and our data will permanently change the way people see our local homeless population.”

During the public event in November, the AMCoC will premier a short documentary created by Josh LeClair with Christin Flavin, “Homeless…. leaving the wilderness.”

The inaugural Helen McCormick award will be presented to a volunteer in recognition of extraordinary service to the homeless community. The award is named in honor of Helen McCormick whose vision and dedication to the service of homeless individuals fostered the creation of Room at the Inn.

For more information, contact Amy Lerlie, Housing Services Director for Alger Marquette Community Action Board (AMCAB) at (906) 228-6522, extension 350 or by email at To contact Sharon Kivikko, Executive Director, Marquette Housing Commission, phone (906) 226-7559, extension 4 or email her at