Homeless statistics presented at Marquette event

MARQUETTE — As National Homeless Awareness Month continues, the Alger-Marquette-Schoolcraft Continuum of Care presented statistics today about homelessness over the past year.

The event was held in the Community Room at the Peter White Public Library. It opened with a video featuring several people offering testimonials about their struggles with homelessness in the area.

Statistics were presented following the video and they showed that homelessness is still very much an issue.

“If you go to a big city, you can see people living in cardboard boxes and sleeping on the streets, and you don’t see that here in Marquette,” Marquette Housing Commission executive director Sharon Kivikko said. “People tend to be more in the woods and isolated places, so I think through these statistics and through these events, people are beginning to recognize that it is a problem. The amount of volunteers that we have and donations for the homeless programs have really increased through the awareness.”

The event concluded with the presentation of the Helen McCormick Award, named after the founder of Room at the Inn.

“To show our appreciation for her efforts, last year she [McCormick] got the first ever Helen McCormick Award, and this year we are presenting our second award, and this is also going to a person who is very deserving of it and has been very involved in the beginnings of Room at the Inn and is supporting it as it goes forward,” Kivikko said.

Events for National Homeless Awareness Month continue throughout the week.