Nov 28 – Homelessness in the Dubuque Area
In July the topic of our Conversation Groups pertained to sheltering the homeless. One of the things we realized in the course of our conversations was that we do not know the homeless or the causes and conditions of homelessness in our area. To understand what we have to offer, who and where the people are who need what we have to offer, and how to make it easy for them to receive what we have, we realized we needed to be educated.
This evening Erica Haugen and Rick Mihm spoke to us about the plight of the homeless in Dubuque and in the surrounding areas.
Erica, Community Development Specialist for the City of Dubuque, informed us that economic constraints are the leading cause (52%) of homelessness in Iowa. The problem is exacerbated by a lack of affordable, quality housing. “In order to afford the average 2 bedroom apartment, Dubuque renters need to work 75 hours per week at the national minimum wage.”
Rick is Director of the Dubuque Rescue Mission. He shared with us the scope of homelessness in our area as well as some of the projects that the Rescue Mission has undertaken to serve those who come to them. He also shared with us some programs done in other areas as well as some brainstormed ideas of how New Melleray might aid our homeless brothers and sisters in a variety of ways.