Traverse City News and Events

Homelessness Up North

By Beth Milligan | Jan. 24, 2022

Across the northwest Lower Peninsula, hundreds of Michiganders are struggling to find shelter this winter. 

It’s not a new situation, but the problem is steadily getting worse for a variety of reasons, from the global health pandemic sapping already limited resources to unprecedented demand driving up the cost of homes. From Traverse City to Charlevoix, Cadillac to Leelanau County, folks from all different backgrounds and ethnicities are out on their own. But there’s one thing they all have in common, a shared thread that defines their lives.

Unhoused residents come from “varying levels of life experience, support and world views, and sometimes culture,” says Ryan Hannon, community engagement officer at Goodwill Northern Michigan, “but basically you have a lack of choice.”

In this week's Northern Express, sister publication of The Ticker, writer Victor Skinner talks to local experts and shelter directors from across the northern Michigan region about the current state of homelessness in their communities, the challenges (both old and new) facing the unhoused, and some of the solutions - like affordable housing projects - that could potentially help alleviate some of the need. The Northern Express is available to read online, or pick up a free copy on newsstands at nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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