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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Day 2 of a multi-agency response to Springfield’s largest homeless camp resulted in a total of 54 new intakes at the camp by 4 p.m., with 26 of those from the Kearney Street camp. With 56 intakes Monday, the number of individuals served at the MARC today and yesterday is now 110.
“We continue to serve people currently residing in the Kearney Street camp and are optimistic that we can provide needed assistance, including shelter and permanent supportive housing – a pathway to a real home,” said Michelle Garand, deputy director for affordable housing and homelessness prevention for Community Partnership of the Ozarks.
At least one family with three children were removed from the elements last night and are now in a safe, stable shelter awaiting permanent supportive housing.
“The circumstances of this family that we were able to place are indicative of many facing homelessness in this area. They struggle with barriers such as unemployment, criminal background, poor rental history, and the like. That’s why a coordinated effort like this is so important – so we can bring all these services together,” Garand added.
Garand said the process to move into emergency sheltering can take a few days, so the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC) had some repeat guests Tuesday.
“We are working with them and are optimistic that we will get them sheltered soon,” she said.
The remaining individuals helped at the camp today were from cars, motels and other nearby camps.
Homeless advocates and the Springfield Police Department are visiting other camps to connect with those who may have left the Kearney camp and offering to shuttle them to the MARC for services in an attempt to prevent other camps from forming or growing.
“We will continue this outreach effort the rest of the week as planned, 7-11 a.m. and 2-6 p.m. daily through June 9 at the Walmart at Kearney and Glenstone,” Garand said. “At this time the ‘known universe’ or total population of those we see in need through our intakes stands at 110, so our projections are hitting what we thought they would for this effort. We feel that we are making an impact and reaching the numbers of people who are out there.”
Garand said she wants to make sure the community understands there are ways to assist and support the homeless outside of the social-service system.
“Landlords who are willing to take a chance on a family who may have a less-than-stellar rental history can make a huge difference,” Garand said.
While the MARC will shut down Friday, its coordinated services will continue.
“Through One Door and our partners, we will provide follow-up case management to make sure that people get from shelter into permanent supportive housing,” she said.
MARC Day 2 by the numbers:
MARC Day 1 by the numbers:
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For more information, contact City of Springfield Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-380-3352 or firstname.lastname@example.org.