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CMLS Staff and Volunteers Help Prevent Homelessness


By jolson - Posted on 12 January 2012

According to an updated study released by the Wilder Foundation in March of 2010, the number of homeless people in Minnesota has risen sharply compared to an earlier Wilder Foundation Report in 2006.  Among other causes, the economic recession has created a new unemployed population and impacted their ability to find or pay for affordable housing.
 

CMLS staff and volunteers helped many people in Central Minnesota stay in safe, affordable housing in 2010.  In this report we highlight examples of the housing work of CMLS.
 
Mary* was a vulnerable adult whose adult son was violent and abusive towards her.  She was in subsidized housing and threatened with an eviction because of her son's criminal activity including abuse against her.  Mary obtained an Order for Protection against her son in an effort to keep him away from her and her apartment.  A CMLS staff attorney wrote a letter to the housing provider, detailing the client's protections under the Violence Against Women Act and the connection between the son's abusive behaviors.  The housing provider withdrew its efforts to evict Mary without any further need of litigation.  Mary was able to continue to stay in her affordable apartment.
 
Another notable success involved a client renting a private hom in Meeker County.  A CMLS volunteer attorney helped a client get necessary repairs to her furnace in the winter months; Susan* called about her furnace not working.  She was afraid of carbon monoxide poisoning and worried that her rented house was not safe for her two young children.  She had her furnace inspected and was told she needed to get it fixed.  She sent a letter about the problems to her landlord but a month later the landlord still hadn't fixed her furnace.  CMLS found a volunteer attorney to help her.  The attorney contacted the landlord and obtained the necessary repairs so Susan could stay in her rented house and have a safe home for her young children.
 
Clients like Mary and Susan rely on CMLS staff and volunteers to help them stay safe and in affordable housing.
 
*Real client name not used to respect the client confidentiality.
 

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