Numerous homeless encampments this summer and fall made the homeless challenge in the St. Cloud area public.  St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis explains that this isn't just a St. Cloud issue but an issue for surrounding communities and counties.  He says he established a task force in 2021 to help area cities and counties work together on the homeless issue.  Kleis explains they gathered together a few weeks ago to talk about how they can deal with these challenges.

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Kleis says the approach cities and counties are led by service providers.  His idea included each county providing 3 service providers along with one representative from all area cities and representatives from the 3 counties affected. (Stearns, Benton and Sherburne).  Kleis explains service providers have experience and knowledge with those dealing with homelessness and can offer insight into how to approach solutions.

photo - Tim Lyon
photo - Tim Lyon

Kleis says the goal is to get as many people as possible out of homelessness and into permanent housing.  Kleis gave an update on the former Lincoln Center encampment saying all overnight tents and occupants have been moved from that site.  He says some personal belongings may still be there and the St. Cloud Police camera is still on the Lincoln Center property.  Kleis says the Lincoln Center cannot reopen their indoor facility until it meets code and that hasn't happened yet.  He says it is possible it could happen at any time.

If you'd like to listen to Mayor Kleis' comments on WJON's Radio Town Hall meeting it is available below.



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