The Minot Planning Commission this week recommended the Minot City Council approve a plan to create a winter shelter for homeless men. We hope the full council supports the idea, too.
Volunteers from a group of Minot churches would staff the shelter house, located at 111-6th Ave. NW, through May 31. Up to 12 men would be allowed to stay in the house between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Anyone staying at the house, which is owned by First Lutheran Church, would undergo a background check, and must be drug and alcohol-free.
There's no question there's a need for such a temporary shelter. Minot's population has grown steadily, and the city's homeless population has increased, too. The Minot Area Homeless Coalition said it has housed homeless men in area hotels, but has also helped transport homeless men to other communities that already have shelters. Members of the church groups told the Planning Commission on Monday that most of the men in need of shelter are employed, but have had a difficult time finding permanent housing.
The proposal will no doubt provide an important service to the community. The need is imperative, especially during the winter months. Obviously, this project won't solve Minot's homeless situation, but it is a positive step toward helping those in need of temporary shelter.