Workshop held on homelessness in the Wiregrass area

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DOTHAN, Ala, (WDHN) — In August, the Southeast Alabama Coalition on Homelessness went on a trip to Austin, Texas, to speak with an agency that is doing a lot with permanent housing for the homeless.

The board held a workshop on homelessness to share what they learned Tuesday morning.

“We have a great opportunity to really help those that are living on the streets, living homeless or near homeless,” said Kody Kirchhoff, the Harbor’s executive director. “We have a great group of people, organizations, and ministries that are ready to serve. We want to put action plans together, which is what we’re doing today to really help solve this unwanted homelessness.”

The workshop began with a presentation of information on the Mobile Fishes and Loaves program.

While the group isn’t sure if that model will work here, they are looking to see if any of it could.

“Two or three of the programs they have, one (addresses) feeding,” Mayor Mark Saliba said. “They have a mobile catering system that they go out to just get to them at first. The second part would be possibly having a community or campus where one can feel part of a community and being with others socially and interacting with those that they may even feel more comfortable with.”

When asked why it’s important to him to help the homeless community, Kirchhoff said they’re just as much a part of our community as anyone else.

“Any time we can build up our community only strengthens the rest of our community for our families, for our kids, for our employment, for our jobs, our businesses,” Kirchhoff said. “It changes the landscape of this community, so we need to help all people that we can.”

The coalition meets together once a week to go over how they are planning to work together.

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