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Homeless line up for help in Lansing

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
It was a cool morning in Lansing, but scores of people stood in line for a free meal and a chance to get some help from social service agencies that work with people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Michigan’s rising poverty rate took on a human face in Lansing today as a few hundred people waited outside in the morning cold for a special event to help the capital city’s homeless.   Dozens of social service agencies took part in the event on Lansing’s south side.  

Patricia Wheeler is with the Greater Lansing Homeless Resolution Network.   She says more and more Michiganders are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.   Wheeler says this event is intended to lend them a hand.  

“It’s an opportunity to access all those services…in one place…in an easy way.  And by way of Community Connect…to connect the needy with the service that are in place for them.”    

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report this week showing Michigan’s poverty  rate is rising, up from 16.2 percent in 2009 to 16.8 percent in 2010.      The poverty rate is worst for kids.  Nearly a quarter of Michigan children live below the poverty line.     

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.