October 9, 2023 - Understanding Housing Insecurity

October 9, 2023


With the weather turning colder, I am thinking about individuals in our community that are facing housing insecurity. Since joining the organization, requests for housing assistance are high; and our most pressing basic need ask. It’s not easy to hear that an individual is living in their car, but we listen with compassion and do our best to help. Our local nonprofit partners do an amazing job and work hard to house individuals.


In a few weeks, Wilder Research, the research arm of the nonprofit the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, will conduct their Minnesota Homeless Study to get a pulse on our state’s current homelessness environment. They will examine what events or circumstances can lead to homelessness, how we can address the issue, and ultimately end it.


To learn more, I listened to their podcast, Talking Through The Numbers. Host Paul Mattessich spoke with guests David Katzenmeyer, with the nonprofit People Incorporated, and with Brian Pittman, with Wilder Research, to talk about Minnesota's unsheltered homelessness.


I was curious to know why individuals may be living outside of a housing opportunity. I also want to become better equipped to help.


David Katzenmeyer shared that many staying outside of a housing opportunity may be dealing with chronic health issues that can be hard to manage within a system. He also disclosed there isn't always a good option for couples without children, those that have pets, and individuals that need a place to store their belongings. He stated to move individuals out of a homelessness cycle it's important to build trust and help them get access to basic needs.


Fellow guest Brian Pittman said that preventing homelessness from happening is key. If housing is there for people and resources are available to help individuals stay in housing, it's a win. He added the more we can keep the issue from happening the less it costs and its better for all.


Providing housing for our neighbors that are in need can be challenging. I employ all of us to stay connected and to have an open mind. Your United Way will continue to provide resources and advocate.



In gratitude,


Nicolle Mechelke 


Help our neighbors get ready for colder weather and get the basic supplies they need.

Wabasha County Project Community is back this year and we at the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha & Pierce Counties are raising our hands to help. We will provide basic needs supplies, resources, and program information. Several of our service area nonprofits, agency organizations and businesses are coming together to provide support.


Volunteer Opportunities

DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Are you a party planner? Do you love planning social events and getting friends together? This is the committee for you! Meet once or twice a month with like-minded people to help plan and manage United Way Fund Raising and Community Events. Great way to learn about United Way and it's work without the commitment to being a board member. Sign up for the entire year or just for the events you want to be a part of. Call Nicolle at 651-388-6309 or email at nmechelke@unitedwaygwp.org


Light Office Work/ Data Entry -Are you looking to help one or two hours per week? We need someone who can come into the office one morning per week to help with special projects. We will train and volunteer hours are flexible. If this sounds like something you might enjoy, call Stacy at 651-388-66309 or email scoyle@unitedwaygwp.org





People first concern themselves with meeting their basic needs: only afterwards, do they pursue any higher needs."

Abdolkarim Soroush






Click the box above to visit our donation page today. United Way GWP makes it easy for you to make a difference in the community and to have an impact on the lives around you. All but 1% of your gift is used locally to improve the health, education or basic needs of people in this community.  Thank you!

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