LaGrave on First hopes to help families off the streets

GRAND FORKS, ND--With more than one hundred homeless children in Grand Forks, some people have no where to sleep tonight.

It's a feeling that's all too familiar for some LaGrave on First residents.

Our Kenneth Chase shows us how they plan to help their friends get off the street.

With temperatures so low, and the number of families without homes so high in Grand Forks, some are even taking to sleeping under bridges in order to stay warm throughout the night.

Dozens of families living on the street.

"Grand Forks school district as my understanding have about 150 homeless kids," said Terry Demars, with LaGrave on First.

Terry Demars works with the homeless population at LaGrave on First, helping people transition into permanent housing - but even he can't help some.

"We don't have the capacity to meet all the needs."

Since opening a few months ago, only two out of 42 apartments are vacant - but there are 20 people hoping to call this place home.

It's a gap in services that Demars hopes his clients will help fill.

"These folks have a heart for their fellow homeless individuals who are still out on the streets. And they want to do something about it."

LaGrave tenants are doing everything they can to raise money. Some even selling popcorn balls for a couple dollars.

"They've managed to raise $400 in the last two weeks, and we've got a goal of raising about $6,000 dollars during the year. Because we think that's about the money maybe needed to help these homeless families and their children to get into a motel room for a night or two."

Demars admits hotels aren't a permanent fix, but these families aren't on the streets every day.

Northlands Rescue Mission can't currently give families a place to stay overnight - few other organizations around town can either.

Demars says many may couch surf with their kids -- moving from one friend's home to another - and relief for a night could make a big difference in their lives.

"They know what it's like to live under the bridges. They have a heart for these people. So they're doing what they can to help solve the problem."

They hope raising this emergency money now -- will lead to a permanent solution soon.