On any given night, more than 1,000 people in the F-M metro are homeless — staying in shelters, sleeping in cars, doubling up with friends or living in a situation where they’re at risk for abuse.

The pandemic has complicated the situation further, and most of the shelters are about as full now as they are in the coldest part of the winter. Facing this challenge, community partners including United Way, FM Coalition to End Homelessness and local shelters are working together to end homelessness with the help of housing stability specialists, who will intervene before a person or family in danger of becoming homeless ever gets to that point.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 14 InForum Reporter Robin Huebner hosted a virtual town hall meeting with panelists to shed light on the increased urgency of the homelessness problem in the F-M area.

The panel included:

- Thomas Hill, United Way, Vice President of Community Impact

-Jesseca White, Fargo Police Department, Downtown Resource Officer

-Pastor Sue Koesterman, CEO of Churches United for the Homeless, Moorhead

-Jan Anderson, Homeless Liaison for Fargo Public Schools

- Cody Schuler, executive director FM Coalition to End Homelessness

Questions and comments can also be sent in advance to Robin Huebner at rhuebner@forumcomm.com; they will be asked during the virtual town hall meeting.

Leading up to that meeting, InForum featured a two-part series on the issue.

Part one, published Tuesday, Oct. 13, addresses the growing problem happening right now.

Part two, published Wednesday, Oct. 14, includes some of the ideas and plans to help put an end to the problem.