MINOT, N.D. - A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that North Dakota has one of the lowest populations of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness.
According to the 2019 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, the state had zero chronically homeless Individuals, unaccompanied youth or veterans who were unsheltered.
Minot has two emergency shelters. Mike Zimmer manages one, Minot's men's winter refuge.
"Pretty busy right now, so far this winter we had a little less than 25 guys all of last winter. We already had 20 guys here this season," Zimmer said.
They can take up to 15 men at a time, and currently have four openings.
Drew Smith began using the shelter about two weeks after being forced out of an apartment he shared with friends.
"I only been in the streets for a day, and then I called Mike when my situation happened. He pulled me right in," Smith told KMOT.
He says staying at the shelter has helped him and others get back on their feet quickly.
"That’s encouraging seeing other people leave just like that. It makes you feel like wow I can do that, too," Smith said.
Zimmer told us the best part of his job is seeing the men start to rebuild their lives.
The shelter provides tenants with hot meals every night, along with winter apparel.
To donate visit the Minot's Men's Winter Refuge Facebook page.