Willis Dady event highlights struggles chronically homeless face

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter.
Willis Dady Emergency Shelter.(KCRG)
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Dozens of people headed to Wellington Park Saturday to grab a bite to eat, and learn about what services Willis Dady offers to the homeless population.

The community overflow shelter at the Fillmore Center closed on June 1. Willis Dady said about 70 to 90 people who lived were living outside since it closed.

“They feel very unwelcome in the community,” Aaron Terrones, Willis Dady support services director, said. “Constantly, they were told to leave where they were, sometimes daily.”

“You could imagine packing up your belongings every day and moving,” Tammy Mims, housing case manager, said.

Terrones said there was a need for a permanent shelter for the chronically homeless in Cedar Rapids.

“In Linn County, people can’t pitch a tent for free,” Terrones said. “They have to find random spots where they can hide or where they can’t be seen.”

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