Cans being used to End Youth Homelessness

“We-CAN-Du” Fundraiser Kicks Off

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Three structures built from 10,000 cans of beans are spread throughout Miller Hill Mall.

“We’re just trying to increase the numbers of less homelessness in the area,” Proctor DECA President Taylor Larson said.

The masterpieces were constructed by Proctor DECA students with the help of local architects.

“It’s just kind of a project that we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” said Larson.

It’s all to raise awareness and money to build the Center for Changing Lives, a new place looking to help end youth homelessness.

“We’ve decided from here on that we’re not going to allow anymore homeless youth in our community,” said Bob Sherman with the Lutheran Social Services.

Each canned food display bears a different meaning.

A building represents the blueprint of the new shelter, a train pays homage to the Proctor Rails and a couch that depicts where a homeless youth might have to sleep.

“These kids don’t normally live under bridges when they leave home. They typically couch surf,” said Sherman.

Ten-and-a-half million dollars is needed to build the Center for Changing Lives.

“Right now there’s about 120 young people in the area that don’t have homes who are youth in our area,” said Larson. “We just want to decrease that number. It’s just kinda scary if you think about it.”

The more than 20,000 square foot housing facility will be built on Superior Street with 20 permanent and transitional units.

“We’re going to bring together all of Lutheran Social Services programs that serve homeless youth,” said Sherman. “Lutheran Social Services top project in the state it will be here.”

Officials are aiming to help kids of all backgrounds.

“Because Duluth is a place where we know our homeless kids,” said Sherman. In other words we know who they are, where they come from. We really do have a shot at ending homelessness here.”

You can check out the displays and donate until February 5th.

Donations can also be made online.

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