Duluth City Council Approves Funding to Help Downtown Duluth’s Disadvantaged

DULUTH, Minn.- After Monday night’s meeting, the Duluth City Council approved $300,000 in funding for the Greater Downtown Council to hire a social worker, who will help tackle homelessness and the mental health crisis in Downtown Duluth.

Downtown Duluth has a large population of people facing drug addictions and mental health illnesses.

Local businesses have noticed the physical and emotional impact this has on the area.

“This area of town, we do need something done,” said the owner of Sammy’s Pizza Tim Perrella. “I can tell in the last year–year and a half it’s getting worse, but they said one person was going to try and take care of this and I think it needs a lot more help than just this one person.”

Local outreach programs are interested in seeing the support of Mayor Emily Larson and both councils help their current efforts of battling drug addiction, homelessness, and the mental health crisis in Downtown Duluth.

“Any outreach and any effort to kind of connect our community members to services is better,” said Life House Executive Director Jordon Johnson. “So that, there’s no doubt in my mind that doing more outreach can be beneficial.”

The approved funding was passed and will provide income to one social worker for three years. The $300,000 will come from the city’s American Rescue Plan funding.

Mayor Emily Larson says she has “continued support for the greater downtown council’s proposed social services outreach worker to be funded by the city’s ARP funding.”

With this assistance, local businesses, shelters, and the Greater Downtown Council hopes to see a positive impact on the area.

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