Mayor Highlights Refugee, Homelessness Efforts

Mayor Eddie Sundquist highlighted the city’s efforts over the past year to reduce the homeless crisis and aid refugee resettlement in Jamestown during his State of the City address.

During his speech, Sundquist explained that the Jamestown community is “resilient” and faced many “ups and downs” during 2022, including a major increase in homelessness.

Sundquist acknowledged the city’s need to play a role it has “never had to do,” by addressing the homeless crisis that started over the summer and continued throughout the year.

“We rolled up our sleeves, and we went out we secured almost $200,000 in federal grants and brought together resource providers, faith communities and medical providers to help solve this problem,” he said.

Sundquist said the biggest issue presented by the increase of homelessness was the winter. According to Sundquist, the city lacked the amount of shelter beds necessary to provide places for homeless individuals and families during cold nights.

Through collaboration with local churches and nonprofit organizations, the city encouraged the community to work together to provide locations for emergency sheltering, food and clothing for those in need.

“Despite all the hurdles, all the red tape, I am proud to say that as of today, we have brought on two new emergency shelters right here in the city of Jamestown, focused on families and individuals,” Sundquist said. “People who are down on their luck can be given a hot meal and a warm place to sleep.”

In conjunction with providing emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families, Sundquist explained that by connecting the shelters with resource providers and community leaders, people will be able to get “back on their feet.”

“I have never been prouder to see our community step up and help people simply because it was the right thing to do,” he said. “There’s still so much work to be done, but it is a step in the right direction.”

In addition to the city’s commitment to alleviate the issue of homelessness, Sundquist said the city has played an important role in refugee resettlement efforts.

Sundquist reminded Jamestown residents of the city’s rich history of immigration, which he said allowed the city to become an “industrial powerhouse.”

As a result of the “refugee crisis,” Sundquist said the city began working with the refugee resettlement agency known as Journey’s End a year and a half ago to establish Jamestown as a refugee resettlement location. After initiating the effort, Sundquist said the city has “passed on” the refugee resettlement efforts to community volunteers who have collaborated with Journey’s End to prepare the city to accept refugees into the community.

“I am proud to say that this work will lead to new Americans coming to Jamestown,” he said. “Jamestown is uniquely positioned with plentiful housing, employers looking for workers and a support system that will integrate these new Americans into our community. This will help grow our city, ensure vacant houses become well-loved homes and help a new generation achieve the American dream.”


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