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St. Paul's Day Center for homeless in a struggle of its own

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After 32 years, the Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul that serves a growing Twin Cities homeless population is itself struggling to make ends meet, the Pioneer Press reports.

At an anniversary event at the center, Mayor Chris Coleman on Thursday morning is expected to note the center's challenges and discuss possible strategies to help steer the more than 200 people who spend their nights at the shelter into beds and services, the newspaper reports. One estimate indicates the center serves 81 percent of the homeless people in Ramsey County.

In a commentary in the Star Tribune today, Coleman issues a call to action for help.

Coleman is expected to launch a task force to study new methods to fund the operation and the likelihood of providing a wider array of services, perhaps at another location, the Pioneer Press reports.

Homelessness in Minnesota is on the rise, especially among families and children. Homelessness has also been a worsening problem in the suburbs.

The Day center opened in 1981 in a small downtown storefront. The current facility, built in 1993, offers barebones overnight accommodations, meals, mental health programs, a small medical clinic and the only women's shelter in Ramsey County, the Pioneer Press notes.

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