Minnesotans face many challenges in these tough times, but let's hope that there's still room in our hearts for the people in our state who are homeless ("Homeless numbers hit highs not seen in decade," Jan. 16).

Among them are adults, children and veterans. Some are down on their luck, while others are fleeing domestic violence. Many are working hard to get back on their feet, but others have assorted mental and physical illnesses that make escaping homelessness difficult.

Any one of us can make a difference in their lives by helping a local homeless shelter. Many shelters lack the resources to serve all in need. They're run by dedicated workers and volunteers who face the daunting task of turning back into the winter nights those who, for whatever reason, are simply seeking the most basic of human needs.


The writer is executive director of Open Your Hearts to the Hungry and Homeless, a Minnesota nonprofit foundation supporting homeless shelters and food shelves throughout the state.