ST. PAUL, Minn. — A group of hunters who met for a yearly wild game feast are now using their resources to help the homeless.
Every day members of the Ramsey County Outreach team are meeting people where they're at. They go to where the unsheltered hang out during the day and pass out beef sticks.
On the back of the package is a phone number for resources needed to get them off the streets.
"You can't drive anywhere in the city and not see an encampment somewhere," said Kurt Krumell.
Those beef sticks are coming from a group called Hunters Harvest. The outdoors organization donates part of its take to help the military, first responders and the homeless in the capital city.
"Most people don't want to be down here it's just a situation of life," said Darryl Spence.
Community Service Officer Rev. Darryl Spence has worked with the community for more than 30 years. He knows many now living on the street.
"This has to be one of the worst years when you look around," said Spence.
The Ramsey County Homeless Assistance program is tracking about 120 people living in 23 separate tent encampments. Most are just 24 years old or younger.
A former satellite office for Ramsey County now houses its outreach efforts. Warm clothes, shoes and gloves are handed out there.
"The mission is to make them feel like this is still their home and they are still appreciated by those of us who care," Spence said.
And that care can go a long way.
"We helped a young lady. She went from the shelter and now she's got a house because she followed the little phone calls on the back of the beef sticks. When I saw her yesterday, she's smiling she's happy. 'Rev. I got a place.' That's what we are looking to see," Spence said.
Many of the donations to Ramsey County's outreach team come from viewers of Sheriff Bob Fletcher's Live on Patrol. The so-called "back seaters" give clothing and other items to help those experiencing homelessness.
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