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Fundraiser helps nonprofit serve homeless women and families

Emma Norton typically serves about 300 people a year, but the organization said it is on track to help more than 500 in 2021.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — A local nonprofit that helps homeless women and families in the St. Paul and Ramsey County areas said the need is only growing.

Emma Norton Executive Director Tonya Brownlow said they average serving about 300 people a year. But last year during the pandemic, they helped more than 400. Brownlow said this year, they’re on track to serve more than 500 people.

"Homelessness is a solvable issue," Brownlow said. "It is really about a choice we make as a community to support those that are in need and to say that there is enough housing out there available, it’s just the effort we make to putting people into housing," Brownlow said. "It does so much to solve many issues we have when you don’t have people living in the streets and in scarcity," Brownlow said.

That’s why the nonprofit hopes you can give in a virtual gala happening Thursday. The Opening Doors Gala starts at 7 p.m. Brownlow said it's their biggest fundraiser of the year. Donations will go to operating different sites, and the staff who support these women and children. 

The gala will be hosted by highly acclaimed actor, director, teacher, poet, and community activist Shá Cage. Guests can enjoy an online program with a silent and live auction.

Speakers include Emma Norton Board Chair Tariq Malik, three resident speakers, and a performance by artist Shá Cage, who will be leading a spoken word poetry workshop with Emma’s Place youth later this year.

To register, go to the Emma Norton's website.