APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Several members of Appleton's homeless population took part in a community forum Thursday night to raise awareness about a growing problem. Combined, local homeless shelters serve thousands every year.
The Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley had its busiest year ever in 2011 - there were only two nights where there wasn't a waiting list. The homeless say this is a problem that can happen to anyone.
"Just reach out and ask for the help," says Frank Zalka, who has been homeless off-and-on for a year and a half. "If there's an addiction problem, ask for help in that too." Zalka also battled the bottle while out on the streets. He's been sober now for 90 days.
Dawn Beutler is a mother of two, who lost her job, and later her home through a foreclosure: "I think there are people out there who just don't know what to do. Like us. We don't know - or we wouldn't have gotten here."