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City Mission works to raise funds critical to serve a growing homeless population

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Buffalo city Mission has kicked off its annual campaign --  One Mission -- One Hope -- to raise critical funds needed for its program and services. 

There re more and more local families are seeking help as the city remains the third poorest in the nation

"Give them a nice warm place to stay, and circle them with food and any other things that they may need, medical attention or anything like that," said Stuart Harper, executive director at the City Mission. 

Last year more than 164,000 meals were served and more than 78,00 sought a place to sleep. And it's not just homeless men.  More and more women in the city are also seeking shelter.

"We're finding more and more women coming to us a month before they give birth to a baby.  We have had between 30 an d 35 births of women resident at Cornerstone Manor over the past couple of years," said Harper.

Harper says a majority of the homeless population today is not off the streets-- 64% of homeless families are experiencing homelessness for the first time...and there is also a growing population of so-called at-risk families -- they are not homeless -- but in need of food and clothing 

The fall campaign goal is to raise $1.9 million -- the same as last year when the City Mission surpassed its goal.