- Associated Press - Friday, August 14, 2015

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - Homeless people under the influence of drugs and alcohol won’t be turned away from a new shelter in Bemidji.

A city planning board has granted a permit to a coalition that plans to open a 16-bed downtown shelter. Two homeless shelters in Bemidji don’t accept those who are under the influence.

Coalition chairman Reed Olson says that since they started planning the shelter in 2013, two homeless people have died each winter. Olson estimates there are 20 to 30 people in Bemidji who are homeless and have chronic substance abuse problems.

Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1Ernikh ) reports The People’s Church is finalizing the purchase of a building in downtown Bemidji and hopes to have the shelter open by November. The shelter won’t allow drinking on the premises.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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