JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Wintertime in Michigan is an extremely difficult time for people without a home, but help is on the way in the city of Jackson.

There were roughly three dozen people in attendance at a meeting in Jackson Tuesday night, all looking to hear how the city plans to help with the housing instability issue as a major winter storm makes its way to mid-Michigan.

“These people have been in tents, like freezing, there are five people that died in this town so it’s an emergency for sure,” said Tracie Jo Sutliff, an advocate for homeless people in Jackson.

That’s why all of these people gathered inside city hall for this special meeting with the Jackson City Council.

For months, the community had been calling for more action and more help for people living on the streets, or those in danger of losing their homes.

The city called for Tuesday’s meeting and council members heard proposals from several different organizations.

“It is important to get people into safe places to live, whether that’s a short-term solution like getting them into a motel or a long-term solution like providing more affordable housing,” said City Spokesperson Aaron Dimick.

This comes after the city allocated $10,000 last week to provide motel rooms for people who need a place to stay.

The city says about 40 people made use of those. Jackson also put up $3,000 dollars to provide cold-weather gear for those in need

“I would implore you that it is absolutely our responsibility to make sure that anything and everything that we can to secure the safety and security of the citizens that live in this city,” said Mayor Daniel J Mahoney.

The city allocated $150,000 dollars in American Rescue Plan Funds to buy and build 10 small pallet homes for people to live in temporarily, as well as pursuing a lease agreement with Jackson Public Schools for the city to use the vacant T.A. Wilson academy building for housing homeless residents.

A plan by the group Residents in Action would provide various housing and living assistance for homeless residents, which includes supporting motel stays.

While there is some concern among council members on issues like staffing these new facilities, the mayor said action is needed now.

“We have to make a decision in my opinion we have to make a decision,” said Mahoney.

Officials say they’re looking to get started right away and hopefully get some help to people before the winter storm hits later this week.