Initiatives for housing and homelessness

If you need housing assistance call 2-1-1.

Funding opportunities can be found through Contracts in Human Services and Public Health. Find contracts.

The county attacks the problem of homelessness through immediate placement services, homelessness prevention programs, and housing development.

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Hennepin Housing First Partnership

The Hennepin Housing First Partnership emphasizes:

  • Immediate placement into housing with resident choice maximized
  • Residents as lease-holding tenants - housing is not a condition based on participation in services or program compliance (sobriety, medication, etc.)
  • Units that are integrated into mainstream rental housing
  • Service providers working as intermediaries between landlords and residents – readily available to both parties
  • Service providers following residents through interruptions in housing (hospitalization, eviction, incarceration, etc.)

The partnership is a collaboration between Hennepin County, the State of Minnesota, housing service providers, community landlords, and partners in the business and faith communities.

Homeless prevention assistance and rapid rehousing

Homeless Prevention provides short-term financial help or legal assistance to keep people in their existing housing. It focuses on helping people who normally can afford their own housing but are at risk of losing it because of an unforeseen financial crisis.

Rapid Exit quickly and efficiently assesses specific housing barriers for individuals and immediately refers them to services that address those barriers. This helps get people out of shelters and into stable housing as rapidly as possible.

Continuum of care

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development McKinney-Vento Continuum of Care Program provides resources for the development of supportive and transitional housing for homeless single adults, families and unaccompanied youth. Funding is used for the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of housing, as well as leasing and rental assistance, and support services. 

Continuum of Care information - Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

2015 grantees

See the list of 2015 recipients of Continuum of Care funding. Grantee list (PDF)

Organizational description

The Heading Home Hennepin Initiative to End Homelessness is the overall organization for the continuum of care. This initiative of both the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County is responsible for the implementation of the Heading Home Hennepin 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. 

Membership of the continuum of care is composed of the stakeholders and community members participating in Heading Home Hennepin community meetings, forums, and its various committees and workgroups (many of which are listed below).  Members included elected officials, local government agencies, private and public services and housing providers, education, philanthropic organizations and funders, faith communities, and members who are homeless and formerly homeless.

The governing body for the Heading Home Hennepin Initiative and the continuum of care is the executive committee, which includes political and administrative leadership of the city and the county, as well as other stakeholders and private sector leaders.  Staffing for the initiative is the Office to End Homelessness (Director: Mikkel Beckmen), accountable administratively both to the city and the county, as well as the executive committee. The role of the executive committee is to provide overall policy direction and oversight for the continuum of care and to implement the goals of the 10-Year plan.

Primary committees and groups 

Continuum of care McKinney-Vento housing and funding 

Staff: Allan Henden
Task: Facilitates implementation of the housing opportunity goals in the 10-year plan to end homelessness, through HUD McKinney-Vento funding.  This includes continuum of care program-funded project solicitation, review and selection; completion of the continuum of care collaborative application, overseeing the Homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count and the housing inventory chart, and conducting ongoing performance evaluation of continuum of care program-funded projects.

Homelessness prevention and assistance 

Staff: Kristen Brown
Task: Facilitates implementation of the rapid rehousing and homeless prevention recommendations in the 10-year plan.  This includes building on the continuum of care's successful homeless prevention and assistance program for single adults, families with children and youth, providing oversight and direction for the Rapid Re-Housing from homelessness system and its related funding: State family homeless prevention and assistance program, Housing and Urban Development emergency solutions grant and the continuum of care program.

Emergency shelter 

Staff: Matthew Ayres
Role: To enhance the collaborations and the effectiveness of the community's single adult shelter system.  As a systems improvement strategy in the 10-year plan, the planning group identifies policy and programmatic barriers for single adult shelters, coordinates services for adults in shelter, and facilitates more effective community-wide strategies to ending single adult and chronic homelessness.

Family service planning 

Staff: Kristen Brown
Task: Enhance the collaborations and the effectiveness of the community's family support system, with special emphasis on the well-being of children who are homeless. As a systems improvement strategy in the 10-year plan, the committee identifies policy and programmatic barriers for family shelters, coordinates services for families in shelter, and facilitates more effective community-wide strategies to ending family homelessness.

Service delivery and opportunity centers planning

Staff: Matthew Ayres
Task: Implement service delivery and self-support goals in the 10-year plan, including improving processes at daytime opportunity centers, where people can connect with multiple services in one location. This committee assisted with development of the opportunity centers, one for youth and one for single adults, and is now charged with conducting service gaps analysis and improving processes to best serve the individuals accessing services there.

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