Partnering to end homelessness

If you are homeless or at risk of homelessness and looking for help, visit emergency programs.

Hennepin County has shifted the way it addresses homelessness. We’ve gone from managing it to setting a goal of ending it. We’re attacking the problem at its roots and from many angles. The county has committed to end chronic homelessness by 2017 and end youth and family homelessness by 2020, in line with federal strategies. We’ve made a goal to ensure instances of homelessness are rare, brief and non-recurring.

Our homeless strategies are managed by the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness, the Office of Housing Stability and Housing and Homeless Initiatives.

The Office to End Homelessness plans and implements the response to chronic homelessness in Hennepin County. This aligns with the federal goal to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2017.

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HUD McKinney Vento Continuum of Care

Hennepin County partners in efforts to reduce homelessness through community coordination and planning. HUD McKinney Vento Continuum of Care (CoC) funds is one of many funding sources to help reduce homelessness. CoC helps single adults, families and youth who meet the criteria for homelessness as defined by HUD. CoC money helps people find housing, pay damage deposits, pay rent and pay for services to help them stay in their home.

The county and its partners compete nationally to receive CoC money. The competition also provides an opportunity to receive a permanent housing bonus to create more housing.

Notice of funding availability (NOFA) for fiscal year 2017 Continuum of Care Program Competition (PDF)

2017 NOFA overview — changes from 2016–2017 (DOCX)

Continuum of Care information - Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

2017 Point in time count (PIT) (PDF)

2017 Housing inventory count (HIC) (XLSX)

2017 Hennepin County CoC timeline (DOCX)

2017 CoC priorities/ranking process and procedures/appeal process (DOCX)

2017 NOFA score tool for renewal projects (XLSX)

2017 CoC priority list

2017 Collaborative application 

2017 grantees for continuum of care money

The county allocated its 12 million dollar award in 2017 to local organizations that either provide housing or work to prevent homelessness.

Grant recipients 2017 (XLSX)

The Hennepin County CoC executive board oversees the governance of the homeless response system. The executive board assigns work to the operations board and working committees. Members of the boards and committees include elected officials, local government agencies, public and private providers of direct services and housing, educators, philanthropic organizations, faith communities, and people who are homeless and formerly homeless.

Executive board

Task:  oversee the work to prevent and end homelessness in Hennepin County.

Staff: David Hewitt

Operations board

Task: ensure the CoC puts into action HUD requirements, and critical tasks and initiatives to prevent and end homelessness.

Staff: Laura DeRosier

HUD McKinney Vento CoC funding committee

Task: monitors and evaluates the performance of all projects funded by CoC. The committee also solicits new project applications and recommends final funding decisions.

Staff: Laura DeRosier

Performance evaluation

Task: evaluate how well programs do to prevent and end homelessness. It analyzes data related to outcomes to determine the impact and effectiveness of programs. It also develops measurements and research plans to help evaluate programs. And it uses its findings to affect strategies for improving how well programs perform.

Staff:  Andy Hultquist

Employment and income

Task:  help continuum of care programs improve the ability of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to get jobs. It also builds awareness and knowledge of the importance of employment and income in preventing and reducing homelessness.

Staff:  Heidi Schmidt Boyd

Homelessness prevention and assistance 

Task: help put into effect the 10-year plan’s recommendations for rapid rehousing and homeless prevention. It oversees and directs the system for rapid re-housing from homelessness. It also oversees the system’s related funding (state family homeless prevention and assistance program, U.S. Housing and Urban Development emergency solutions grant and the continuum of care program). This builds on the continuum of care's homeless prevention and assistance program for single adults, families with children and youth.

Staff: Julia Welle Ayres

Shelter efficiency

Task: improve the homeless shelter system for single adults. This group identifies barriers (in policy and programs) for single adult shelters and coordinates services for adults in shelter. It also enables more effective community-wide strategies to end homelessness, including chronic homelessness, for single adults.

Staff: Danielle Werder

Family services network

Task: improve the family support system, focusing on the well-being of children who are homeless. The committee collaboratively identifies barriers and solutions, in policy and programs, to create more effective community-wide strategies across the continuum of care to end homelessness for families.

Staff: Casey Schleisman

Hennepin County Youth Collaborative

Task: serve as a forum for collaborative discussion, advocacy, planning and action to frame solutions for youth (ages 16-24) who are experiencing homelessness. 

Staff: Casey Schleisman

Coordinated entry

The Coordinated Entry System is the county's approach to organizing and providing housing services for people experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County.

For more information, see our Coordinated Entry page.

Youth initiatives

100-day Challenge 

Hennepin County is one of just five communities across the nation chosen for a 100-Day Challenge on Youth Homelessness. The challenge lasts from July 31 to November 8, 2017. The challenge is part of a growing national movement to speed up efforts to prevent and end homelessness for youth.

The county's goal is to house 150 youth ages 16-24, with 75% of them employed (which can include a job, paid internship or enrolled in a credential, advanced training or work readiness program).

Through this effort, the county hopes to have learned a lot about creating needed changes to speed up efforts to prevent and end homelessness among youth. The county plans to continue using what it learned during the 100-day challenge, to innovate, collaborate, and be action-oriented, moving forward.

Follow the 100-day challenge:

Twitter

Instagram

100-day challenge memo

Research on youth homelessness

A closer look at youth homelessness - 2015 (PDF)

Voices of Youth Count (PDF)

Single adult initiatives

The county made a major change in 2016, creating a single point of entry into shelter for homeless single adults. Called Adult Shelter Connect, the redesigned system came from the collaborative work of five agencies who provide emergency shelter for single adults. Adult Shelter Connect works alongside an open Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), identification cards, bed reservations and a coordinated assignment system.

Redesign plan (DOCX)

The Office to End Homelessness plans and implements the response to chronic homelessness in Hennepin County. This aligns with the federal goal to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2017.

Someone experiencing chronic homelessness has been homeless for more than one year and has a disability. The disability can include chemical or mental health. In Hennepin County in 2016, 200-250 people in shelter each night were chronically homeless. In a year, 1200 people are chronically homeless, mostly single adults. They use a lot of emergency room, mental health and chemical dependency services. This cycle is inefficient and can negatively affect people who are homeless. This project can implement strategies to improve efficiency and decrease homelessness.

Chronic homeless project summary (DOC) 

Housing first program evaluation - 2009 (PDF)

Rapid exit and shelter mobility - 2011 (PDF)

Research and planning for housing stability

Every person needs housing, as a vital building block to a successful life. Hennepin County puts limited staff and money to use in the best possible way, so the most vulnerable, disabled and impoverished residents can get into and stay in their housing.

In 2017 we started focusing on the problem “up-stream,” to help people avoid homelessness in the first place. We work to make as much housing as possible available to people who need it. We prioritize staff and programs. We enable people to more fully earn an income, so they can pay for housing.

Hennepin County now focuses on housing stability - helping people get and maintain their housing.

Housing stability in Hennepin County (PDF)

Status of housing in Hennepin County (PPT)

University of Minnesota Capstone research

Hennepin County works with the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs to evaluate and research critical issues, including housing and homelessness.

Risk of becoming homeless in Hennepin County - 2012 (PDF)

Other research

Evictions in Minneapolis (PDF)

Heading Home Hennepin

Heading Home Hennepin was a 10-year plan created in 2006 to end homelessness by 2016. Led by Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis’ joint Office to End Homelessness, it became a model for similar initiatives nationwide.

A group made up of diverse representatives created the plan. It included people from federal, state and local governments, business, nonprofit, faith and philanthropic communities, and homeless and formerly homeless residents. In addition, hundreds of business, faith, philanthropic, government and advocacy leaders championed the plan.

Ten-year plan to end homelessness (PDF)

Board and committee members

Executive committee

Standing Members

City of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges - Chair
Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Bender
Minneapolis City Council Member John Quincy
Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison – Chair
Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
Minneapolis Director of Community Development and Planning Andrea Brennan
Hennepin County Manager for Housing Development and Finance Margo Geffen
Hennepin County Assistant County Administrator for Human Services Jodi Wentland
Hennepin County Administrator David Hough

Members with second terms 2016-2018

Foundation Representative– Megan O'Meara
University of Minnesota Hennepin University Partnership – Kathie Doty
Minneapolis Public Housing Authority – Greg Russ
Hennepin Health – Ross Owen
Downtown Safety Zone – Shane Zahn
Hennepin County Community Corrections – Chester Cooper

Members finishing their first term in 2016, available to renew 2017-2019

Downtown Business Council – Steve Cramer - Chair
University of Minnesota –Maria Hanratty
Community Representative - John Knowland
Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations – David Rubidor
Suburban Community Representative – Luke Weisberg

Members finishing their first term in 2017, available to renew 2018-2020

Faith community – Melissa Pohlman
Minnesota State Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness – Cathy ten Broeke
Foundation Representative – Patrick Troska

Members starting first term in 2016

Community Representative – Kimberly Carpenter
Hennepin County Medical Center – Dr. Danielle Robert-Shaw
Family Housing Fund – Ellen Sahli

Employment and income committee

Carrie Johnson – Resource, Inc.
Shanna McIntosh – Salvation Army
Sam Blackwell – United Way
Jan West - HIRED
Kasey Nimmerfroh – People Serving People
Katie Miller – Youthlink
Lisa Geehan – Catholic Charities
Jim Durdle – Goodwill/Easter Seals
Jess Nelson – Oasis for Youth
De’Andre Lindsay – Bank of America
Niki Bous – Mall of America
Angela Conley – Hennepin County
Laura DeRosier - Hennepin County
Adam Kolb – Hennepin County  

Shelter efficiency

We encourage managers and directors from the following organizations to attend:

St. Stephen’s Human Services
Simpson Housing Services (including Adult Shelter Connect staff)
Our Savior’s Housing
Salvation Army Harbor Light Center
Catholic Charities Higher Ground (Minneapolis)
Opportunity Center (sometimes attends)
Healthcare for the Homeless
Matrix Housing Services
Hennepin County Homeless Access Team
Hennepin County Initial Access and Assessment
Hennepin County Shelter Team 
Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness

Continuum of care funding committee

Anna Burke
Bert Winkel
Dawn Petroskas
Erin Wixsten
Gregg Colburn
Leah Cameron
Larisa Breid
Maureen Keegan
Melisa Illies
Nathaniel Saltz
Pat Leary
Pat Longs
Stephanie Corrente
Cynthia Jackson
Stacy Sweeney

Homeless prevention and rapid rehousing advisory committee

Voting members

Annie Wells, St. Stephen’s Human Services - Secretary
Courtney Knoll, MESH
Jenny Buckland, PROP Food - Co-Chair
Katie Miller, YouthLink 
Elena Shaw, Minneapolis Public Schools
Malissa Adams, Catholic Charities - Secretary
Stacy Sweeney, YMCA Youth Intervention Services - Co-Chair
Kristen Brown, Matrix Housing Services 

Non-voting subcommittee members

Allysen Hoberg, PRISM
Heather Wilmot LeMay, St. Stephen’s
Jay Pearson, Community Advocate
Natasha Triplett, CEAP
Sara Wenzel, St. Stephen's Human Services

Hennepin County staff: Julia Welle Ayres, Amy Donohue, Cindy Towe, Abbey Fahnhorst, Mark Legler (non-voting)

Additional non-voting members include other homeless prevention and rapid rehousing providers, representatives from veterans’ organizations, and shelter staff. All are welcome to attend and participate in discussions. For more information contact Stacy Sweeney at stacy.sweeney@ymcamn.org.

Family coordinated entry leadership committee

Chair- Laurel Liligren, People Serving People
Domestic Violence Rep- Teresa Burns, Casa de Esperanza
Housing Provider Rep- Annie Wells, St. Stephens Human Services
Housing Provider Rep- Wendy Wiegmann, Simpson Housing Services
Emergency Shelter- Gail Anderson, Hennepin County (Non-Voting)
Youth Provider Rep- Zayed Ahmed, Avenues for Youth
Suburban Rep- open
Hennepin County staff: Sarah Hunt, David Hewitt, Casey Schleisman (Non-voting)

Single adults coordinated entry leadership committee

David Jeffries
Michele Boyer
Heather Duscherer
Jay Wagner
Steve Horsfield
Carina Aleckson
Marney Thomas
Kristen Brown
Subi Ambrose
Ciara Kunert

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