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Minnesota Homeless Fund

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The Walz-Flanagan Administration issued a call-to-action to bring more people inside, launching the Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative.

In response, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation set up the Minnesota Homeless Fund to assemble resources from philanthropy, corporate donors and public entities. The fund will provide nimble funding for crisis response, shelter and low-barrier affordable housing across the state.

What We Can Do Together

Minnesotans need stable homes and shelter to sustain health, employment, connection to community and overall well-being. Nearly 8,000 Minnesotans are experiencing homelessness, with more than 1,600 people sleeping outside on any given night – a number that has doubled since 2015.

Mother and child

To help end this crisis occurring in our state, we need your help. Your financial commitments will increase shelter space, expand the network of low-barrier affordable housing, extend hours and enhance staffing to support our neighbors who are sleeping outside.

We also need our communities on the front lines to help us identify opportunities to support efforts and increase capacity through this fund. Examples of work we fund across the state include:

  • Crisis response needs
  • Operational costs (staffing, etc.)
  • Capital projects (increasing capacity of existing shelters and affordable housing, new shelter or affordable housing projects)

Our Impact So Far

The Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative received 79 proposals for projects that are rapidly expanding shelter and outreach capacity across the state. The Advisory committee reviewed the proposals and recommended a total of $2.6 million to fund 25 of those proposals around the state. The committed funds add 240 nightly shelter beds in the Twin Cities metro area and 98 in Greater Minnesota, together sheltering hundreds of people through the winter.

Twenty-two organizations have already deployed the funds, adding shelter beds and expanding outreach capacity. In addition, funds went to transportation assistance in rural areas to get people to shelter and financial assistance for immediate housing acquisition for unsheltered people around the state.

Shelter expansions have been funded in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Scott, Carver and Washington counties, as well as Greater Minnesota communities like Grand Rapids, Virginia, Bemidji, Moorhead, International Falls, White Earth and others.

Mn fund couple cropped

An Overwhelming Response

Since the launch of the Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative in December 2019, the response has been rapid and impactful. Public, private and philanthropic partners have answered the call and contributed $4.9 million, including:

  • 3M
  • Andersen Corporation
  • Best Buy
  • Blandin Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • Doran Companies
  • Ecolab
  • Frey Family Foundation
  • General Mills
  • Greater Minnesota Housing Fund
  • Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Greg McNeely
  • Metropolitan Council
  • Minneapolis Foundation
  • Northland Foundation
  • Northwest Area Foundation
  • Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
  • Rochester Area Foundation
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • Securian Financial
  • Target
  • US Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • Xcel Energy

The need is still great, and new investors can continue to come to the table until the last day of February. Join us in this final fundraising stretch as we work to bring Minnesotans indoors.

Advisory Committee

Donations will be pooled and managed by the fund’s transparent advisory committee that includes representatives from the public and private sectors, including individuals who have experienced homelessness themselves. We will work with members of the community to best determine how funds are distributed in collaboration with donors.

  • Robert Lilligren, Advisory Committee chair, Metropolitan Council member and Committee Chair of Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors
  • Eliza Chlebeck, Andersen Corporation Director of Community & Communications
  • Jennifer DeCubellis, Hennepin County Health & Human Services
  • Paul Fleissner, Olmsted County
  • Michael Goze, American Indian Community Development Corporation
  • Abby Guilford, Suburban Metro Area Continuum of Care
  • Sue Haigh, Consultant
  • Tony LookingElk, Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Tim Marx, Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
  • Ann Mulholland, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Rhonda Otteson, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director
  • Patty Pannkuk, Wells Fargo
  • Sophie Rich, U.S. Bank
  • Alaina Song Brave, Lived Experience Representative
  • George Stone, Washington County

Get Involved

Are you looking to get involved with the Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative? Do you have resources to donate to the initiative? Do you have a project that can bring Minnesotans inside?