Minnesota announces new plan to prevent and end homelessness
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius with Jackson Elementary School students
Despite Minnesota’s growing economy, homelessness remains a major problem across our state. Studies estimate that on any given night more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless – more than half of them children. However, Minnesota has a new plan to change that. Yesterday, state officials joined Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges at Jackson Elementary School in Saint Paul to announce Minnesota’s new Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.The new plan has two major goals:
Prevent and end homelessness for families and children by 2020
End homelessness for veterans and the chronically homeless by 2015
This bold new plan marks a renewed statewide effort that began ten years ago with a plan to end long-term homelessness. That plan called for and successfully created 4,000 new supportive housing opportunities for people experiencing long-term homelessness.
In addition to launching the new Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education attended the event at Jackson Elementary school to draw attention to the increasing number of homeless and highly mobile children. During the last legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature approved funding of the Rental Assistance for Highly Mobile Students Initiative.
The initiative provides rental assistance for up to 24 months, as well as supportive services for families with school-aged children who move frequently. The goal of the initiative is to allow children to attend the same school without interruption through the school year to improve attendance rates and student achievement.
Funding was awarded to the following organizations:
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, working with St. Paul Promise Neighborhood – $875,000
Project for Pride In Living, working with the North Side Achievement Zone in Minneapolis – $800,000
Clay County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, working with the Moorhead Public Schools –$325,000