An Opportunity to Strengthen Our Shared Safety Net
As the 2023 Legislative Session nears the finish line, critical funding for Minnesota’s Emergency Services Program (ESP) and Homeless Youth Act is still on the table. These programs remain the State’s most flexible funding sources to support adults and youth experiencing homelessness. Of the nearly 20,000 Minnesotans who experience homelessness on any given night, more than half use emergency services to survive. As our community grapples with a housing crisis and more of our neighbors need a safety net, we need to fund the programs that provide a safe place to exist as well as a pathway to stable housing:
Emergency Shelters (Overnight)
Catholic Charities Twin Cities operates two overnight Emergency Shelters for adults: Higher Ground St. Paul Shelter and Higher Ground Minneapolis Shelter.
These Emergency Shelters are open 365 days a year, providing a safe place to sleep, lockers and shower facilities. Once immediate needs are met, they also allow for connections to resources like healthcare and case management that can set someone on a path to stable housing.
Drop-in Centers/Day Shelters
Catholic Charities Twin Cities operates Drop-in Day Shelters, the Saint Paul Opportunity Center and the Minneapolis Opportunity Center.
These Opportunity Centers provide much more than hot meals. They are integrated one-stop service locations that can improve health, income, employment, housing stability and overall well-being. Service delivery at Opportunity Centers features community partner organizations, including Ramsey County, Hennepin County, services for veterans, health care providers and many others.
Less than 5% of operating dollars for Catholic Charities’ emergency day services, like those provided at our Opportunity Centers, come from public funding. Help us tell lawmakers that this is the year to strengthen our shared safety net!
Minneapolis Opportunity Center in the News:
Emergency Shelter and Supportive Housing for Youth
Catholic Charities Twin Cities operates multiple programs designed to support young people ages 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness, including Hope Street for Youth and the Youth Unit at Dorothy Day Residence.
These programs provide a safe place to stay as well as supportive services including food, clothing, laundry, medical care, and case management. They employ a trauma-informed care model that reflects the need to create a safe space for youth as they work towards the goal of stable housing.
Funding from the Homeless Youth Act would help these programs provide early interventions that prevent homelessness from reoccurring in the future — help us tell lawmakers that this is the year to strengthen our shared safety net!
SO WHAT CAN COMMUNITY MEMBERS DO TO HELP?
1. Sign up for Action Alerts: Lawmakers respond when their constituents reach out about an issue—and the more people they hear from, the more likely it is that they will prioritize that issue. Our Action Alerts automatically match you with your elected officials, notify you when your voice is needed, and you can let them know you care with a few clicks!
2. Learn More about Catholic Charities Advocacy, including our 2023 Legislative Agenda.
3. Follow Catholic Charities on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and opportunities to get involved this Legislative Session!
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