Groups combine forces to fight homelessness
ST. PAUL -- Three state agencies are joining with other groups in Minnesota to help reduce long-term homelessness.
Commissioners from the Minnesota Departments of Human Services and Corrections and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency are developing a statewide plan to link people and families with needed social services.
Also on the task force will be representatives from county boards, housing and redevelopment agencies, nonprofit service providers, philanthropic, development and business organizations.
"People who experience chronic homelessness need both support services and affordable housing," said Human Services Commissioner Kevin Goodno. "In many cases, they cannot get or keep housing because they need support services or they cannot take advantage of services, such as mental health or chemical dependency treatment, because they lack stable housing."
The working group, required by the 2003 Legislature, is charged with developing a plan to reduce long-term homelessness, to reduce the inappropriate use of crisis services and to improve outcomes for the people who use these services.
About 8,600 Minnesotans are homeless on a given night in Minnesota, according to a 2000 survey by the Wilder Research Center. Roughly 10 percent -- about 1,300 adults and 900 children -- could be considered chronic homeless, according to state officials.