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Friday, January 17, 2014

Councilmember Stark: Projects for our homeless, both youth and adults

Submitted by Councilmember Russ Stark
The newly announced Dorothy Day Center ReVision plan to relocate, enhance, and rebuild the service structure offered in Downtown Saint Paul, coupled with our recent bout of extreme cold temperatures, has elevated an important discussion about services for the homeless in our community.  Recently, a panel of State agencies identified a set of strategies for eliminating homelessness for Minnesota veterans by 2015 and for eliminating homelessness for all in Minnesota by 2020. On any given night in our state, about 10,000 people experience homelessness, and half of those people are children.  A new Dorothy Day Center designed to serve as both an overnight shelter and to offer day services, as well as apartments to help transition people out of homelessness, would be a huge step in the right direction in Saint Paul. To learn more about the Dorothy Day ReVision plan, as well as how you can help make it a reality, visit this site.

Prior Crossing Project

Another important project in Saint Paul is Beacon Interfaith Housing’s proposed Prior Crossing project, which would be located in Ward 4 at University and Prior Avenues and house up to 40 teens and young adults experiencing homelessness. Beacon, Catholic Charities, advocacy groups, services providers and others around the state are hoping that the Legislature and Governor Dayton will continue to be a big part of the solution in 2014. Behind the banner of Homes for All, they are requesting $100 million in state bonding for affordable housing, some of which would go to housing serving those experiencing homelessness. These resources along with increases in funding for the ongoing operations and maintenance costs of providing housing for the homeless will be critical if we are to make real progress on this issue in our community and state in the near future. Please consider reaching out to the Governor and your legislators about this important issue in Saint Paul and beyond.

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