Plan to end homelessness in Hennepin County advances

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December 4, 2006 // UPDATED 2:12 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Hennepin County Board has approved a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the county.

Prepared by the Hennepin County and city of Minneapolis Commission to End Homelessness, the plan has six broad goals, 30 recommendations and 50 action steps intended to end homelessness by 2016.

County commissioners signed off on the plan Nov. 28, and the City Council approved it Dec. 1.

Highlights of the commission’s recommendations include:

- Expanding the county’s Family Homeless Prevention Assistance Program;

- Adopting a zero-tolerance policy for discharging people from public systems into homelessness;

- Developing a 24/7 coordinated system of outreach workers helping people on the streets;

- Increasing medical outreach and access to primary medical and mental health care services;

- Preserving the county’s stock of affordable and supportive housing and creating 5,000 new housing options over the next 10 years; and

- Connecting homeless adults with living-wage jobs.

The 70-member commission, which includes leaders from government, the faith and philanthropic communities, social services organizations, as well as homeless and formerly homeless citizens, first met in March to begin developing this plan.

In a prepared statement, Cathy ten Broeke, the city-county coordinator to end homelessness, said: “There is an unprecedented level of commitment, and the board’s involvement will help to leverage even more communitywide support.”

To execute the first phase of the plan, commission members estimate that it will cost $45 million over three years. To see the 101-page report, go to www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/homelessness/.