Are you homeless or at risk of homelessness?
If you are currently homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, please contact one of the providers in your county of residence.
Access, Assessment & Housing Sites - West CentralIf you are homeless or at risk of homeless elsewhere in MN, please refer to the following list of sites by county.
Homeless Veterans Declaration Announced!
In June of 2017, the West Central MN Continuum's of Care reached the USICH federal Criteria and Benchmarks on Veterans Homelessness, demonstrating that we have served all veterans on our priority list and that we have built a system that can effectively and efficiently address Veterans’ housing crises in the future. Thank you to our housing and service agencies for your dedication to reaching this goal, especially; the Fargo VA, MAC-V, St. Cloud VA, our County and Tribal Veterans Services Officers, and MDVA!
Annual Count of People who are Homeless
Wednesday, January 22nd
The Point-in-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory) HIC are annual point in time counts required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under its CoC Program. Federally, the CoC program provides funding for homeless housing and service programs in our region and PIT Count data helps inform trends and needs to receive this and other homeless funding. The PIT Count is a short survey to collect basic demographics and data on persons who are sheltered and unsheltered on the night of January 22, 2020 and the HIC collects data on the inventory of dedicated beds available to persons who are homeless on the same night, comparing need to availability and usage.
To complete this valuable and required count, we require strong regional engagement. Volunteers are needed to help conduct the count. Homeless programs need to share clean and current data. Law enforcement, health care providers and other service providers are needed to identify persons who are unsheltered.
Please visit our 2020 Count page to find out more and see how you can become involved.
What is a Continuum of Care (CoC)?
The Continuum of Care is a regional planning body of representative stakeholders designed to promote a shared commitment to the goal of ending homelessness with a focus on;
- quickly rehousing homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities by homelessness;
- promoting access to and utilization of mainstream resources and benefits; and
- optimizing stability and self-sufficiency for individuals and families while homeless and once housed.
- Gathering and analyzing information to determine the local needs of people experiencing homelessness;
- Implementing strategic plans to end homelessness based on high quality data from your region;
- Measuring results of regional planning efforts; and
- Establishing a local process for applying, reviewing and prioritizing CoC project applications submitted to HUD.
Why should I participate in the CoC?
- The CoC is a regional evaluation and planning process. Broad participation is needed to provide input on the creation, implementation and evaluation local and regional plans to prevent and end homelessness.
- Peers in your Continuum of Care region can help your organization develop more effective ways to serve consumers by sharing information, resources, and experiences.
- Planning as a Continuum of Care helps avoid duplication of efforts within a community and makes service providers more efficient.
- Involvement in your Continuum of Care permits you to keep appraised of important information including: funding opportunities, partner updates, state plans and priorities, training opportunities, regional trends, advocacy opportunities, and more.
- Involvement in your Continuum of Care allows your voice to be heard on policies, funding, and service needs of persons who are experiencing homelessness in your communities.
effective Continuum of Care, with broad based representation, makes your region and its communities more competitive for HUD Homeless Assistance grants.
- A Continuum of Care can create a critical mass of political will to end homelessness.
- Together we really can do more!
LETS NOT CRIMINALIZE HOMELESSNESS
The criminalization of homelessness refers to measures that prohibit life-sustaining activities such as sleeping/camping, eating, sitting, and/or asking for money/resources in public spaces. These ordinances include criminal penalties for violations of these acts.
There are multiple types of criminalization measures which include:
- Carrying out sweeps (confiscating personal property including tents, bedding, papers, clothing, medications, etc.) in city areas where homeless people live.
- Making panhandling illegal.
- Making it illegal for groups to share food with homeless persons in public spaces.
- Enforcing a “quality of life” ordinance relating to public activity and hygiene.
Unfortunately, over the past 25 years, cities across the country have penalized people who are forced to carryout out life-sustaining activities on the street and in public spaces; despite the fact these communities lack adequate affordable housing and shelter space. Ultimately, many of these measures are designed to move homeless persons out of sight, and at times out of a given city.
TAKE ACTION: Policy and Homeless Bill of Rights
The trend of criminalizing homelessness continues to grow. Among the 188 cities reviewed in NCH’s report, the following increases were identified in criminalization measures:
- 7% increase in prohibitions on begging or panhandling
- 7% increase in prohibitions on camping in particular public places
- 10% increase in prohibitions on loitering in particular public places
By focusing on reversing the criminalization of homelessness, the additional obstacles homeless people face can be removed from the already difficult task of helping resolve homelessness.
Many states and cities have developed a Homeless Bill of Rights have passed or are being considered that provide alternatives to criminalization and protection of the civil rights of people experiencing homelessness.