Minnesota Veteran - November

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Desk of the Commissioner - November

Commissioner Herke new

As we enter the holiday season and with Thanksgiving just a week away, I reflect on the last year and am thankful for the work our team is able to do on behalf of Minnesota Veterans and their families.

Ending Veteran Homelessness
We are making strides to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota. Just last week, we recognized the Central Minnesota Continuum of Care (13 counties in Central Minnesota) that recently effectively ended Veteran homelessness in their communities. We have now achieved that result in seven of 10 Continuums of Care in state, moving us closer to our goal of becoming just the fourth state in the country to end Veteran homelessness.

We continue to work to end Veteran homelessness in our three remaining Continuums of Care located in Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties. We need landlords and property owners to step up and work with us to find more housing for our homeless Veterans. MDVA has several incentive programs in place that can reduce the risk to landlords and property owners. Track our progress at MinnesotaVeteran.org/EndHomelessness.

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Meet SOT Grant Recipient: Freedom Flight

freedom flight

Did you know when you buy the “Support Our Troops” (SOT) License Plate, you are helping Minnesota Veterans and their families?

The Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs (MDVA) distributes funds raised by the sale of SOT license plates to numerous organizations that support Minnesota Veterans and their families. Learn more about the SOT grant program on our website.

Freedom Flight was awarded a $37,500 SOT grant to purchase a mobility impaired/accessible hot air balloon basket, trailer, and other related equipment (e.g., double burner, etc.).


November is Native American Heritage Month

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) proudly observes November as Native American Heritage Month as proclaimed by Gov. Tim Walz. There is a deep and rich Native American history in Minnesota, with these communities making essential contributions to the culture and economy of our state.


native American heritage month

Central Minnesota Continuum of Care Declares Nov. 9 End of Veterans Homelessness Day

nov. 9 event

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Veterans Plaza in St. Cloud, Gov. Tim Walz joined Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Commissioner Larry Herke and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis to celebrate a major milestone: the effective end to Veteran Homelessness in the state’s Central Continuum of Care (CoC).

This geographic area includes Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties. Through multiple federal, state, county and city partnerships, these thirteen counties in the central portion of the state have cleared their Veterans housing wait lists. The Central MN CoC is now the seventh of 10 jurisdictions in the state to accomplish this goal.


Photos from Event >>

In Case you Missed it: Veterans Day Virtual Program 2021

We celebrated Veterans Day last week - in case you missed it here is a link to our 30-minute recorded program. Although we didn't gather in person this year, the importance of recognizing Minnesota’s Veterans for their service, sacrifice and resilience has not diminished. We thank all of our Veterans in Minnesota!

Supporting Sustainability, One Solution at a Time: Emma Hutson, member, Minnesota GreenCorps

emma story

When Emma Hutson was a little girl, music and theater were a huge part of her life; in fact, she often dreamed about a future as an opera singer or actress. But, as Emma puts it, she eventually realized that she needed a bit more “talent” to enjoy a successful career in the performing arts. So, she decided instead to combine her passion for the Earth with a deep-rooted desire to teach others.

“My commitment to protect the Earth started after watching an impactful Netflix documentary on sustainability,” said Emma. “It was both inspiring and heartbreaking.”