Housing stability update: December 14, 2020

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Housing Stability Update

Thank you for subscribing to this e-newsletter for updates on Ramsey County’s efforts to address housing stability to support those experiencing homelessness. We will regularly share timely updates on our website (ramseycounty.us/housingstability) and through this e-newsletter.

New family shelter proposed for Highland Park

Ramsey County, Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are exploring a new opportunity to use the Provincial House on Randolph Avenue in Saint Paul as a temporary shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Supported by funding from Ramsey County for site operations, Interfaith Action would lease the building to serve approximately 20 families through its Project Home program. The program serves families with minor children, of whom 90% are under the age of 12. In addition to providing temporary shelter, Interfaith Action’s Rapid Exit Support Team would operate on site to assist families in finding permanent, affordable housing options and connect them with employment and educational opportunities.

Over the next month, Ramsey County, Interfaith Action and the Sisters of St. Joseph will host two virtual town halls for community members to discuss the shelter proposal. This is a first step in the community process to evaluate this potential site location.

Virtual Town Hall
Monday, Dec. 21, 2020
5-6:30 p.m.
Join via Zoom or phone.

Virtual Town Hall
Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021
5-6:30 p.m.
Join via Zoom or phone.

Luther Seminary temporary shelter to open Dec. 15

A lease agreement for the use of Luther Seminary’s Stub Hall dormitory as a temporary shelter option in Saint Paul’s Saint Anthony Park neighborhood has been formally approved by Luther Seminary and Ramsey County. Additionally, the Saint Paul City Council passed an interim use permit to allow the dorm to serve as a temporary shelter. The shelter has the capacity to house more than 75 women and couples experiencing homelessness. The facility and its services will be accessible beginning December 15, 2020, and will remain open through April 2021.

Learn more about the temporary Luther Seminary shelter here.

Update: Bethesda Hospital site

Bethesda Hospital

Following planning efforts and continued conversations with the surrounding and broader community, our approach to assisting people experiencing homelessness in accessing the Bethesda site has evolved.

Previously, community outreach teams and law enforcement would have provided referrals for people who needed assistance directly to Bethesda and its programs. Now, the county instead plans on utilizing Bethesda for secondary referrals for those who have first been residents at other shelters, including Ramsey County Safe Space and other county-operated programs, Higher Ground Saint Paul, Mary Hall, and Union Gospel Mission.

This new approach will allow us to expand our shelter capacity and provide on-site services for those experiencing chemical and mental health challenges. Additionally, the shelter will have a separate area that will serve as a respite location for those exposed to or testing positive for COVID-19. Other emergency shelters will work to relocate residents who can be better served at Bethesda, if space allows.

A request for proposal has been issued for a collaborative of providers at the Bethesda site. The community’s Capital Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB) will review the Bethesda shelter proposal for final approval on Wednesday, Dec. 16. After securing the necessary permits, approvals and other requirements, Ramsey County anticipates that the shelter and respite services will open the week of Dec. 21.

Learn more about the Bethesda Hospital site here.

Housing Stability Community Engagement report

Ramsey County has released a Housing Stability Community Engagement report that gives an overview of the status of homelessness in Ramsey County, housing stability measures taken over the last several months and future opportunities to continue supporting those experiencing homelessness through more permanent affordable housing solutions.

Read the Housing Stability Community Engagement report here.

Supporting unsheltered individuals

As winter approaches, many people have contacted the county expressing interest in wanting to support those experiencing homelessness. We appreciate your generosity!

In addition to continuing to remain engaged with our community outreach processes on this issue, getting involved with or donating to some of our partner agencies such as People Incorporated, RADIAS Health or Involve MN are great ways to lend a hand. Listening House of Saint Paul is another strong community resource for people experiencing homelessness and currently has a COVID-19 Amazon Wish List to consider for donations.

Ramsey County and its partners have leveraged CARES funding to provide emergency shelter, temporary housing in hotels and respite care facilities for those experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.