Housing Stability Update: February 5, 2021

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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.

Keeping our unsheltered neighbors out of the cold

Bethesda shelter

For the past two years, Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul have been working to add hundreds of shelter beds to support those experiencing homelessness. With a severe dip in winter temperatures looming and a frigid cold front on the way, these added beds and newly available shelter spaces are especially critical in ensuring that the people experiencing homelessness in our community have safe, secure and warm places to spend the night.

Since March 2020, Ramsey County has opened five temporary shelters designed to reach people experiencing homelessness from all backgrounds – Mary Hall for single adults, Luther shelter for women and couples, Bethesda shelter for single adults, and two hotels for families and additional overflow space. Combined, these spaces serve over 400 unsheltered residents each night. Residents can meet their daily needs at each shelter through accessing showers, three meals a day and clean beds, along with utilizing other services like laundry facilities, mental health resources and social services. While these spaces are almost full, we regularly monitor the capacity of our shelter resources so that we can refer people seeking shelter to available spaces. (Ramsey County’s open data portal provides trends and statistics about homelessness in Ramsey County, as well as information on programs, supports and services.)

The 400 unsheltered residents staying at county-run shelters does not include another nearly 400 residents also currently being served at other overnight shelters operated by county partners – facilities like Safe Space, Union Gospel Mission and Higher Ground Saint Paul. Separately, an additional 80 to 120 unsheltered individuals are also served daily at the Listening House day shelter, where showers, meals, laundry, mental health resources and other social services are provided in addition to resources like bus tokens, sleeping alcoves and laptops.

While we continue to search for more accessible and permanent solutions to the housing crisis, in the meantime, it is important we keep our neighbors experiencing homelessness sheltered, safe and out of the cold.

As temperatures dip below zero over the next week, the county, city and its partners have expanded shelter capacity to ensure that everyone has access to a warm bed at night. The coordinated referral system that the city and county have already created will allow the shelters to easily refer and transport people to other shelters if they don't have available space.

If you or someone you know are in need of shelter, please visit this web page or call Ramsey County’s Homeless Services Team at 651-266-7818. You can also call the Saint Paul Police Department's non-emergency phone number at 651-767-0640.

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.