Ramsey County partners with Salvation Army to manage Bethesda Shelter site

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Ramsey County partners with Salvation Army to manage Bethesda Shelter site

The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center will manage operations on a 12-month contract

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Ramsey County today announced that The Salvation Army will serve as the new shelter services provider for people experiencing homelessness at the Bethesda Shelter site in Saint Paul. This new partnership will transition the current shelter staffing from Ramsey County to The Salvation Army, whose trauma-informed staff will lead the day-to-day operations and management of the emergency shelter. The $3.1 million contract covers the period of May 2021 through April 2022.

“The Bethesda site is an invaluable resource that has provided safe emergency shelter, care and services for hundreds who have experienced homelessness in our community,” said Ramsey County Board Chair Toni Carter. “We are thankful for the opportunity to now partner with The Salvation Army to continue connecting our community members with secure shelter and services. We’re looking forward to this partnership as an integral part of our efforts to provide immediate care and effective, lasting solutions to the housing crisis.”

“At The Salvation Army, we are dedicated to meeting people at their greatest point of need to offer hope, possibilities and a fresh start,” said Trish Thacker, executive director at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis, who will also be overseeing the Bethesda Shelter’s operation. “This philosophy is demonstrated by our committed team of extraordinary staff members and delivered through culturally competent programming. We look forward to positively serve Bethesda Shelter guests and are committed to ensuring they have all the supports and resources needed to succeed in securing future stable housing.”

The Salvation Army will operate the Bethesda Shelter for single adults experiencing homelessness through the existing referral process for other East Metro shelters – such as Safe Space, Higher Ground and Union Gospel Mission. Once accepted, Bethesda guests will have access to the facility and its on-site programming. Services will be provided by staff members trained in trauma-informed care, person-centered thinking and motivational interviewing skills. Staff are also trained in crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques and have First Aid and CPR training. Day-to-day operations managed by Salvation Harbor Light staff will include:

  • Personalized intake and situational assessments, including the development of a housing and service plan.
  • Daily programming that identifies income sources, benefits, transportation and employment services, as well as a how-to on accessing personal documents.
  • Connecting guests with permanent housing opportunities and other community resources.

Security, janitorial and food services will continue to be provided by Ramsey County. The county will also equip the shelter with beds, cots, linens and other basic necessities.

“Over the last several months, the Bethesda Shelter site has provided a warm reprieve to the hundreds of unsheltered individuals currently navigating a severe lack of stable housing,” said Ramsey County’s Director of Housing Stability Keith Lattimore. “We value The Salvation Army’s commitment to furthering the positive impact this shelter has so far made in the lives of many and look forward to building a strong partnership together as they take the lead on the site’s daily operations.”

Bethesda Shelter is part of Ramsey County’s efforts to ensure enough shelter space is available for anyone experiencing homelessness. Over the past year, the county has invested more than $20 million toward the expansion of shelter services, hotel programming, and the opening of several new short-term, temporary shelter facilities.

To learn more about the Bethesda Shelter site and the service provider RFQ process, visit ramseycounty.us/Bethesda.

John Siqveland, Public Communications Director, 651-746-9250.