Six organizations in St. Louis County to receive funding for shelter beds, staffing

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Public Health & Human Services Dept. • 320 West Second Street, Suite 605 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2096 •

Linnea Mirsch




October 29, 2020

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


Six agencies that serve people experiencing homelessness in St. Louis County to receive new and ongoing funding

Six organizations that serve people who are experiencing homelessness or survivors of domestic violence in St. Louis County will be getting access to a new, ongoing funding source made possible through a complicated cost neutral transfer the county successfully completed with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), following a vote by the St. Louis County Board.

The cost neutral transfer reflects a conversion - or transfer - of 110 Housing Support base rate beds and 108 supplemental service rate beds into a new funding stream that will support these same providers. The review of bed allocations and need has been ongoing, with community partners involved in the process.

A total of $1,760,218 will be distributed to AEOA, American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), Bois Forte, Chum, Life House, and Safe Haven. These providers struggle with steady funding streams to meet existing and growing needs as they fulfill their missions. This funding will fill gaps in staffing and increase capacity to fund vouchers and in some cases expand available shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness.

Specifically, the funding will go toward:

  • $628,001 to AEOA to create 29 additional emergency shelter beds at scattered sites throughout Virginia, Hibbing, Eveleth and Chisholm. These units will serve individuals as well as families, including those fleeing domestic violence. It's anticipated that a total of 470 people will be served annually, which is triple the current capacity. This scattered-site emergency shelter model would establish the first-ever domestic violence shelter service in north St. Louis County, and would include partnerships with Advocates for Family Peace and Legal Aid Services of Northeastern Minnesota providing additional support.
  • $161,026 to AICHO to fund vouchers until their new shelter is completed this spring which will serve an additional 150 women per year through a 10-bed shelter. The shelter would be for single women who are homeless, not necessarily fleeing domestic violence.
  • $21,136 to Bois Forte to provide hotel vouchers for band members requesting emergency shelter services off reservation.
  • $563,591 to CHUM for multiple services including adding staff to assist people moving from the shelter, to expand the food services offered at CHUM as well as to increase the weekly operations of the Health and Wellness Center to 40 hours. Additionally, this provides funding for staffing overnight winter warming centers.
  • $48,307 to Life House to provide sustainable funding for Loft Shelter, which serves roughly 20 youth between the ages of 18-20 annually
  • $338,154 to Safe Haven to add two additional case managers, who will serve an additional 75 women each year; as well as two additional crisis advocates to provide immediate crisis mitigation for an additional 50 domestic violence victims annually. The funding will also support increasing access to shelter services via Crisis Advocate phone support, and expanding Safe Haven’s Self-Sufficiency Program to 250 adult shelter residents annually.

"These agencies have been valuable partners and already are doing great work in our county to help citizens at a time when they need it most," said Mike Jugovich. "It is gratifying to be able to support their work and our citizens in this way at no extra cost to county taxpayers, and are thankful to DHS for approving this transfer of funds to help address homelessness throughout the county."

The rates will be adjusted annually to provide a secure, ongoing funding stream.

Tuesday's unanimous vote by the County Board came during the Committee of the Whole Meeting. Final approval is expected during next week's meeting on November 3.