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POLICY 40

Homelessness: Eliminate homelessness through safe, stable, and affordable housing opportunities and strategies for homeless youth, singles, and families.

Homelessness primarily results from a shortage of housing for households at or below 30 percent of area median income. This affordable housing shortage, along with lack of employment, chronic physical and mental health conditions, domestic abuse and the ripple effects caused by discrimination in housing and other systemic inequities, results in higher rates of homelessness, dislocation, and crowded and unsafe living conditions for thousands of residents annually – and it disproportionately impacts communities of color: African-Americans make up 61 percent of Hennepin County’s homeless adults but only 12 percent of adults countywide. Native Americans make up 12 percent of Hennepin County’s homeless adults, compared with only 1 percent of adults countywide. At the state level, Native Americans make up 8 percent of homeless adults, compared with 1 percent of adults statewide. Children and youth age 24 and younger are also more likely to be homeless in Minnesota.

Stable and safe housing is at the core of efforts to prevent and eliminate homelessness.  Minneapolis collaborates with a variety of entities to develop strategies and programs to prevent homelessness and to help those experiencing homelessness. Important strategies include efforts to prevent evictions, provide timely emergency rental assistance, and provide community and home-based supports.

When a housing crisis does occur, the emergency shelter system should work to make a bout of homelessness as brief as possible and, once resolved, to prevent a return to homelessness. This requires tremendous coordination among many partners and programs.

ACTION STEPS

The City will seek to accomplish the following action steps to eliminate homelessness through safe, stable, and affordable housing opportunities and strategies for homeless youth, singles, and families.

  1. Continue to support collaboration with Hennepin County and the community to financially support and develop strategies to address and prevent homelessness.
  2. Ensure that City housing programs are aligned with county and state goals to end homelessness.
  3. Support safe emergency shelter options.
  4. Deepen the connections between employment and training efforts and homeless and housing programs.
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