Minneapolis Police Department helping the homeless stay warm

Updated: November 25, 2019 10:55 AM

Lt. Grant Snyder with the Minneapolis Police Department spent his Monday driving around Nicollet Mall making sure those in need have what they need to stay warm. 

Snyder runs the department's homeless and vulnerable population unit. 

He says the outreach is not just about meeting immediate needs for the homeless. Rather, it's about making sure vulnerable populations know about the shelter process. 

"We're sort of that conduit that is always connecting to where they are," he said. "Whether it's on the Greenway, whether it's under a bridge." 

Local company packs winter survival kits for homeless veterans

According to St. Stephen's Human Services, there are over 700 people living on the streets in Hennepin County as of July. 

When it gets cold, many people would ride the Green Line all night. However, Metro Transit has scaled back overnight service on its 11-mile light rail line, forcing hundreds of homeless people off the light rail. 

Homeless outreach workers in the Twin Cities are working to make sure those who need a bed can find one. 

Higher Ground will have its shelters open from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., St. Stephens will also have an outreach team handing out gloves and jackets. 

For Snyder, it's a blessing to work for a unit that helps those in need. 

"I receive more than I give," he said. 

This unit does not have a budget, so they rely on donations. Learn more about the initiative, including ways to help here.

Learn more about how to give to St. Stephens here.

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Todd Wilson

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