New Family Homeless Shelter Set to Open in North Metro

July 05, 2018 08:12 PM

Many may think of homelessness as an inner-city problem.

But it is an issue that extends to the suburbs as well.


And to help those struggling there, a new homeless shelter is set to open in northern Washington County later this month.

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The Saint Andrew's Family Shelter in Hugo will give five families temporary housing. The shelter is located in a former church rectory. 

"This is really a first step to stability," said Jenny Mason with St. Andrew's Community Resource Center.

"Coming into a shelter is one of the best ways to resolve homelessness. Because then there's case management, there's other support. Sometimes there's housing subsidies that can come to families." 

The renovation project is costing $300,000 to complete. The group received grants through Washington County to help pay for it. 

Homeless in the Suburbs

According to a statewide study of homelessness conducted on one evening in October, 2015 by St. Paul-based Wilder Research:

  • 15 percent of Minnesotans experiencing homelessness last lived in the suburban portion of the Twin Cities metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott and Washington counties, and the suburban portions of Hennepin and Ramsey counties).
  • 63 percent of those counted as homeless in suburban counties (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott and Washington) were families with children.
  • 201 people in suburban counties (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Scott and Washington) were either staying outside, in their car, or in some other location outside the shelter system.

The research notes the high cost of rent and a tight rental market are two reasons homelessness is an issue here.

* Source: Wilder Research  (a branch of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, which describes its mission as promoting the social welfare of those in the greater Saint Paul metropolitan area by all appropriate means)



Joe Mazan

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