Goodwill-Easter Seals builds partnerships to battle homelessness in Minnesota

Learn how we’re creating solutions to end homelessness in Minnesota.

It’s estimated that nearly 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless at any one time. To help provide the support needed to make a difference to these members of our community, we‘ve joined forces with some great local organizations. Learn more about these partnerships and the work we’re doing.

Stable Families Initiative

As part of a pilot through Hennepin County’s office to End Homelessness, our Stable Families Initiative provides individualized employment services to Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) recipients with a history of repeated shelter use.

Annika Dommer

Workforce Development Manager Annika Dommer is managing the program. “What differentiates this program from other job search programs is our Career Specialist’s understanding of the unique challenges that play a role in homelessness,” explains Dommer.

The voluntary program focuses on collaboration with shelter and housing advocates, county eligibility staff and other community agencies to provide long-term services. Since it began in May of 2014, we have received over 200 referrals from county shelter advocates and community agency transitional housing providers.

Goodwill-Easter Seals and YouthLink staff

YouthLink

YouthLink has been working with homeless youth in the twin cities area for over 40 years.

Since the fall of 2015, thanks to funding from the Pohlad Foundation and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), we have had two full-time staff working out of YouthLink’s building in Minneapolis who are focused on providing employment support.

“It’s a huge benefit for us,” says Katie Miller, YouthLink’s Associate Director of Drop-In Services. “It’s a great opportunity to have staff on hand who have employment expertise.”

Heading Home Employment Collaborative

In January, 2011 the Heading Home Employment Collaborative was created. The program is designed to use employment services as a strategy to end homelessness.

Funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the United Way, it is focused on providing support to single, homeless adults. Through this program, we have a full-time staff member at both the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul and the Opportunity Center in Minneapolis. Since it began it has placed over 230 homeless individuals into jobs, at an average wage of over $12 an hour.

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