We Have Ended Chronic Homelessness in Southwest Minnesota!!

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We are pleased to share that the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed that the Southwest Minnesota Continuum of Care (CoC)’s 18 counties have ended chronic homelessness. The Southwest CoC is just the fourth community in the country to receive this official designation.
Huge congratulations to Justin, our CoC coordinator and all of our service partners throughout the SW CoC on this accomplishment! Kristie and I attended an announcement Monday that included a panel conversation with Justin, staff from UCAP, a formerly homeless woman and us. The panel was questioned by Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan, Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho, DHS Commissioner Tom Laurey, Speaker of the State House of Representatives Hortman, Director of the MN Interagency Council on Homeless Cathy tenBroeke, and HUD field office director Michele Smith.
Commissioner Ho, Field Director Smith, and Lt. Governor Flanagan all recognized Rick and his role in housing in the SW region (Carol and their daughter Jade were able to attend), while Commissioner Ho talked about conversations with the federal Interagency on Homelessness about ending homelessness when she was on Obama’s cabinet and Lt. Gov. Flanagan discussed her experiences living in Section 8 housing. It served to be a wonderful platform to discuss the importance of affordable housing development, as well as the importance of services and the partnerships and monetary resources needed to combine these to create real, scalable ends to homelessness.
Ending chronic homelessness does not mean we’ve eradicated all homelessness in SW MN (we still have HUD’s non-chronic and MHFA’s homeless definitions to tackle!). But this combined with our designation of ending Veterans Homelessness a couple years ago is a great start and a testament to the work that we do within our region developing housing and making the commitment to include supportive housing in those projects!