News for the Flock

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Shelter for the Homeless Project Update

Posted: July 06, 2017

The Adult Homeless Shelter Coalition (of which SOTV is a part) and Dakota County have agreed to develop a working relationship to secure a shelter provider and meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the community.  This is a hopeful step forward. The need for emergency shelter continues to grow in Dakota County, with an average of over 50 persons turned away nightly. Last winter, the faith community, along with other community resources in Dakota County, provided funding and shelter for 32 nights during the coldest part of December and January for over 78 people experiencing homelessness.  People sheltered ranged in age from eight months to 70 years.

Now the faith community and Dakota County Community Services are working together to create a short-term emergency shelter option by November 1, 2017.  Dakota County is in the process of issuing a Request for Proposals to secure an experienced and qualified homeless shelter provider to create and manage the shelter, and has designated $45,000 from the housing funding budget for this purpose. A community forum will be held August 10 at 6:30 PM at SOTV to outline the next steps toward opening a temporary emergency homeless shelter in Dakota County. Join us to learn more about the project and to find out how you can get involved.

While planning for short-term emergency shelter, work is also being undertaken to secure a permanent site for an emergency homeless shelter.  Dakota County is forming a leadership workgroup on emergency shelter which will include representatives from the faith community. No location for a permanent shelter has been determined; many locations across Dakota County are being researched. Financial assistance, community support, and volunteers will be needed to accomplish both the temporary and permanent shelters.