Walz proposes $6M for Ramsey County homeless shelters

2022-06-21 10:55:09 –

Governor Tim Walz proposed giving Ramsey County $ 6 million of the state’s remaining federal COVID-19 aid to fund the expanded homeless shelter capacity created during the pandemic. ..

County leaders have imminent “funds” that could reduce shelter beds and force hundreds of homeless individuals and families back to dangerous outdoor camps in and around St. Paul and the suburbs. I warned about “the cliff”. They say more homeless shelter beds need to be built until more affordable homes already in the pipeline are built.

“Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul came to us in February and asked for help to solve an important financial cliff. They were pretty nervous about it,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy. Flanagan said in an interview. “They sounded the alarm. They worked together. They put together a plan. If you can stabilize at least 200 people, you should do it.”

This proposal requires approval by the Bipartisan Legislative COVID-19 Response Committee (LCRC) and may vote as early as next week. So far, the commission has not rejected any of the governor’s requests, Flanagan said.

“LCRC has approved all the budgets we brought before them, but it’s not a completed deal until they approve it,” Flanagan said. “I think this is a perfectly reasonable question …. This feels like the bare minimum you can do with these ARPAs. [American Rescue Plan Act] Dollar. “

Ramsey County initially demanded $ 14.5 million over five years to increase shelter capacity as more affordable housing was built. Obtained Bipartisan legislative support.

Waltz included $ 6 million in Ramsey County, which is his supplementary budget, but wasn’t on the list of unfinished projects when the legislature was postponed.

Minnesota’s pandemic eviction of peasants Moratorium has been phased out and evictions of peasants spike In the last few months, the renter’s protection and financial support are gone. The landlord applied for eviction of about 1,800 peasants in May. This is about 500 more than in May 2019, before the pandemic.

Ramsey County leaders have manually addressed the possibility of shelter closures at weekly boards.

“We are very disappointed that the state legislature has not reached an agreement and has not funded Ramsey’s heading home request,” said County Council Chairman Trista Matascastillo in a statement. The Governor’s commitment to the state gives Ramsey County the opportunity to take an important step in dealing with the homeless crisis. I am beyond gratitude. “

Ramsey County has spent more than $ 35 million on its own emergency federal COVID-19 aid to support the growing needs of shelters throughout the pandemic, according to figures released in March.

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Twin Cities area was working on a surge of homeless people flooding from shelters to parks and camps along highways. East Metro relied heavily on non-profit Catholic charities and union gospel missions to provide shelter beds. The county added a “safe space” shelter as a year-round option in 2019.

After the number of homeless people living outdoors in St. Paul increased to nearly 400 in the summer of 2020, Ramsey County signed a rental agreement to create a temporary shelter for the former. Bethesda Hospital, Loser Seminar, State Capitol, Mary Hall. St. Paul has set up a temporary shelter in the community center. After that, the Bethesda facility will be closed and the Loser Seminary and Mary Hall will be closed. The county leader said he would like to spend $ 6 million to work with his partners and other providers to fund the effort.

In addition, the county and St. Paul promised more. $ 74 million Of federal COVID aid that combined them to create permanent and affordable homes. The county has also begun collecting property taxes of $ 11.5 million annually under a levy from the Department of Housing Redevelopment (HRA). It can be partially used to build and maintain affordable homes.

The number of homeless people living in St. Paul’s outdoor camps had dropped to dozens in 2021, but had increased to 107 by mid-June, said Deputy Mayor Hymetincher.

According to Tincher, St. Paul is working with Ramsey County and nonprofits to find safe temporary and long-term housing for homeless individuals. City leaders believe it’s unsafe to live in a Minnesota tent, and she said she would continue to seek better and safer options in both summer and winter.

“Our strategy is to bridge the gap in care that exists among people experiencing unprotected homelessness in our community.” Tincher said. “Thanks to the Governor and Vice-Governor, we are making a large investment to strengthen our efforts to break down the barriers to stability together — one at a time.”

Walz proposes $6M for Ramsey County homeless shelters Source link Walz proposes $6M for Ramsey County homeless shelters

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