Item Coversheet

Board Action Request

Item Description:
Agmt HS00000570 with The Salvation Army for operation of an emergency shelter for women, 11/01/20-10/31/22, NTE $800,000 ($400,000 annually)

BE IT RESOLVED, that Agreement HS00000570 with The Salvation Army for the operation of an Emergency Shelter for at least 30 individuals who are experiencing homelessness and identify as female, and for the provision of case management and other related services, in the annual not to exceed amount of $400,000, for the period of November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2022, be approved; that the Chair of the Board be authorized to sign the agreement on behalf of the county; and that the Controller be authorized to disburse funds as directed.


In 2019 the Housing Stability area of Human Services and Public Health (HSPH) presented two Board briefings on the single adult shelter system – one that laid out the current climate and future challenges of emergency shelter for single adults and another that put forward a new vision of lowering barriers, improving outcomes and increasing capacity with nine specific costed recommendations. These recommendations were created in partnership with the Single Adult Shelter Collaborative provider agencies as well as with people with lived experience of homelessness. In particular, the advocacy group, Street Voices of Change, influenced and shaped the recommendations. Based on the two board briefings and the recommendations put forward by staff, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a 2020 budget amendment of $1.1 million in December of 2019 to fund five of the recommendations, including a small-scale stand-alone emergency shelter for female identified individuals.

HSPH issued a competitive request for proposals (RFP) in December of 2019, to solicit program proposals from experienced providers. The RFP review process included people with professional experience and people with lived experience of homelessness. The result of this process was the selection of The Salvation Army to operate the shelter and to provide onsite services. The Salvation Army has considerable experience managing a single adult shelter and specifically in serving female identified shelter guests through their programs at the Harbor Light Center. Their proposal included an ongoing contribution to the annual operating costs in the sum of $261,813. The Hennepin County contract will fund $400,000 of the annual costs, for a total annual operating budget of $661,813. This will make possible a service rich shelter that operates for 16 hours per day in a community-centered model.

In addition, Salvation Army applied for additional operational funding through the recent combined Hennepin County – City of Minneapolis request for proposals for HUD Emergency Solutions Grant – COVID – funds (ESG-CV). This proposal would allow the new shelter to align with CDC guidance and best practices, including operating on a 24 hour basis daily, and has been recommended for funding by the review panel, which again included people with lived experience of homelessness and the Street Voices of Change advocacy group. Final details are being confirmed but this will increase the available operations budget by an additional $969,132 over a period of 22 months from November 1, 2020 through August 30, 2022, which is the term of the ESG-CV grant.

If approved, the shelter would open in the final quarter of 2020.

Impact/Outcomes: Approval of this request will allow Hennepin County to proceed with creating the first gender-specific shelter in North Minneapolis. It will provide shelter to a population not typically cared for historically, particularly in this region, addressing the regularly recurring lack of sufficient emergency shelter beds for women and female-identified individuals during high demand seasons in the adult shelter system in Hennepin County. For example, during the summer of 2019 up to 35 women were being turned away daily when they requested a shelter bed at the Adult Shelter Connect, many of which then remained in unsheltered or dangerous situations. The provision of shelter dramatically reduces the health and safety risks that otherwise come with unsheltered homelessness, especially for women and female-identified individuals, and creates the opportunity for improved connection to services. This especially includes connection to services that assist individuals in moving out of homelessness and into housing.

Expected outcomes are that guests will:
• Access safe, secure and clean emergency shelter;
• Receive quality housing-focused case management on-site;
• Be connected, when appropriate, to mainstream resources and benefits;
• Be assessed, as appropriate, by the Coordinated Entry System and connected quickly to any referrals for housing; and
• Experience short lengths of shelter stays with high percentage of housing outcomes.