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Walz says 13 counties mark the end of veteran homelessness in central Minnesota

The 13 counties are the latest care region to meet the designation. Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis County are still working to end veteran homelessness in Minnesota.

FSA Minnesota news
Minnesota news

ST. PAUL — Minnesota officials on Tuesday, Nov. 9, announced that 13 counties in the central part of the state had effectively ended veteran homelessness, making the region the seventh in the state to do so.

Gov. Tim Walz, along with the department of veterans affairs and housing officials, on Tuesday announced that Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties were the latest to reach the milestone as part of the Central Minnesota Continuum of Care.

Three more care regions, including Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties, still had work to do in reaching that federal designation.

"Becoming the fourth state in the country to end veteran homelessness has been a priority of our administration since day one, and today’s announcement, during a week we honor all veterans, is a major accomplishment toward that goal,” Walz said. “Minnesota veterans have served and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we all enjoy. Once they complete their service, we should ensure they have a safe place to call home.”

Since the state's launched the effort to house all veterans in Minnesota in 2014, it helped 2,200 veterans that had previously experienced homelessness to find homes. The state saw a 27% decrease in placements in 2020 compared to a year before. And it housed roughly 34 veterans a month on average in 2020.

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State officials credited public-private partnerships for helping more Minnesota veterans find lasting housing options. Minnesota uses a statewide registry to help connect veterans experiencing homelessness with housing options that can meet their needs. As of Tuesday, 279 veterans were listed as experiencing homelessness.

“A key to ending veteran homelessness is the partnership with landlords willing to open their properties,” Tim Poland, Central Minnesota Continuum of Care coordinator, said. “We will continue to work with property developers and owners to support their involvement in solving the homelessness crisis in our state.”

Veterans experiencing homelessness can access services by calling 1-888-LinkVet (546-5838) or visiting the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website at MinnesotaVeteran.org/EndHomelessness .

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email dferguson@forumcomm.com

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