Especially now, given the burgeoning Covid-induced need to address unsheltered homelessness, upstream prevention efforts can get put on the back burner. A case in point is the Strategy 4H Action Step from “Heading Home Together: Minnesota’s 2018-2020 Action Plan Action to Prevent and End Homelessness”: Ensure that state homeless funds that target youth can be used to support informal housing options and the youth’s existing support network.
Even though the state recognizes the importance of this strategy, it has not been able to devote resources to moving it forward. But now, with the American Rescue Plan Act, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to launch a statewide effort to resource chosen family hosting arrangements for young people facing homelessness.
CloseKnit is proposing that the state devote $8M in ARPA funds to start 8 to 12 new Welcome Home sites and conduct a rigorous evaluation to establish the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this approach.
We are thrilled that Homes for All, a statewide coalition that advances shared policy initiatives that lead to housing stability for all Minnesotans, has placed CloseKnit’s proposal—Invest in existing chosen family hosting, especially in BIPOC communities—on its support agenda for the 2022 legislative session!
Stay tuned for updates on how you can help us move this groundbreaking proposal forward.