The mpls downtown council and its Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan Ending Street Homelessness committee announced today the award of grants totaling $86,500 to four organizations working to help those experiencing homelessness in our community. Grant funds were donated by mpls downtown council member companies and individual mdc board members.

Grants were awarded to recipients intending to launch projects that will help Minneapolis reach the goal of “functional zero”, the point when the number of people experiencing street homelessness is not larger than the number of housing placements available. The Request for Proposals submissions were due February 2, with winners notified in March.

“Our 2025 Plan Ending Street Homelessness Committee is comprised of volunteers and organizations working hard to help end street homelessness in the city by the year 2025,” said Steve Cramer, president & ceo of the mpls downtown council. “The initiatives chosen for this grant funding are inspiring causes that work toward that goal and will make a difference in our community.”

Recipients of the grants include:

  • YouthLink: Street outreach expansion—addition of a worker for evening hours
  • Stephen’s Human Services: Enhancing engagement protocol to improve street outreach outcomes
  • Teen Tech – Hennepin County Library: Street outreach worker to serve as a community resource mentor for Teen Tech Center at the Minneapolis Central Library
  • Avenues for Homeless Youth: Housing stability/eviction protection fund

“Ending street homelessness is a community effort, and this grant process is an example of that,” said Mark Hamel and Joseph Desenclos, co-chairs of the 2025 Plan Ending Street Homelessness Committee, in a joint statement. “These grants were made possible by generous corporate and individual donations. Their private contributions will make a difference in people’s lives, and we’re grateful for their involvement in this important work. A huge thank you to our grants selection subcommittee for their work throughout the process, particularly sub-committee chair Paul Verrette for his leadership.”

Criteria for selection in the grant process included:  target population, need, activities, project feasibility, overall goals, projected short-term results, long-term outcomes desired, and innovation.

A Grants Selection Subcommittee of the Ending Street Homelessness Committee made final recommendations on selected projects and financial allocations. Grants were made ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

The Ending Street Homelessness Committee is one of six 2025 Plan committees. These six committees, comprised of more than 350 volunteers, are working to create an extraordinary downtown by addressing the 2025 Plan’s 10 key initiatives established in 2011—one of which is ending street homelessness in the city.

For more information on The 2025 Plan’s initiatives or overall development downtown, follow @mplsdowntown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtags #mplsdowntown and #2025plan.