HUD Awards $1.4 Million To Address Youth Homelessness In Rural Minnesota
The homeless population in Minnesota reaches somewhere around 10,000 people. In the rural part of the state, finding the money to help those people doesn’t come easy. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development understands this and that’s part of the reason why they’ve given $1.4 million dollars to address the issue.
“When you think about a lot of HUD grants, people talk about the urban environment. The urban cities. The Las Vegas, the Los Angeles of the world. It’s so much more difficult to target and find the youth homelessness in this part of the country,” says Joseph Galvan, the HUD Midwest regional administrator.
The local governments in the area will decide what to do with the money and it will be focused on youth homelessness.
White Earth Nation Chairman Terry Tibbetts says, “It’s one way of integrating services back to mental health, collaborative behavioral health. Also putting them in a nice, clean environment and back over to our workforce development center.”
“We, Red Lake Nation, I can speak for Red Lake Nation. We lack so many service for our youth. Right now we are in the process of building services but being a part of this grant is just going to help us create logic models, create training modules. Build relationships with people that have obviously been successful in working with homeless youth,” says Cheri Goodwin, the executive director of Family ad Children’s services for Red Lake Nation.
To make sure the grant meets needs, HUD relied upon recommendations of young people who have experienced homelessness themselves.
Lacy Armstrong, who has experienced homelessness says, “I graduated high school, I went to college afterwards and just made a couple bad choices. It can happen to anybody but there’s always hope and there’s always someone there to help you.”
For some of these young people, they say they would like to see the money go towards more supportive and transitional housing.
Donovan Burnette, who has also experienced homelessness, says about his experience in a supportive home, “They seem like family more than they were workers. They treated you with respect right away. They wanted you to succeed.”
While the focus will be on the youth, White Earth chairman Tibbetts acknowledges that there are also elders and veterans who could use the help so there’s a chance that the money could be spread around.
“You know you gotta open up the whole book to find out what the problems are,” says Tibbetts.
This HUD grant was one of eleven given out to communities across the country.