Lakes & Pines receives grant to help homeless

With grants from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, 30 organizations across the state will soon provide additional services to homeless youth.

“Serving homeless youth is an urgent need,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. “Providing these services now can lead to hopeful days ahead and bright futures. We have a great responsibility to act.”

Locally, Lakes and Pines CAC, Inc., serving Carlton, Pine, Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties, received $190,000  for street outreach, drop-in center, transitional housing and host homes.

Under contract with the department, the organizations will expand and develop additional services to fill needs in their communities, including street outreach, drop-in centers, emergency shelter, transitional living and supportive housing programs.

Funding comes from a $4.2 million investment in the Homeless Youth Act made by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature last year.

With the additional resources, the state will be better able to fund a full continuum of programming, ranging from prevention to permanent housing, to serve young Minnesotans.

Minnesota’s homeless population has grown by six percent since 2009, according to the 2012 Wilder Research study.

On the night of the statewide count in October 2012, homeless Minnesotans numbered 10,214. Nearly half were youth age 21 and younger. More than 1,000 were youth on their own.