MINNEAPOLIS— Today, Mayor Frey and Council Vice President Linea Palmisano were joined by leaders from Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, the YMCA of the North, and family participants to announce the expansion of the Stable Homes Stable Schools program (SHSS) for the 2023-2024 school year.
Beginning in the fall, the SHSS Housing Stability Fund, which provides emergency assistance to families that are at risk of eviction or losing their home, will be offered to all 43 elementary schools in the Minneapolis Public School district. An estimated 350 families will be served annually as a result, according to officials.
“This expansion marks a historic investment in the future of our students as we double the number of families Stable Homes Stable Schools serves,” said Mayor Frey. “It’s no secret that investing in stable housing for our young learners can play a significant role in their academic success. If you have a safe and stable home while in elementary school, you’re more likely to graduate high school – and that’s something we want for all our Minneapolis students. I couldn’t be more excited about this expansion and the hundreds of lives impacted by it. Thank you to our partners from the City, County, MPHA, MPS, YMCA of the North, and the Pohlad Family Foundation for their incredible efforts on this.”
The program’s multi-year rental assistance will also be expanded to five additional schools, including Emerson, Lake Nokomis Keewaydin and Wenonah, Loring, Seward, and Lyndale elementary schools for a total of 24 eligible school sites.
“I am so glad to see the expansion of Stable Homes Stable Schools. It has helped many of our families in North Minneapolis and the expansion will have a direct impact on our community,” Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw. “Stable Homes Stable Schools not only addresses housing insecurity and education, but it also addresses community safety and wellbeing. Minneapolis is lucky to have SHSS as a program and we, as a city, are better for it.”
The program helps get families experiencing homelessness into “safe and stable affordable housing” and will serve roughly 250 families at any given time as a result. The expansion will also include an increase in the number of participating families at existing school sites and additional family support staff.
“Reliable housing is as foundational to success in school as it is to success in the workplace and to achieving and maintaining good physical and mental health,” said Hennepin County Housing Stability Director David Hewitt. “That’s why Hennepin County is a proud partner in the work of Stable Homes Stable Schools and other school-based housing programs. Our hope and our plan is that by providing support early on and working alongside families to prevent homelessness in moments of crisis, we will help them achieve long-lasting housing stability and social and academic success.”
Piloted in 2019 and made a permanent fixture in Mayor Frey’s budget in 2021, Stable Schools Stable Homes has supposedly helped house or prevent homelessness for more than 1,500 MPS families and more than 4,200 students. More than 70% of families served through the program are single-parent households and approximately 90% are BIPOC families, according to city statistics.
“When students don’t need to worry about where they’re going to sleep at night, they can focus on learning, building relationships, and having fun at school, all key things to set them up for success,” said Rochelle Cox, Interim Superintendent of MPS. “Stable Homes Stable Schools has provided much-needed stability for our students and families, and I know I speak for everyone at MPS when I say we are thrilled the program will be expanded.”
SHSS is a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Schools, and the YMCA of the North.
“We are incredibly proud of the success of Stable Homes Stable Schools, and we look forward to supporting even more families in the coming years with safe, stable, affordable housing to help their children succeed in the classroom,” said Abdi Warsame, Executive Director/CEO of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. “This nationally recognized, unique partnership can serve as a model for other cities to leverage federal resources to help reduce housing instability for families with school-aged children.”
The Pohlad Family Foundation provided initial grant funding and has consistently been the primary funder of the Housing Stability Fund.
“Safe and stable housing is among the most significant out-of-school factors for predicting student success in school,” said Glen Gunderson, President and CEO of the YMCA of the North. “We are seeing the life-changing impact of this program that invests in stable housing and support services by bringing long-term economic benefits to children, families, and our communities. The YMCA looks forward to expanding our efforts with community partners committed to addressing disparities to ensure the wellbeing of all.”
This expansion is made possible by a new investment of $2.1 million in Local Homelessness Prevention Assistance funds from Hennepin County, as well as continued funding commitments from the City, MPHA, and the Pohlad Family Foundation.
“Our vision is for the Twin Cities’ nationally recognized quality of life to be shared by all, and that begins with stable housing,” said Susan Bass Roberts, vice president and executive director of the Pohlad Family Foundation. “We’ve supported this program from its inception to ensure that Minneapolis students don’t have to worry about where they’re going to sleep at night but can focus on what matters most – their education.”
There are two types of rental assistance provided through the SHSS program.
The multi-year rental assistance program
The multi-year rental assistance program helps place and sustain families of elementary students experiencing homelessness into safe, stable, and permanent affordable housing.
With the expansion, the 24 eligible schools are: Anishinabe Academy, Bancroft Elementary, Bethune Arts, Bryn Mawr Elementary, Cityview Elementary, Ella Baker Global Studies and Humanities, Emerson Dual Language, Folwell Elementary, Green Central Dual Language, Hall STEM Academy, Hmong International Academy, Jenny Lind Elementary, Lake Nokomis (Keewaydin & Wenonah), Las Estrellas Dual Language, Loring Elementary, Lucy Craft Laney Elementary, Lyndale Elementary, Marcy Arts, Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary, Pillsbury Elementary, Seward Montessori, Sullivan STEAM, Webster Elementary, Whittier Elementary.
The Housing Stability Fund
The Housing Stability Fund helps prevent homelessness by assisting families at risk of eviction or other loss of housing.
The expansion of the Housing Stability Fund will be funded by Hennepin County’s new investment in Local Homeless Prevention Aid and existing City of Minneapolis and Pohlad Family Foundation funding. With the expansion, all 43 elementary schools in the Minneapolis Public School district are eligible.
For families in immediate need of eviction prevention resources, please reach out to these current resources:
- Legal Help: HomeLine, 612-728-5767
- Eviction Prevention Resources: Tenant Resource Center, 612-767-9737
- For Hennepin County residents not enrolled at a current SHSS site
- SHSS Housing Stability Fund for those with a student currently enrolled at a current SHSS school site: email@example.com
- Please include your name, your student’s name, the school they attend, and a brief summary of your request for support
- Current SHSS school sites include Anishinabe, Bancroft, Bethune, Bryn Mawr, Cityview, Green Central, Folwell, Hall, Hmong International Academy, Ella Baker, Jenny Lind, Lucy Laney, Marcy, Nellie Stone Johnson, Pillsbury, Las Estrellas, Sullivan, Webster, and Whittier