Home for the Holidays Meal and Stand Down 2019

Thank you for registering for our Home for the Holiday Meal on Dec. 12, 2019

Gates open at 8:30am.

Lunch meal start: 11:30am, Program: 12:00pm

Light Rail

Entrance: Skyway Entrance above Gate 29

Bus and Parking Ramp A and B: Skyway Ramp A Entrance

Walking: Skyway Ramp A Entrance

Driving and Parking: Ramp A or Ramp B, Enter via Skyway Ramp A Entrance

Price for ramp is $7.25 for the day with the Early Bird rate for the entire day.

Free Metro Transit pass: https://tinyurl.com/H4TH19ride

If you have not register, sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/Home4holidays19

Address to Ramp A at Target Field:

101 N 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
https://goo.gl/maps/YuBJYSE2NJFycg5R8

 

The BATC – Housing First Minnesota Foundation, home-builder Lennar, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans and Bloomington City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Oct 21st, 2019 to celebrate the new construction of a home for veterans at 9416 Penn Avenue South in Bloomington.

The Housing First MN Foundation kicked off its next build project.

The four-bedroom home will help address the growing need for housing for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

The City of Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority donated the land to provide housing for homeless veterans.

Build plan for Lennar 4 bedroom home.

“We are honored to donate this property today. This land is an important contribution on which to build a stable home in the heart of our community to thank and support veterans that served our country” said Mark Thorson, Bloomington Housing and Redevelopment Authority Commissioner.

 

The Housing First Minnesota Foundation and Lennar will build a new, four-bedroom, single-family home that will be owned and operated by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). The home will provide housing stability to several homeless veteran men along with support services offered by the MACV.

Ed Williams, MACV Case Manager

“Ending homelessness for veterans is a priority of the City of Bloomington,” stated Community Development Director Dr. Eric Johnson who is also Bloomington’s Acting HRA Administrator, “and constructing this home for homeless veterans with these dedicated partners is a certain success.”

 

Watch the full video here.

Last week our Mankato Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) team was honored to selected at the Peoples Choices and recipient of $1,000 donation from Thrivent Financial.

The Impact Celebration was held at the Mankato Civic Center on Sept. 17th by the Thrivent Member Network-Two Rivers Region.  The event featured local nonprofit organizations and a community impact fair.

Thank you to Thrivent Financial and every who attend this event for this wonderful gift that will go to help Veterans in southern Minnesota.

Link to video

Click to watch full WCCO video.

Governor Tim Walz toured the Minneapolis VA Medical Center Wednesday where he applauded the mental health and suicide prevention programs already in place.

“We’re talking about ways that we can partner together to reduce the number of veterans taking their own lives and use what we learn in that regard to expand that to the broader population,” Governor Walz said.

The Governor said state and federal partnerships will allow Minnesota to help provide care to veterans who may not qualify for federal benefits.

“When you’re in the military it’s pretty much a set schedule,” Bradley Legrid with the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans said.

The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans program administrator says addressing veteran suicide starts with prevention and understanding the challenges of life after war.

Bradley Legrid, Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) Program Manager

“When you get out that’s all gone and that’s a huge shift from one side of the spectrum to the other,”  Legrid added.

Legrid says homelessness is a major factor in veteran suicides, a point that Governor Walz echoed and said would be part of community outreach.

“I think for veterans not to reach out is pretty common practice and we need to extend our hand more,” Legrid said.

The Governor is preparing to send off 700 National Guard members overseas this weekend. He wants them to know their health is taken care of both there and when they return home.

“To know the gratefulness of this state, that we appreciate what they do and to know that we made promises to them,” Governor Walz added.

Watch full video here: https://cbsloc.al/30psE0R

The North Central Chapter recently supported the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans by collecting and delivering move-in kits to veterans and their families. The Chapter and the PLUS Foundation donated move-in kits with household items, and volunteers from the Chapter delivered and organized the kits. These kits will help five veterans get settled into new homes.

Volunteers were from the North Central States Chapter of PLUS and included from left to right (the "after" photo):Lynnea Prusansky, Erin Singmaster with daughters Reagan and Mackenzie, Sharon Scharf, Aaron Simon, and Nick Schaffran

Volunteers were from the North Central States Chapter of PLUS and included from left to right (the “after” photo):Lynnea Prusansky, Erin Singmaster with daughters Reagan and Mackenzie, Sharon Scharf, Aaron Simon, and Nick Schaffran

Erin Singmaster, RPLU+ and Managing Director at Travelers, was one of these volunteers.

“Supporting our veterans, especially our local veterans, is incredibly important to our chapter.  We continued our partnership with MAC-V for the second year in a row, and this year added a volunteer event to show our support.  It was humbling purchasing all of the household items that go into a move-in kit, knowing the positive impact a kit would have on a veteran.  We can all relate to the stress of moving into a new place, but imagine the additional stress of it after struggling with homelessness or the risk of becoming homeless.  Putting these kits together as a group was positive, powerful and fun.  It was easy to picture a veteran moving into a new place, and having all these items already there for him/her.  I would recommend organizing a move-in kit to anyone looking to give back to our veterans. Brian Peterson, Shaun Riffe, and the entire team at MAC-V made this an easy, impactful event for our group.”

Earlier this year, the North Central Chapter presented a PLUS Foundation Chapter Charity grant to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. This is the 2nd year the Chapter has nominated the organization for grant funds, and the $5,000 grant will go to veterans’ assistance for homelessness, employment, and legal support.

The PLUS Foundation was formed in 1998 by industry leaders to enhance the work of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. Through this entity companies and individuals become part of a collective industry effort to reach beyond our network; to create opportunities for new and diverse talent and to do charitable work.

The Foundation has since been successful in developing programs that reflect generosity and promote diversity, while continuing to support industry related education and research. The Board reinforced the philanthropic and diversity direction with the revision of the mission statement in 2003. This refined mission, timed with the first Conference Cause, began a new phase of dramatically expanded giving and volunteerism. By using a grassroots model – PLUS members directing charitable dollars and being directly engaged in the workings of the Foundation.

If you would like build a Move-In kit, you can view the full list of items on our Amazon Wishlist or Target Wishlist and have one sent directly to our office.

 

Sign up to RENT to Minnesota Veterans.Sign up to RENT to Minnesota Veterans. Do you have an apartment or home that you would like to rent to Veteran, check the photo to sign up!

Do you have an apartment or home that you would like to rent to Veteran, check the photo to sign up!

 

Sign up here.

Governor Tim Walz holds landlord summit at Uptown VFW

Governor Tim Walz told Minnesota landlords today that if they are “…willing to commit to housing homeless Veterans, the state will commit support to them”.

Watch this video to see Gov. Walz commitment to ending Veteran homelessness. WCCO Video.

Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Leimaile Ho said the state’s scarcity of affordable housing is a major barrier between homeless veterans and housing. She stressed the need for more housing, citing rising housing costs and stagnant wages.

“The No. 1 thing we need to do is get the production of housing up,” she said. “But we need to also make sure it’s affordable at the wages that people earn.”

Statewide, the registry shrank by 1,813 people since December 2014. West-central, southwest, northwest and northeast continuum of care regions reached zero veteran homelessness in 2017 and 2018.

Sustaining the success of recent years will mean continuing to tap the registry as cases arise to prevent homelessness, said Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Herke.

He noted five veterans in the region have either lived in temporary housing or elsewhere for fewer than 90 days. One of the federal criteria for declaring zero veteran homelessness is the ability to connect veterans to permanent housing within a 90-day window.

Herke said local agencies are tapping into community, state and federal assets to find permanent housing for the individuals. They’re also in touch with landlords to find good housing fits.

“What needs to be put in place is a preventative process, which really is the process of using the registry,” he said. “And driving home that once you’re identified, we’re not going to let you go until you’re in a safe location where you have permanent housing.”

Minnesota Assistance Council For Veterans has been assisting vets in Mankato, and the Southern Minnesota region, for over 20–years.

“We help homeless veterans and veterans at risk by case managing them through their crisis,” explained Southern Regional Leader Sadie Rezac. “Helping them with temporary financial assistance, getting them employment resources if they need it and then also connecting them to local resources.”

MACV specializes in assisting homeless veterans or veterans at risk of becoming homeless.

Brent Busch organizes a yearly motorcycle ride that aims to raise awareness, and funds, for MACV.

Last year, 110 motorcycles took part, totaling over 150 people.

“This year we’ve raised over $17,000 for MACV just for this ride and we aren’t finished yet. It’s a fantastic outpouring of support. Some of the best we’ve seen,” added Busch.

Around 200 cyclists started in Mankato and made their way to Lake Crystal, St. James and New Ulm in an effort to benefit the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.

MAC-V is an organization that provides fuel and food cards to Minnesota Veterans in need ensuring they have meals and fuel to take care of their daily needs.

“You know MAC-V is a Minnesota organization.  They help veterans in Minnesota.  We do have an office in Mankato that a lot of people aren’t aware of and that’s the whole purpose of this ride is to make people aware of MAC-V, make them aware of their mission and of the great things that they do because they do fight veterans homelessness and they are proactive about it,” said event organizer Brent Busch.

MACV, Sadie Rezac

MACV Awareness Ride 2019, Sadie Rezac

Registration starts at 9:30 Saturday morning at Star Cycle in Mankato.

From there cyclists will ride down the Highway 60 corridor south before turning out of St. James to New Ulm and eventually back to Mankato.

–KEYC News 12

https://www.keyc.com/story/40495841/motorcycle-awareness-ride-benefits-veterans-this-saturday

American Heroes Outdoors Television is a documentation of journey, commitment, struggle and healing. Our program is a tribute to this nation’s service men and women. Their stories are compelling and real. After witnessing the dangers and horror of combat, the outdoors for many veteran military personnel is a therapy.

No veteran chooses to be homeless, and our goal is to achieve “functional zero,” which means finding permanent housing for each veteran on the Registry. When that day comes, it does not mean we will never have another homeless or at-risk veteran. Rather, it means that our efforts will largely be focused on prevention. When homelessness does occur, the goal is that the systems in place will rapidly respond and make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran at-risk of losing your home or apartment, please call us today at 1-833-222-6228.

Neal Loidolt: Ending veteran homelessness is possible — and the lessons we learn will have broad application.

If we can’t solve veteran homelessness, we will never be able to solve the greater societal problem of homelessness. The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans is changing the conversation about veteran homelessness in Minnesota. Our approach: Let’s ask veterans what they really need and provide a bridge to a successful future.

Neal Loidolt, CEO of the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

We focused on women veterans in 2018. The homeless registry began at 17 homeless women veterans and is currently at six. Throughout this year, we housed 35 homeless women veterans. We learned a great deal about dependent children and housing regulations related to legally unrelated minors under the care of a woman veteran. We learned how to get a dangerous-pet rider for a rental agreement, and which creative organizations can help us solve transportation problems. We added new partners like Soldier’s Wish who provided grants to help two women veterans with dependent children out of long-term homelessness.

Most importantly we gained a true appreciation for the unmet need. As we developed new options to serve more women veterans, we discovered more women veterans in need. We also learned that we can end homelessness with a laser focus on people and geographies, one at a time. As the journey of a thousand miles begins one step at a time, the same holds true for ending veteran homelessness: one veteran at a time

We know that ending veteran homelessness is possible, and we are making meaningful strides across the state with a broad coalition of partners, including the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the federal Veterans Administration, county veterans service officers, emergency shelters and several private, public and nonprofit organizations.

There are a myriad of reasons why a person becomes homeless — lack of affordable housing, loss of a job, divorce, illness, mental health, substance abuse or legal issues. Additionally, veterans have a self-sufficient mentality and rarely ask for help.

No veteran chooses to be homeless, and our goal is to achieve “functional zero,” which means finding permanent housing for each veteran on the Registry. When that day comes, it does not mean we will never have another homeless or at-risk veteran. Rather, it means that our efforts will largely be focused on prevention. When homelessness does occur, the goal is that the systems in place will rapidly respond and make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

We are not there yet. We have a vision for the future, but we need additional tools to be successful for the long-term homeless. To that end, we need better choices, including additional resources for long-term case management and more housing options. With housing vacancy rates hovering at a historic low of 1 percent in the Twin Cities, landlord engagement is a critical element to future success.

Sometimes, the solution simply requires more human interaction.

This past year we assisted a 55-year-old Army veteran referred to us by a community partner as she was living in her car, surviving on only $136 per month from her service-connected disability. She had been living with her pregnant daughter who had asked her to leave, needing the space for the new baby. We assisted the veteran in finding and moving into housing and connected her with a HUD-VASH Section 8 voucher. We then enrolled her into our employment program. When she found a job earning over $40,000 per year, she turned back her voucher, as she was earning enough money to live on, so that it could be used by another veteran who would need it more. She didn’t need more money, she just needed our help.

Under the leadership of the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency, there is good work being done with city and local governments to mutually address the challenges landlords face when considering rental applications for homeless veterans. In addition to providing landlords with incentives, there is a critical need for supportive housing projects that will provide shelter and services for the long-term homeless veterans on the Registry.

I am encouraged to see Gov. Tim Walz make veteran housing with supportive services a priority; the Fort Snelling Upper Post Veterans Community operated by CommonBond is a prime example.

Neal Loidolt outlining ending homelessness during 2018 Standdown at Target Field.

No American veteran should be homeless, because no American should be homeless.  Ultimately what we learn from ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2020 will serve as a template for the rest of the homeless continuum.

Neal Loidolt is president and CEO of Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.

Read the letter from April 11, 2019 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, click here.