After 95 years as part of the Uptown Minneapolis faith community, Mount Zion Lutheran Church decided to close its doors this year. Incredibly, they decided to donate $30,000 to MACV after simply hearing about our work from WCCO’s Home for the Holidays coverage as part of their dissolution. Unsolicited gifts like what we received from Mount Zion play a critical role in how responsively we can serve Veterans in need. Thank you for such unprecedented generosity, Mount Zion. All the best.

Tee It Up is a national group which holds golf tournaments for Veteran groups, and contributed $1,250 to the Salute to Servicewomen golf tournament happening on June 22. These incredible donors have contributed $135,355 over the years to MACV. We could not do our work without supporters like Tee It Up for the Troops. Thank you so much.

Ramsey County Bar Foundation contributed $1,000 to support MACV’s Vetlaw program operations in the East Metro. The Foundation has contributed funding to MACV every year since 2012, which adds up to $16,500 with this year’s grant. Reliable support for our legal services helps Veterans overcome the nontraditional barriers sabotaging their housing stability. Thank you for your continued help,

Twin Cities Closet Company, located in Shakopee, donated $6,200 to MACV through their employee giving program in May. This is the first financial contribution to MACV from the company, and we could not have more gratitude that TCCC’s employees thought of us. Thank you for your generosity!

Extended Stay Property Coordinator Kasey Ylinen embodies the attitude MACV looks for in our community partners every day she comes to work. Tasked with managing Extended Stays like the property in Faribault, Ms. Ylinen advocates for her residents because she sees it as her job.

Businesses like the Extended Stay have a unique role in addressing the housing needs of local communities. Low-income Veterans who otherwise face unsheltered or “street” homelessness sometimes use the Extended Stay as temporary housing which turns into a long-term stay. The Extended Stay Faribault has four or five of such residents staying there at present, with MACV staff delivering services to help the Veterans find long-term housing at a lower rate.

Kasey is no stranger to the challenges created by some of the Veterans who live at the property, but, in her words, “I am not going to put a Veteran on the street. This is our responsibility to help these people.”

Ylinen reached out to MACV before staff engaged with her, when a Veteran residing at the Extended Stay posed a problem both in paying on time and general behavior. Working with social service providers has become an increasingly large element in achieving her goal to serve the local community with a high-quality hospitality experience. Tasks stemming from this approach can include writing letters of recommendation for potential landlords or problem-solving the situations which can arise at any time.

Identifying solutions which meet the needs of Veterans while keeping other residents and the property itself safe and comfortable makes Kasey an ideal connection for our staff in Southern Minnesota. “Everybody needs a second chance,” explains Kasey. “Everybody needs a fresh start sometimes. We’re the place where you can come and do that.”

 

      

MACV Veteran Asia moved from transitional housing into her own place last week. She was able to move in almost fully furnished due to some donations we secured. Look for more stories about the journey Asia has undertaken in the past few months and years to come, but for now we want to celebrate this huge accomplishment. What a win!

School may be out for kids, but not for us!

Here at MACV, we have a certain way of talking about homelessness. In the world of housing and human services, providers and stakeholders need to have a common language so we can understand the problems we encounter and the solutions which work the best. This month, the newsletter team launches the MACV 101 series so you can get an inside look in the housing world.

This month, we explore chronic homelessness. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, chronic homelessness describes people who have experienced homelessness for at least a year — or repeatedly — while struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability. Many of the Veterans who remain homeless after ten years of coordinated work to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota fall under this category, with 68 of the 280 Veterans on the Minnesota Homeless Veteran Registry qualifying as such.

How do we fix it? One proven intervention is permanent supportive housing. Many chronically homeless Vets are just not cut out for mainstream housing. They need extra support like financial assistance, case management, and other services for the long haul, not just until they “get back on their feet.” You know who has permanent supportive housing specialized to the needs of military Veterans? You got it: MACV!

Want to learn more? Let us know what you think and what we should cover next! Just shoot us an email or leave a comment on MACV’s social media.

We are proud to announce that MACV has received a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to further our mission of ending Veteran homelessness in Minnesota. BWF leverages its expertise and collaborative network to find, fund and shape innovative programs that help our impacted Veterans, service members and their families thrive.
Receiving a grant from BWF is an honor that recognizes the dedication, focus and effectiveness of our staff, volunteers and supporters. Thank you for your help, BWF!

Longtime supporter Ecolab has awarded MACV with grants from their Foundation for several consecutive years, with their most recent gift arriving in April. The company also sent four helpful volunteers to assist with staining a fence and cleaning up one of MACV’s transitional homes in time for summertime living on May 6! The employees got to model MACV’s brand-new volunteer t-shirts and get some time outside on a beautiful day, all while helping us improve the quality of life for Veterans working toward housing stability. Thanks again, guys!

 

Shauna Bednar served in the U.S. Air Force as a Flight Engineer on C130s from 2010-2016. During her time she did two tours overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Freedom Sentinel and Operation Inherent Resolve.
Shauna currently works for U.S. Bank as a Trust Officer in the Private Wealth Management division. She also is the Vice President of the Twin Cities chapter of “Proud to Serve” Employee Business Resource Group supporting Service Members, Veterans and their families who are employees or customers of U.S. Bank.
Shauna currently resides in Eagan with her husband and daughter.

Charles Dolson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps out of high school, serving in the presidential helicopter squadron commonly known as Marine 1. Before Dolson turned 19, he had a Top-Secret, Yankee White Security Clearance and carried a loaded firearm within arm’s reach of the President. Before he was 20, he was in charge of security teams guarding assets deemed vital to national security.
Dolson currently works as a Staff Attorney with Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures. He resides in Bemidji with his wife and daughters. Dolson is a registered member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and takes pride in growing up on the reservation.