Our Covid Response

Since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, Partners for Housing has stretched its services, staff members and abilities to meet the ever-changing needs of our shelter guests and our communities. What we thought would be short-lived, has lingered and worsened. Far from blowing over, we continue to look forward and question how long this will continue to impact.

We are seeing housing crises occur due to decreased income, decreased options, increased mental health issues, challenges with distance learning and more.

During this time, there have been opportunities for us to grow, and we anticipate that there will be more on the horizon. In an effort to continue to help more people, we have chosen to launch or move ahead in faith that we need to take advantage of partial funding or do what’s right without funding. We have doubled the number of people who are staying in our newest shelter- Union Street Place in St Peter, have supported families and children in new ways, and are currently remodeling to repurpose space to enable these new guests a space to

  • appropriately store and prepare food
  • reduce isolation guests experience by staying in their rooms
  • allow children indoor space to play
  • allow space for safe, socially distanced guest interaction with one another, and
  • allow space to work on a computer for job searches and connection.

We did not have all of the funding to expand and renovate, but have hoped that we’d find the funding or would pull from our savings, as it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, our roof and windows are in need of replacement, and our security system is no longer operational, so we’re looking at also pulling money out of savings to do these projects.

Additionally, through three successful grant opportunities, we’ve been able to offer hotel vouchers to people who need a place to stay and we don’t have room. We used them in the coldest week this past winter for

  • a person who had emergency surgery and it was safer for them to recuperate in a hotel rather than their car
  • a woman fleeing domestic violence with her two young children
  • a couple with two therapy animals who have been living in their car for 6 months

There are many other stories just like this. We will continue to offer hotel nights, our goodie bags with hand warmers, socks, bottled water/snacks, and assess the most vulnerable.

In February 2021, our executive director had the opportunity to testify before the MN House of Representatives to advocate for increased funding for emergency shelter services (both during COVID-19 times and beyond), as well as more money for shelter capital (to address maintenance issues or build).

The blessing of the Union Street Place property was highlighted as a creative solution to the housing crisis, that was envisioned locally and launched as a leap of faith. The hope is that the state will help with facilities like this with much needed support to fill the gaps in the future.

Until this possibility becomes reality, and if so, goes through the lengthy timeline of state funding, we continue to seek support locally to house our neighbors. We thank you for your support!

We still need Your support

Please visit our Amazon Wish List for a list of needed items.

Your donations go a long way in helping people gain housing.