Dakota Cty. Crisis+Longterm Shelter
$18,648 of $50,000 goal
to donate directly to this winter's emergency shelter.
Emergency Shelter in Dakota County
Have you heard the good news? The Dakota County Emergency Shelter Project is moving forward to help those in our community experiencing homelessness. On average, 50 people seeking shelter are turned away nightly in Dakota County. Thanks to host churches and the broader community, last winter 78 people were served in the Emergency Shelter project.
As a result of these efforts, we as a community have heightened the political and public awareness for those experiencing homelessness in Dakota County. The county is now beginning a planning process to provide a framework to create and operate permanent emergency shelter for a long term solution. In the meantime, Matrix Housing Services will oversee the the shelter effort during the 2017-18 winter.
Plans are in place to open a temporary/rotational shelter by November 1, 2017, identify temporary sites to shelter up to 50 people per night in the coming winter and find a stable site for the future. Together we can provide the resources and support needed to serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
We thank you for doing God's work with YOUR hands! This is love in action!
They will be hard to see, the ones you pass as they make a meal from weekend food samples at Dakota County grocery stores. When you stop to fill the tank, you may not notice the one paying $9. for a shower at McStop on 35w and County Road 70 in Lakeville. She uses the car for more than transportation. You may not realize the backpack a young one carries as you pass by him at Town Centre, the outlets in Eagan or Burnsville Mall is not holding his homework rather his home.
The remarkable new film Hidden Figures, a film which every youth and adult would be lucky to see, tells the story of how, using the mathematical calculations of 3 African American women, NASA supported John Glenn in the space race to become the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. In how to plan Glenn's trip, the women were asked not only to look at the numbers but look around them. What creative solution could advance the cause?
A coalition of churches in Dakota County (Dakota County Adult Shelter on Facebook) is asking you not only to look at the numbers but look around them too. In less than a month, more than 60 people have walked through the shelter's doors. The group has established the same persistence those women had to advance their mission, a stable site to shelter Dakota County's homeless men, women and youth age 18+. We don't know what city will lead in saying yes, as a shelter for this group has never been opened in the county. It will be a first. As President Kennedy said at the time, "The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds." You are invited to learn what's hidden in your community at www.homelessindakotacounty.com or by attending a community forum Jan. 30 at Shepherd of the Valley in Eagan, 7-8:30pm.
Yesterday, when the temperature was -9, some found safety and warmth in a simple mat on the floor at Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan. When Pastor Kristen Capel said yes to a temporary crisis shelter and members Rhonda Bennett Doran, Laura Backman, Jill Blair and the congregation embraced the shelter day after day, they exemplified Kennedy's words that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage. Some did not make it to shelter last night or will face new challenges when the shelter closes Friday due to a lack of stable home and funding. www.gofundme.com/dakcountyshelter. But you won't see the frostbite of their hidden fingers when you pass by them.
What those 3 brilliant, black women accomplished was very difficult. Not even Kennedy knew of their feat when he stated, "We do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone."
Community forum on homelessness in Dakota County
Monday, January 30, 2016, 7-8:30pm
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Rd, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Discussion with individuals who have experienced homelessness in Dakota County
Can you pick out the homeless people in these photos? Maybe the ones with hoodies or sweatshirts or jeans with holes in them? Maybe the ones who look really tired? Hard to see who is struggling in their head? We have a large number of homeless youth so maybe its the young ones?
Though we have yet to complete our first week of a temporary shelter at Easter on the Lake Lutheran Church in Eagan, we have our largest group since moving through 4 churches in a month: 30 women, men and youth tonight (56 total individuals since we began). 26% of our guests are senior citizens. 15% work at McDonalds. Easter's roof has sheltered one 18 month old, one honorably discharged veteran and a bevy of people providing you good service at Super America, Taco Bell, the Dollar Store and a nearby hotel. The shelter will close January 20. We will hand people a gas card or Metro Transit card as a shelter plan.
It's people's nature to want to act or do something concrete, whether they are homeless or not. It's harder to be still and listen. However, more than passing dollar bills out your car window or handing plates of food over a table, the first thing we ask is that people sit across the table and listen to each other. Now, more than ever, I think we are going to need to do that in order to advance our communities. We ask that volunteers like Becky Haage, Bruce Anderson and the family of Jarrod and Lisa Beach not clean or sort but engage with those who are homeless or work with them in their community. It's no surprise that listening to each other produces greater understanding.
On January 30, the Dakota County Adult Shelter coalition will hold a community forum. We will ask people to listen to stories about homelessness that don't include the words Minneapolis, St. Paul, Chicago or Somalia but Vermillion, East View, County Road 42 and Town Centre. We will discuss how our community is wasting money allowing people to be homeless. The shelter guests have asked if people will be there to listen. Will you be?