MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis leaders and community nonprofit, private and public partners celebrated a meaningful milestone in the ongoing battle against homelessness Tuesday.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared Tuesday the “Red Lake Nation and Avivo Ending Homelessness Day in Minneapolis.” The mayoral proclamation recognized the achievement by the partners in housing people who were living at a homeless encampment in south Minneapolis. As of Tuesday, the partners had helped 114 people from the tent city and Navigation Center find stable housing. And they’d secured funding to help the remaining 90 residents at the Navigation Center find a new home before the center closes at the end of May.
“Homelessness is a crisis requiring cities to step up and we are proud to have done so," Frey said in a statement. "Minneapolis chose an approach grounded in compassion and respect for the dignity of those experiencing homelessness. That wouldn’t have been possible without the support and partnership of Red Lake Nation and Avivo."
But to be clear, the partners themselves acknowledge that the work – and the crisis – both continue:
“The Wilder Research Group does a homeless count every year, it has shown that homelessness has increased in Minnesota. So there is still work to be done,” said Kelly Matter, President and CEO of Avivo, an organization that helps those experiencing homelessness.
She continued: “There is a need for all types of housing, emergency shelters, transitional housing and much more affordable housing.”
But Matter also acknowledged that Tuesday marked an important opportunity to celebrate the progress within an ongoing and overwhelming crisis.
“It’s a motivator to help the next 100 and then the next 100,” she said, adding: “It’s hard work, and it’s heart work. And it does deserve celebration.”