Gift from the Otto Bremer Foundation will be used to add shelter beds and other resources for homeless teens and young adults.
The funding will add 28 beds at three shelters and help agencies that target youth in their teens and early 20s who are struggling to start lives for themselves without having a home to live in.
The money will help YouthLink, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit provider that specializes in the needs of homeless youth, extend its drop-in hours to mornings as well as afternoons and evenings, said program operation manager Bob Nelson. The agency offers mental health counseling and academic and job resources.
"Youth still have a lot of avenues open to them, but they don't have any support system to help them get there," he said. "That's really what we do."
Last year, YouthLink worked with about 1,400 youth. It will be more this year, Nelson said.
According to a Wilder Research report, on any given night, 2,500 youth statewide are homeless, including 1,375 in the metro area. Sixty-five of the state's 80 shelter beds for homeless youth are in the Twin Cities.
That's why 28 additional beds is a significant increase, said Erin Sullivan Sutton, state assistant human services commissioner.
"That, combined with the additional drop-in, outreach and case management services, will be a tremendous boost to our services for homeless youth," she said.
In addition to YouthLink, here are the other agencies receiving grant money and what they plan to do with it:
• Avenues for Homeless Youth, Minneapolis, five additional beds;
• Catholic Charities Hope Street, Minneapolis, 12 additional beds;
• Face to Face SafeZone, St. Paul, additional case management services;
• Salvation Army Booth Brown House, St. Paul, 11 additional beds;
• Lutheran Social Service, St. Paul, add six more outreach workers.
Kevin Duchschere • 612-6734-4455