Homeless families in Washington County now have one place to call when seeking emergency shelter: St. Andrew's Community Resource Center (CRC) in Mahtomedi.

Washington County recently implemented a new system called Coordinated Access to send people seeking emergency shelter and housing to the right services as quickly as possible.

The county named St. Andrew's CRC as the place to contact for homeless families with children who are seeking emergency shelter. Canvas Health is the contact for homeless youth, while homeless adults are directed to Washington County.

"We've had a successful track record helping a large percentage of our families attain stable housing by the time they exit our program," said Liz Schreier, director of the St. Andrew's CRC.

St. Andrew's works with Hope for the Journey Home in Oakdale for hospitality and overnight stays, as well as with some area hotels.

"Washington County is extremely large, and it's difficult for families sometimes 30 miles away to move their entire family to a shelter in Oakdale," Schreier said. "We are looking for churches and organizations to help us in South Washington County as well as the north." She said CRC is talking with Forest Lake Area Mission for Families, a Forest Lake group of churches interested in helping provide shelter for families in need.


Library hosts special activities for children

Take Your Child to the Library Day will be held at the Stillwater Public Library on Feb. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A special family story time will be held at 10:30 a.m. with Minnesota author Stephen Shaskan, followed by activities such as making a bookmark, participating in a scavenger hunt and making a puppet. No registration is required.

For more information, call 651-275-4338, ext. 111, or visit www.stillwaterlibrary.org.


Painting of turkey wins stamp contest

An acrylic painting of a tom turkey by Nicholas Markell of Hugo has won the 2016 Turkey Stamp Contest out of eight entries received for this year's contest, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

This is the first time Markell has won the contest. Second place went to Tim Turrene of Richfield and third went to Tyler Maddaus of New Prague.

An artist whose work is selected for a Minnesota fish or wildlife stamp receives no compensation from the DNR, but retains reproduction and marketing rights.

Stamp revenue is used for wild turkey management and research.

Washington County

4-H program funded again, costs $168,825

The Washington County Board renewed its annual agreement Jan. 20 with the University of Minnesota Extension Service to support 4-H activities and staff members in the county.

The cost to the county is $168,825 for the year.

In 2015, two full-time employees and a half-time employee will serve as 4-H program coordinators for community youth development and the Youth Teaching Youth school programs. The program coordinators are employees of the university but work in county offices.

Board OKs contract with Canvas Health

The Washington County Board has approved a contract with Canvas Health for adult mental health services, family services, and after-hours services.

Canvas Health provides services to people who struggle with aging, personal crises, chemical and mental health, and domestic and sexual abuse. The 2015 contract is for $3,044,919.

Lake Elmo

Design for road project will be completed in fall

The Washington County Board decided Jan. 20 that there is no need for an environmental impact statement for the County Road 17 (Lake Elmo Avenue) project.

Washington County proposes to reconstruct the road from 30th Street to Hwy. 5 in Lake Elmo after the city of Lake Elmo installs sanitary sewer and upgrades utilities. The city will perform additional work on Laverne Avenue North, 36th Street North, Upper 33rd Street North, and 30th Street North. In all, about 1½ miles of roadway will be reconstructed, as will trails and sidewalks. Upgrades will include pedestrian lighting, landscaping and other amenities.

The final design will be completed in the fall, with construction starting in spring 2016.

Kevin Giles