As a part of this year’s campaign, we want to continue to support partnerships that serve local families experiencing homelessness in new and innovative ways. ($27,000)
Safe Parking Lot with Mosaic Church
We recently discovered that another nearby church in St. Paul started a partnership with Ramsey County to provide a Safe Parking Lot Program for women and children experiencing homelessness. This concept is new to our area, but is a model with a proven track record in other parts of the country. Mosaic uses their parking lot to provide a safe, hospitable place to stay for our neighbor families who are living out of their vehicles.
Families are referred to the church from government agencies and social service organizations, and to help ensure safety, the church staff completes a full intake process. Then, together with the Ramsey County shelter system, Mosaic works to get families into more stable housing situations.
They’ve seen great success, too: 100% of the women and children they’ve hosted have moved into a more stable shelter.
Two of the current limitations of the program are access to safe overnight restroom facilities, and restroom facilities that can be used during winter months. They’ve provided an on-site portable bathroom that guests can use after the church is closed. But when the weather turns cold, they need to work with Ramsey County to find other shelter options for families.
To support this program, we want to partner with Mosaic to help create safer and warmer on-site bathroom facilities for families to use.
Tiny Homes with Settled
Last year we helped our partners at Settled build a tiny home model. The purpose was to help raise awareness about how churches can create tiny home settlements as one way to help end homelessness. You’ve probably seen the model in the north section of our parking lot!
Building a tiny home was a lot of work, but it takes even more time and effort to get buy-in for the relatively new concept of using tiny homes as livable dwellings for those experiencing homelessness. Awareness-building is still a critical step before tiny home settlements begin to be established on church property in Minnesota.
This coming year, Settled has planned on-site and off-site demonstrations that involve local outreaches to people experiencing homelessness, tiny home tours and dinner gatherings in the model home.
We want to continue to partner on these efforts and help with their expenses as they work to influence government officials and church leaders.