The Crisis Housing Fund is a flexible pool of money that provides short-term housing assistance to persons with a serious mental illness whose income is being used to pay for an inpatient psychiatric treatment of 90 days or less. Hearth Connection administers this program under contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and funded through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services Mental Health Division. For more information, please read an overview of who is eligible and expenses that can be covered. See also a brief overview of how to request Crisis Housing funds.
For more information, please contact:
Nellie Bruce, Crisis Housing Fund Coordinator
+ Eligibility Requirements
There are two different sets of eligibility requirements for the Crisis Housing Fund--one for the agencies applying on behalf of their clients (Applicant Agencies), and one for the clients themselves.
Applicant Agency Requirements
All Applicant Agencies must submit an Employee Dishonesty Certification Agreement. This form needs to be signed by someone at their organization who can make an agreement with the State--typically an Executive, Finance, Human Resources or other Director. This form states that the Applicant Agency has an employee theft/dishonesty policy in place, that should Crisis Housing funds be used fraudulently by someone at the organization, the Agency's insurance will work with DHS to help recoup the funds.
In addition, nonprofit organizations and treatment facilities (NOT counties or tribal nations) must submit a Certificate of Liability Insurance naming DHS a joint payee on their employee theft/dishonesty policy. You can find an example of what this looks like here. This Certificate gives DHS the ability collect funds related to fraudulent use of the Crisis Housing Fund (and ONLY the Crisis Housing Fund). To get this document, please present the example provided to your Human Resources department, or the relevant department that works with your organization's insurance provider. Agencies do not need to increase their insurance amounts, only name DHS as a Joint Payee. This process typically has a quick turnaround, and can often be done in just one day.
These documents only need to be submitted once per agency per year, as written in the Employee Dishonesty Certification Agreement. Once they have been submitted, anyone at your agency can apply for the Crisis Housing funds on behalf of their clients, and no further requirements are necessary.
Clients must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Crisis Housing Fund:
- Persons with a serious mental illness as defined as an organic disorder of the brain or a clinically significant disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation, memory, or behavior that is detailed in a diagnostic codes list published by the commissioner, and that seriously limits a person's capacity to function in primary aspects of daily living such as personal relations, living arrangements, work, and recreation.
- Persons with community-based housing (rental or ownership) NOT state or federally funded housing.
- Persons of low or moderate income, as determined by the Department of Housing & Urban Development.
- Persons admitted to a mental health treatment facility (includes a facility for chemical dependency) and receiving treatment for 90 days or less.
- Persons applying from community hospitals must be assisted with a referral for mental health case management services.
Total household income must not exceed the County/MSA Low-Income limits as adjusted by household size. Click here for income limits.
+ What is covered?
The Crisis Housing Fund covers housing-related expenses a client is paying, but cannot now pay because their income is being used for treatment OR due to the loss of income while in treatment.
- Utilities (heating fuel, electricity, water, sewer, garbage disposal, and phone)
Funds only cover the retention of the client's current housing.
+ What is NOT covered?
Funds cannot be used for crisis beds, adult foster care, residents in assisted living, nursing homes, group homes, or board and lodge. Funds also cannot be used to pay past due bills that occur outside of the treatment period.
+ How to apply
Applications can only be completed by the applicant agency representative, not the client.
Eligible applicant agencies include nonprofit corporations, governmental units, and Indian tribes. The applicant agency must have offices in Minnesota.
+Process and Timeframe
Hearth Connection will issue payment within three (3) working days of approving a completed application. All payments will be mailed to the payee identified on the application form. Payment will be made to no more than one payee per application. Applicant Agencies may request a one-time application fee ($40 per application) for processing the assistance only when multiple expenses are requested (e.g., rent and utilities) and the Applicant Agency will be disbursing the funds.
Applicant Agencies must maintain on file documentation for each requested use of program funds for 3 years. This documentation may include copies of invoices, rental leases, and mortgage-payment coupons. The Applicant Agency is responsible for accounting of all program dollars. Any unused dollars must be returned to Hearth Connection within 180 days of receipt of program funds.
+Application and Required Forms
Applications must be completed by the Applicant Agency representative, not the client. Click here for the application.
Eligible Applicant Agencies:
- Include nonprofit corporations, governmental units, and Indian tribes.
- Must have offices in Minnesota.
Crisis Housing applications must be submitted by mail. Payments will not be made without the client's original signature and all six "Certifications by Applicant Agency" initiated by the agency representative. Applications must be mailed in an agency envelope.
In addition, Applicant Agencies must submit an Employee Dishonesty Certification Agreement and a Certificate of Liability naming DHS as a Joint Payee on their employee theft/dishonesty policy. See the "Eligibility Requirements" dropdown above for more information.
Mail completed applications to:
Attention: Crisis Housing Fund
2446 University Ave W, Suite 150
St. Paul, MN 55114
Hearth Connection will contact the Applicant Agency representative in the case of incomplete information or any questions regarding the request.
+Applicant Agencies and Receipts
Hearth Connection has developed a new process regarding the collection of receipts and unused funds for assistance disbursed through the Crisis Housing Fund.
90 days after payment has been issued from Crisis Housing to the Applicant Agency, Hearth Connection will generate a Request for Receipts for the amount that was approved on the application and disbursed. This invoice will be sent directly to the Applicant Agency, and, like the initial check that was sent, will reference the initials and last four digits of the social security number of the client for whom assistance was approved.
Within 30 days of receiving this request, the Applicant Agency must submit the receipts for all payments to vendors made using Crisis Housing funds. Receipts must show that funds were received by each vendor--copies of check stubs made out by the Applicant Agency to a vendor, print-outs of bills yet to be paid, or copies of check stubs from Hearth Connection to the Applicant Agency are not considered acceptable receipts. Copies of receipts are acceptable, but original receipts must be kept on file for a period of three years.
If the Applicant Agency is unable to produce acceptable receipts, it must issue a return payment for the complete amount of Crisis Housing funds. Alternatively, funds that are unused must be returned at this time (for instance, if a utility bill was requested in the amount of $50, but only $30 was needed, the remaining $20 must be sent back to Hearth Connection). Returned funds will be put back into the Crisis Housing pool for use by future applicants.