METRO REGIONAL PARTNERS
Ramsey County, MN was one of two original counties in Hearth Connection’s Pilot Project (2001-2007). In 2006, six additional metropolitan and suburban counties joined to establish the Metro Regional Project to End Long-Term Homelessness.
The Metro Regional Project offers services and affordable housing to people with long histories of homelessness and complex barriers to health, housing and stability. Over 781 children, adults, and unaccompanied youth received supportive housing through the program in 2017.
Households in the Metro Project receive supportive services from trained case managers at local nonprofits and rental assistance administered by Hearth Connection.
Coming Home is our partnership with Health East, Catholic Charities and Guild, Inc. to house frequent users of St. Joseph's Hospital. The program targets individuals who are experiencing severe mental illness and qualify for support services through Medicaid. Hearth Connection provides funds for housing and maintaining services while case managers provide support services and set up eligibility for Medicaid funds.
Coordinated Entry Navigation Services (CENS)
Referrals for housing programs are required to go through the local Coordinated Entry System. Enrolling in a CENS program allows for households experiencing high barriers to have access to support services while waiting for an opening in a local housing program. In addition to support services, CENS gathers third-party eligibility documentation, allowing the Coordinated Entry System to identify the best available option for program participants. Once a housing program is identified, CENS coordinates a warm handoff.
Step Down oversees a household's transition from a site-based permanent supportive housing program to a less intensive scattered-site option with voluntary services. Hearth Connection partners with Avivo, which provides the support, and Minnesota Housing, which provides the housing and guidance. Many recognize that households in supportive housing sites stabilize over time and do not need the array of services provided onsite. Step-Down offers an exit for stable households and creates a new spot for households just leaving homelessness and in need of a higher level of services.
Many individuals who are experiencing mental health barriers are eligible for housing in the private sector through HUD’s 811 program. We partner with DHS, Minnesota Housing and Mental Health Resources, to provide support services for households that would not be able to maintain their homes without assistance. Hearth Connection providers assist in locating housing in the private market and are the bridge between property managers and program participants. They offer intensive support services and other services necessary to maintain housing.
Dakota County Housing Search and Stability Services
Acknowledging the need in their community, Dakota County has invested resources in providing supportive services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness as they move toward housing stability. In 2018, Dakota County initiated a partnership with Hearth Connection to manage the Housing Search and Stability Services program. Our provider partners, Avivo and Mental Health Resources, work with participants to locate and obtain housing with rental assistance provided by Dakota County or the Dakota County Community Development Association. Providers continue to support participants for as long as they need it and they continue to be eligible for services.