Congregations partner to serve homeless families

With 52 families in Scott and Carver counties counted during a one-day population survey last year, and no local shelter program to serve them, area congregations have stepped forward to create a solution.
A family shelter initiative to serve local families experiencing homelessness is planned. An informational event to announce its launch will be held this month. Families Moving Forward, a program of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, is expected to begin serving families in Scott and Carver Counties on Mother’s Day, 2014 in partnership with 13 Scott and Carver county congregations.
A launch event is scheduled for Thursday, June 13 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Carver County Government Center in Chaska. Interested members of the public are invited to join local congregation and community leaders to learn about how Scott and Carver counties have been affected by homelessness and how Families Moving Forward operates.
Families Moving Forward is a unique shelter model offering parents and children experiencing homelessness overnight shelter at congregation sites and professional services to support their transition to permanent housing at a program center. Its Minneapolis program currently serves 60 families a year in partnership with 42 congregations in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. There is no family shelter program in Scott and Carver counties, although vouchers for temporary hotel stays and other homelessness prevention programs are available through CAP of Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties.