Ramsey County delays homeless shelter lease to address security concerns

The Ramsey County Board expressed strong support Tuesday morning for a plan to lease Bethesda Hospital and turn it into a homeless shelter, but delayed approval for a week to better address neighbors’ security concerns.

Commissioners spoke about the urgent need for more shelter space with winter fast approaching. Nearly 400 people recently have been sleeping outside in St. Paul, which is said to be a record.

The hospital building, just north of the State Capitol in the Frogtown neighborhood, would provide a 24-hour shelter and services for 100 homeless people. It would be a low-barrier shelter, meaning it would house people who have been unsuccessful in other shelter settings and are often battling addictions.

Neighbors have said they worry about increasing crime and drug activity, and also that a private park on the hospital grounds could be overrun by the homeless.

Commissioners vowed to address security concerns at Tuesday’s

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An Impossible Choice For Homeless Parents: A Job, Or Their Child’s Education

The closure of school buildings in response to the coronavirus has been disruptive and inconvenient for many families, but for those living in homeless shelters or hotel rooms — including roughly 1.5 million school-aged children — the shuttering of classrooms and cafeterias has been disastrous.

For Rachel, a 17-year-old sharing a hotel room in Cincinnati with her mother, the disaster has been academic. Her school gave her a laptop, but “hotel Wi-Fi is the worst,” she says. “Every three seconds [my teacher is] like, ‘Rachel, you’re glitching. Rachel, you’re not moving.'”

For Vanessa Shefer, the disaster has made her feel “defeated.” Since May, when the family home burned, she and her four children have stayed in a hotel, a campground and recently left rural New Hampshire to stay with extended family in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Her kids ask, “When are we going to have a home?” But Shefer says she

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Work Or Online Learning? Homeless Families Face An Impossible Choice : NPR

Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR


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Maddie McGarvey for NPR

Freda and her 9-year-old son visit the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati. She and her five children have been living in the front room of a friend’s apartment, sleeping on pads of bunched-up comforters.

Maddie McGarvey for NPR

The closure of school buildings in response to the coronavirus has been disruptive and inconvenient for many families, but for those living in homeless shelters or hotel rooms — including roughly 1.5 million school-aged children — the shuttering of classrooms and cafeterias has been disastrous.

For Rachel, a 17-year-old sharing a hotel room in Cincinnati with her mother, the disaster has been academic. Her school gave

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Model managed homeless encampment aims to educate public

Homeless advocates set up tents in a church parking lot to show what a safe outdoor space could look like.

DENVER, Colorado — As the city of Denver works to come up with a plan for how to address a growing homeless population, advocates for safe outdoor spaces for urban camping are trying to convince the public to support their idea. 

Friday, the Colorado Village Collaborative, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and Belong Church set up a model camp to show what the proposed areas spread across the city could look like.

In a church parking lot in Capitol Hill, the mock camp was set up in an attempt to get the public on board with the idea to build safe outdoor spaces for urban camping.

RELATED: Denver identifies potential site for managed homeless camp

“It’s hard to trust something that you haven’t seen work and you haven’t seen happen.

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Josephine Peterson: Tacoma homeless shelter has new role in COVID-19 pandemic: Helping to educate kids

Returning to school is tricky for every family this year.

For families living in a shelter with limited Wi-Fi, the challenges can feel insurmountable.

“My biggest fear is that my daughter is going to fall through the cracks and not get the education she needs,” Felicia Drew said. “It’s touch and go. I don’t know what will happen.”

Drew and her 10-year-old daughter, Laurise Drew, are staying at the Tacoma Rescue Missions’ Adams Street Family Campus.

Laurise attends fifth grade at Tacoma School District’s Bryant Montessori School. She is in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) focused on English and math.

Her mother is concerned she won’t receive the specialized education she needs. At the end of the prior school year, Felicia said, they struggled with the laptop they were given, and class was generalized for all.

Felicia is meeting with her daughter’s IEP teacher to create a plan for

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