We believe that the most responsive way to meet the emergency shelter needs of minors will be to establish a system of temporary (pop-up) shelter capacities in partnership with local churches and other organizations with facilities that are easily commutable (walking distance or a single bus route) with individual public schools.
We’re developing on-demand shelter programs that will be coordinated with school personnel and local case management service providers to meet the immediate (onset-period) needs of the students. For those incidents of homelessness that might extend beyond a five day onset period, we will work with case managers and agencies that orchestrate local host home arrangements to ensure ongoing needs can be met.
On-demand Local Shelters: SafeNights would maintain advance arrangements for temporary nighttime use of rooms in community facilities (e.g. places of worship) within easily commutable distances from each high school. Our organization would stand ready to respond to referrals of students from social workers and homeless liaisons in local school districts. Upon referral, SafeNights will set up temporary lodging space and provide meals and overnight staffing managers to serve side-by-side with local volunteers within these community facilities. Nighttime accommodations would be provided for up to 5 days as local case managers or county representatives work to resolve family issues or begin to arrange for extended accommodations at host homes or other transitional programs.
The map above shows an example of church facility locations that are within either walking distance or a short (single route) bus ride to the schools they might serve.
SafeNights is working with the MN Department of Human Services, County DHS representatives, MN Department of Education, individual school districts, and community partners and local churches to pilot the on-demand sheltering approach described above in two Metro area communities in 2017. Our intent is to expand the program broadly across the Metro Area once best practices and practical efficiencies can be identified and rolled out.