February 2024 Civic Buzz: Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County

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Watch the recording here:

Homelessness is in the headlines in Minneapolis, across the State of MN and in much of the United States. In Minnesota, after being relatively stable from 2017 to 2022, the number of unhoused people in 2023 jumped by 6% overall and 27% for families with children.
What is being done to combat homelessness in Minneapolis and its suburbs? How can we advocate for policies and programs to help our unhoused neighbors?

Join us in conversation with Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene and Danielle Werder, Area Manager of Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness.

0806_Commissioner_Greene_DP-20220927 - Headshot
Commissioner Marion Greene
Danielle Werder

Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene is in her 3rd term representing District 3, which includes much of Downtown & Southwest Minneapolis and all of St. Louis Park. A former State Representative, Marion Greene was chief author of legislation to fully fund all-day kindergarten in Minnesota, and co-author of legislation to establish the Minnesota Health Exchange, now MNSure. Marion’s recent leadership has focused on transportation and affordable housing. Last year she spearheaded Hennepin County’s successful advocacy for a 3/4-cent metro sales tax for transit investment, and a 1/4-cent metro sales tax for affordable housing investment. During the pandemic, she championed the Hotels-to-Homes initiative and a pilot of several Single Room Occupancy, or SRO, buildings in District 3, with great success. SROs combine private rooms with shared kitchens and communal spaces. More SRO buildings are now in the works.

Danielle Weder serves as Area Manager of the Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness, supporting the County’s homeless crisis response system. Danielle manages a team of 65+ staff who specialize in system planning, housing focused case management, housing focused street outreach navigation, and swiftly connecting people experiencing homelessness with homeless dedicated housing units. In recent years, Danielle and her team have focused on creating a trauma-informed, person centered and housing focused system and that is equitable and easy to access. In 2023 there was significant progress made in the efforts to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Hennepin County and Danielle and her team continue to invest in continuous improvement for the homeless response system by engaging with and investing in people with lived experience of homelessness, to strengthen and improve service delivery and access to housing resources.