The challenges encountered by Minnesotans facing homelessness are complex and multi-layered.

Although Partners for Housing (P4H) has been providing emergency shelter in the Greater Mankato Area for 35 years, we realize it’s not enough to provide programs that focus on only one issue. New guests share that they struggle to pay rent or find safe, affordable housing, but the result of this unmet basic need often affects their ability to get or keep a job, to get reliable transportation, to get access to health care, to navigate licensing challenges, even to provide childcare or consistent education for their children.

P4H lays the groundwork for housing stability, strong families and a healthy life. Our comprehensive approach provides them with opportunities for success, but we realize we cannot help with all needs a client may have. P4H coordinates the clients housing journey for up to 90 days, partnering with other agencies for education, transportation, health care, behavioral health, food, clothing, and childcare. Together, with public and private support, we continue to build an inclusive organization where all people can attain—and maintain—housing stability and realize their full potential.

A recent example of a client benefiting from the partnerships is Yvonne, who fled a domestically violent relationship from a neighboring state, with neither a change of clothing nor her wallet. With assistance from partner organizations, our shelter manager and staff helped Yvonne get clothing, as well as copies of her birth certificate and driver’s license. During her stay, Yvonne was able to obtain and start a new job. She is now happily situated in her own one-bedroom apartment.

Our caring staff is committed to serving people of every race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation and identity. We tailor services and often develop new programs based on what we learn through experience. Our work evolves to keep up with changing needs.

Kirsten Becker is the communications manager for Partners for Affordable Housing, which works on housing issues in the area, including Nicollet, Le Sueur and Blue Earth counties.

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