Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan have made housing a priority in their budget and in their actions. In March they attended Homeless Day on the Hill where over 800 individuals advocated for affordable and quality housing across the continuum. When speaking to the advocates, they made it clear that individuals experiencing homelessness have the most powerful voice when talking to lawmakers about what homelessness looks like in Minnesota.
Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan continued to push for affordable housing solutions as she joined the Tribal Collaborative meeting and Homes for All spring recess event on April 17, at the Fond du Lac Reservation, along with Commissioner Jennifer Ho (Minnesota Housing), Commissioner Tony Lourey (Department of Human Service), and Ravyn Gibbs, Native American Outreach Director from the Office of U.S. Senator Tina Smith The group listened to stories and concerns, and started a plan for how we will partner together toward solutions for homelessness in our state.
The Minnesota Tribal Collaborative (MTC) is an innovative approach to addressing housing and homelessness of American Indians in Minnesota. In 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Tribal Councils of five reservations: Bois Forte, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Red Lake and White Earth (and most recently Fond du Lac) allowing us to plan together and collectively problem solve. The vision of The Collaborative has been to “address historical barriers and unique needs” of Tribal members experiencing housing instability and homelessness through collaboration with one another. MTC members have leadership roles across the state on the HMIS Governing Board, Heading Home Alliance, and Coordinated Entry Prioritization Tool Committee to name a few
"As board chair, I think we are moving in the right direction with the leadership of the two commissioners and the lieutenant governor to change policies to find solutions to homelessness," said Tribal Collaborative Chair Tammy Moreland. "I feel like this is a good move forward because of the growing homeless population on the reservations. Collectively we need to do something more for our communities."
In the past few years MTC has advocated for statute language changes to both the Long Term Supportive Services Fund and the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistant Program Grant. Both statutes were changed allowing Tribes to be eligible applicants. Currently, Tribes lack administrative funding and they are not eligible for funding from HUD Continuum of Care. In the meeting Lt. Governor Flanagan, Commissioner Ho, and Commissioner Lourey committed to work together moving forward to change the eligibility and make it more accessible for Tribes to apply and receive funding.
Read more about the Collaborative's largest agenda yet at: www.homesforallmn.org.