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How United Way Helped Secure $100 Million in Emergency Housing Assistance

The Minnesota state capital building on a partly cloudy day

Kristen Rosenberger


Last week, Governor Tim Walz approved $100 million in state funding to support emergency housing assistance. These dollars will come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT funds that were designated for Minnesota. These funds will begin to be dispersed to individuals and households needing assistance starting in mid-August through the end of the year.

Greater Twin Cities United Way has been advocating for these funds as a critical way to support individuals and families adversely impacted by COVID-19 to help maintain safe, stable housing during the crisis.

Once the current evictions moratorium ends when the peacetime emergency declaration is over, we are very concerned about a tidal wave of potential evictions due to nonpayment of rent. These funds will provide an extremely important bridge until impacted renters are able to replenish lost income by regaining employment and/or safely returning to work.

We shared the financial strain facing a growing number of Minnesota households, and our state’s leaders, and responded by taking action!

Our Holistic Approach to Advocacy

To help unlock this funding, United Way put into action a multi-faceted advocacy plan, including:

  • Leveraging 211 Resource Helpline data to underscore unprecedented housing assistance needs.
  • Partnering with statewide organizations to advocate for funding as part of the Homes for All coalition.
  • Sponsoring Homeless Day on the Hill.
  • Activating our base to take action.
  • Publishing an op-ed in MinnPost authored by Acooa Ellis, SVP of Community Impact.
  • Posting blogs and action alerts on our website and social media channels.
  • Testifying at several legislative hearings.
  • Submitting formal Letters of Support for housing assistance legislation.

This holistic approach exemplifies how we are mobilizing in new and exciting ways, thanks to the support of our donors, nonprofit partners, stakeholders and advocates.

Take Action

Please join Greater Twin Cities United Way in thanking Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan and Commissioner Ho for listening and responding to the urgent needs of communities via this Action Alert.

We know that “evictions prevention IS homelessness prevention,” and this funding will help maintain housing stability for thousands of individuals and families. Let our leaders know that we appreciate their efforts and that they are making a positive difference in our community.

About the Author

Kristen Rosenberger was the Director of Advocacy and External Engagement where she collaborated with nonprofit partners, local leaders and donors to boost our organization's capacity for influencing systems change through promoting public policy, advocacy and community engagement. Kristen holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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