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Connections Shelter expects busy season

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Shelter season is approaching for those experiencing homelessness.

Connections Shelter spent the summer conducting street outreach, finding guests who have been with the shelter and new people who have moved into the community and are experiencing homelessness.

“We haven’t seen a huge growth in the number of people that are out there but a lot of people who are struggling to find housing who might be on waiting lists to get into affordable housing and are living outside, said Connections Shelter Co-Director Erica Koser, so we are certainly have seen a lot of that and we are already starting to get calls to reserve beds for the shelter”.

The shelter opens Oct. 4, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily for men, women, and families.

Koser says most of last year the shelter was at full capacity and expects a similar year.

“Hopefully a lot of our people who we worked with last year are stably housed now, but we know that we have a lot of people still waiting to get into [affordable] housing that will be back with us for a while, and lots of people just coming through the community,” said Koser.

But with the eviction moratorium ending, Koser says they do not expect to see a spike right at the start of the season as Minnesota has implemented off-ramp protection for renters. But says the shelter does expect a slow trickle from that impact down the road.

Most of the state’s off-ramp protections end on October 12 for tenants who are not eligible for emergency rental assistance, meaning landlords can end a lease for any legal reason, however not for tenants with a pending COVID-19 Emergency Rental Application.

In addition, shelter directors are hosting a public discussion at Connections Ministry to raise awareness on homelessness.

“We are excited to share with the community some statistics with the region and specifically some work we’ve done with the Connections Shelter over the past 4 years and share some case studies to give people a deeper look at some of the people we have worked with this year,” said Connections Shelter Co-Director Collette Broady Grund, “then we’ll talk about solutions and how we help people move to a more stable life”.

The event is free and open to the public on Oct. 10 at 12 p.m.

It will also be streamed live and available for viewing any time on the First Presbyterian Church of Mankato Facebook page at facebook.com/FPCmankato/live_videos.

In addition, Connections Shelter is in need of donations via cash or supplies as well as volunteers. To learn more, visit Connection Shelters’ website.

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