In his invitation to October’s Breakfast with Gary, Councilmember Gary Schiff said: “After a decade-long recession and foreclosure epidemic, tent cities are emerging in the United States. Homelessness is an issue that touches everyone, and disproportionally affects children, our military veterans, and victims of domestic violence. It’s time to sound the alarm. Nobody deserves to be homeless.”
Each monthly meeting addresses a particular issue, and in November about 40 people gathered at Mercado Central for a panel, including Monica Nilsson, Director of Community Engagement for St. Stephen’s Human Services and Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, to discuss homelessness in Hennepin County. The open question and answer forum, in which community members were able to voice concerns, centered on Heading Home Hennepin, a 10-year plan to end Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County by 2016.
In 2006, the Heading Home Hennepin was adopted as a decade long project to end homelessness by addressing the continued cycle of homelessness. Speakers said that since the program started, Minneapolis has seen tangible results with a 40 percent reduction in the number of people sleeping outside since 2010. More than 350 people living on streets have been moved to housing and over 24,000 housing opportunities have been created for households with incomes below 30 of the area median income. More information is available in Heading Home Minnesota’s five-year report.
With the holidays approaching, Heading Home Hennepin offers a list of volunteer opportunities for both individuals and families. to give back during the holiday season.
Breakfast with Gary is monthly breakfast of tamales, eggs and jelly doughnuts at Mercado Central, located on the corner of E Lake St and Bloomington Ave S. The discussion is free, and the optional breakfast costs $5. Breakfast with Gary is hosted by Council Member Gary Schiff from 7:30-9am the final Friday of each month. After a break in November and December, Breakfast with Gary will resume in January 2013.