- ORIGINAL LETTER: Out of three women-only shelter/transitional housing locations across the City of Minneapolis, two of them are within a single mile of the Willard School site. If this proposal passes, almost all women-only shelters and transitional housing will be in North Minneapolis. All three will be within a one mile radius of each other.
- Ascension is the only single-women and women-only shelter/transitional housing shelter in the city of Minneapolis. It has mixed funding.
- St. Anne's is the sole women-only (and children), emergency shelter in the city of Minneapolis. It is funded by the county.
Fact Check: There are no single-only, women-only, county-funded shelters in MN. There are many NGO-run women-only shelters and St. Anne's is a county-funded, women and children emergency shelter that only allows adult women. This blanket statement plays on the ways shelters get categorized by funding, lengths of stays allowed, and administrator, to discount the women-only shelters already next to this site. We do not dispute Minneapolis should have more county-funded women shelters (right now NGO-partnered shelters take up most of that space). But this statement is misleading for the general public unaware of the various funding and terminology that lets that statement stand.
People Serving People is the primary shelter for women with children and shelters up to 99 families at one time, compared to St Anne’s 16. Further, there are currently ~70 women sheltered each night at Harbor Light Center in Downtown, 22 at Simpson Housing in South Minneapolis and there will be 15 women’s beds at the new AICDC shelter opening in the Cedar-Franklin neighborhood.
- ORIGINAL LETTER: This R1 zoning has no precedent. There are no emergency shelters within a low-density R1/2A neighborhood in the city of Minneapolis. All emergency shelters in Minneapolis are either in commercially zoned or business zoned areas, or are directly adjacent to commercially zoned areas. The proposed shelter at the Gordon is within a mile on either side of residential homes. The city’s historic approach to rezoning has placed little regard on its most vulnerable communities. This has resulted in zoning oddities from liquor stores where they should not be, to now an emergency, high-volume shelter in a children's park.
Fact Chect: This is misleading. In their shelter counts and previous statements regarding available beds and women-only shelters, they are discounting NGO-partnered shelters. However, NOW they include those same "room and board" and NGO-led shelters to make this statement. Yes, many small, NGO-led shelters are in residential zoning. None are county-funded or emergency shelters (which the Gordon Center will be). Not one emergency shelter funded by the county is in an R1 zone with R1 adjacent. To see a visual of where the county-funded emergency shelters are (and see how they compare to the Willard site), click here
- ORIGINAL LETTER:This short-term, high-volume crisis shelter will be closed during the day, making its clients leave each morning to enter a residential neighborhood with no coffee shop, public library, grocery store, or social space within walking distance. There is not a heated public building within walking distance.
Fact Chect: This is misleading. By the time this shelter is active, Summer 2021, it is extremely unlikely any COVID temporary policies (to keep shelters open 24 hours a day) will still be in effect. The application itself states it will be open a maximum of 16 hours. It is not a service-rich shelter. With a total 660k yearly budget, there is not a single internal service currently stated to be offered at the shelter and the funds allocated paint a sparse picture. While Northpoint is nearby, all food and water and heated public buildings are not walkable. Homeless advocates have pointed out that any emergency shelter that requires a person to leave the area to get water and food and expects them to then return to get services is not well-positioned. There are no internal services and the leave-and-come-back concept with Northpoint is a questionable fit with the short-term, critical-needs population this is attempting to serve.
- ORIGINAL LETTER:The proposed shelter is considered “high-capacity”, and will serve as a city-wide shelter open to all women in Hennepin county. It legally cannot only cater to black women from the Northside. It will be run through Adult Shelter Connect which places all women in any available bed at any shelter.
Fact Check: This will be tied for the third largest emergency, short-term shelter in Minneapolis with 50 beds. It also will have few to none internal services (the funding doesn't support it, emergency shelters are not open during the day to offer them) and will rely on Northpoint to provide any such services. Because of the lack of purchasable food or water in the area, the likelihood of short-term stay residents leaving the area to meet their daily needs but then returning to access those services is dramatically reduced.
- ORIGINAL LETTER:The city has received 4.5 million in emergency COVID funding to find usable space for this shelter; enough money to buy or rent another building for shelter needs.
Fact Check: This is just a random statement. The funds can be chosen to be used differently. The building does need investment and the Northside community is asking for one year to fundraise and submit RFPs. There is no reason, outside of willingness, that another building cannot be sourced.
· ORIGINAL LETTER:We are asking for 1 year to raise public and private funds and submit RFPs for use of the Gordon Center. If, as a community, we are unable to demonstrate firm funding to repair the school and utilize it for community programming, we will work with the County to find another institutional use. We believe in the current political climate this fundraising could be done. By selecting another site for this high-volume shelter, this could be a win/win rather than a lose/lose for the Northside.
Conely Statement: At the time of inquiry (July 2019), Gordon Center had been empty for 15 years with no pending proposals for use.
Fact Check: This is factually wrong. To read about the most recent proposal in 2014 click here