Welcome Home

Tianna found herself homeless with her 14-month old son after leaving an abusive relationship. She took the first step to changing her life and called 2-1-1. What she found was the The Salvation Army and a secure and stable environment for her son.

Tianna benefited from using Child Care Choices and arranged for childcare. Tri-CAP was able to help her with the first few months of rent in her new home. She was even able to secure employment and enroll her son in the Imagination Library to receive free books.

Tianna is very thankful to have found community resources that she says wouldn’t have been possible without United Way. Tianna says she is proud of the progress she has made in her life not only for herself, but for her son’s life as well.

The Goal

Reduce the impact of homelessness with a focus on youth and families with children.

The Challenge

  • Over the past five years, there has been a 42% increase in the number of families experiencing homelessness in Central Minnesota.
  • Many adults experiencing homelessness are employed – but their wages and benefits are not sufficient to meet housing, health care, transportation, and (for those with children) child care costs – forcing them to make choices no one should have to make. Source: Wilder Research www.wilder.org


  • Strategy: Provide more than 5,300 individuals (children, youth and adults) with supportive services that prevent or decrease homelessness.

United Way Initiatives

  • Active in financial and planning partner with Project Homeless Connect to help secure sponsorships, providers to attend the event, volunteers to help at the event and promotion leading up to and following the event.
  • Working in partnership with SCSU social work students on Project 325 to build education and awareness with students on the realities of youth homelessness in our community.

Successes with Community Partners

Last year

  • 609 individuals were housed 21,412 night stays through emergency, transitional or permanent supportive housing options and supportive services. 202 of 609 were children under age 18.
  • 1,152 individuals were provided with supportive services that prevented and/or decreased homelessness and length of homelessness and reliance on existing service models.

How you can help

Visit United Way Volunteer Connection to find local volunteer opportunities and look for other ways to get involved. Serve a meal at a local shelter. Take time to listen and hear their individual stories. Be an advocate for local support and help breakdown the stereotypes of who is homeless and why. Tell others about United Way 2-1-1 Community Helpline so they can get information on resources that can help them.

Project Homeless Connect

Homelessness and the risk of becoming homeless is a struggle that many people in our communities experience.

By offering an opportunity for individuals and families to access services and information – a ray of hope and prosperity shines for us all. Project Homeless Connect is an event that offers people within our community the opportunity to access services offered by governmental, non-porfits and other agencies.

October 21, 2015

River’s Edge Convention Center