Duluth City Council approves major funding for homeless housing

The Duluth City Council voted Monday to approve over a million dollars in funding for a...
The Duluth City Council voted Monday to approve over a million dollars in funding for a homeless housing project.(Reporter: Mitchell Zimmermann)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - The Duluth City Council voted Monday to approve over a million dollars in funding for a homeless housing project.

The city will give $1.6 million in funding for a 12-unit housing project in the Duluth Heights neighborhood on Palm Street and Robin Avenue.

Jeff Corey, the Executive Director of One Roof Community Housing said Duluth’s population has steadily risen in the last two decades.

“The need keeps getting higher and there’s only so much money to build more housing,” Corey said.

Corey and One Roof wanted to create a new form of homeless housing that was unique.

The housing project will include 12 single person units, completely rent-free with the help of Housing Support Minnesota.

The housing units will also have common spaces, like a kitchen, patio and lounge.

Corey described it as “dorm room” like.

“They do have a small space for preparing food, bed, table and also a toilet and shower and sink,” he said.

In addition to housing, Housing Support could cover the cost of some services like food and mental health services.

The St. Louis County Coordinated Entry with help from the Salvation Army will identify those with a significant history of homelessness and help place them into the new housing complex.

“There’s not one fix for every person experiencing homelessness,” Joel Kilgour, the Project Manager for Stepping On Up said.

Kilgour wants to see more support and funding for other programs, not just housing.

“We also have to be looking at ensuring that those services are available to people on demand when they’re ready,” he said.

There are many factors that have gone into the rise in homelessness in Duluth.

Kilgour said, “The lack of affordable housing, the lack of mental health and chemical health services all come together to create this perfect storm.”

Ultimately, Corey is hopeful that this project could be a model for others.

“We believe it will work and what the result would be that for half as much money we can create the same number of units or for the same number of money, we can create twice as many units,” he said.

Copyright 2022 KBJR. All rights reserved.