Red Wing has worked with Hope Coalition and Hope and Harbor to provide funding and resources for residents experiencing homelessness.
At the Oct. 24 City Council meeting the council discussed what funding they would like to provide for services during the winter months.
“The city has for quite a while provided $20,000 a year to be used to help if there are emergency situations with individuals who do not have housing,” City Administrator Kay Kuhlmann said.
In the past the city has provided up to $10,000 for hotel vouchers to Hope Coalition between October and April.
For Hope and Harbor they are providing $7,500 for the homeless shelter that operates throughout the winter.
In addition to that, they are agreeing to provide some funding for the previously discussed Goodhue County Resource Center.
“This would be the start of implementing this program that includes a resource center. We have heard from United Way that they have this concept called the ‘hub’ that has been implemented in other cities of similar size,” Kuhlmann said.
“The United Way isn’t ready to launch with that program yet, so when Liz Magill came forward saying she would like to pilot this program as an abbreviated form of this hub she has partnered with a church and is requesting funding,” she continued.
The funding for the resource center would total $20,000, with $10,000 of that provided upfront in 2022 and the rest would be given in quarterly payments of $2,500 starting in January 2023.
Council member Don Kliewer raised questions about the amounts being funded. The discussion among the council included questions about whether or not some of the services provided would be redundant.
“For the resource center, what services would be paying for that aren’t already available?” Kliewer asked.
“I think the concept is redundant for services that are already available. I think if they need housing they can go to the HRA, they have people that will help them through paperwork I’m sure. I’m not sure what this would accomplish other than spending another $20,000,” Kliewer continued.
Other council members explained that this resource center is something that is needed in Red Wing to accommodate those who are looking for resources and may not know where to start.
“My understanding is that there is a local church that would be open during the day. With Hope and Harbor they can stay overnight, but during the day they have to go somewhere else,” council member Kim Beise said.
“There will be someone staffed there so people can go there and stay in the building while it’s cold. They’ll have the resources available to them to help them look for a job and prepare for a job interview,” he continued.
The council discussed how the resource center could benefit the community by providing an easier way to access resources.
“One of the things that I think is important is that it is very easy to say people can go here and there, but some people don’t know what they don't know,” council member Evan Brown said.
“The idea of having a resource center is to have in one location all the resources and someone who knows how to navigate all the resources,” he continued.
The resource center is intended to be a resource for anyone who lives in Goodhue County, not just those experiencing homelessness.
“Having worked in Hope and Harbor, I’ve gotten to know some of the clients that come in there and this is definitely a need, because they don’t know exactly how to navigate the resources,” Beise said.
“I think this is beyond those who come to Hope and Harbor, I think this is a resource within our community to provide for people to find a job or find availability for housing that is permanent and there is a lot that goes into that,” he continued.
Each of the motions for funding passed. The motion for $10,000 vouchers to Hope Coalition passed unanimously. The motion for $7,500 to Hope and Harbor passed unanimously.
The motion for $20,000 to the new resource center passed with a 6-1 vote with Kliewer voting against the motion.
Approval of a memorandum of understanding with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the monitoring of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in wastewater effluent.
Approval to change the city’s organizational chart related to the Police Department allowing for an assistant police chief position.
Approval for an off-sale liquor license for Red Wing Liquor.
Approval to change the Harbor Commission to Harbor Advisory Committee.
Approval for a conditional use permit to amend an existing conditional use permit for the Red Wing Plaza Shopping Center to allow for a self-service storage facility in the former grocery store space.
Approval of reallocation of funds from the LaGrange Ramp Repair and Elevator Equipment Replacement to the library for the elevator equipment replacement at this facility.
Presentation from Red Wing Ignite Executive Director Stacy Nimmo about the Build to Scale grant.
Recognition of Leanne Knott as winner of the GIS/LIS Polaris award.
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