Dayton's budget retains funds for homelessness preventionby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton's proposed budget retains more than $20 million to end homelessness in Minnesota. At the same time, Dayton proposes a $5 million cut in support services for homeless people.
Laura Kadwell, director of the Heading Home Minnesota community leaders council, said the services are aimed at helping formerly homeless people stay in permanent housing.
"There are all kinds of services that keep people in housing. They can be visits by a case manager who makes sure that a person takes his medications," she said. "A number of people who've been long term homeless have serious mental illness. one of the big challenges is making sure they stay on their meds."
Kadwell said it's not realistic to assume that the private sector, still recovering from the recession, can be counted on to donate money to make up for public sector spending reductions.
Kadwell is the former director of the Minnesota effort to end homelessness begun in 2004 with the goal of creating 4,000 "housing opportunities."
She now directs a public-private effort to end homelessness. She says until the recession the state effort created about 3,300 housing opportunities for homeless people.