Construction on Minnehaha Commons is recently underway. As noted before, the property will be home to 44 adults, aged 55 years or older with a history of homelessness. Older adults are a rapidly expanding portion of the homeless singles living in shelters in the community. In 2009, 11% of those who stayed overnight in shelters in Hennepin County were over 55. By 2015 that percentage had doubled. Given the demographic trends regarding the aging of the population as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, it is inevitable that the problem will continue to grow.
The staff and leadership of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) responded to Alliance’s very early questions about resources to house older adults who had experienced homelessness. An early investment of DHS Live Well at Home funds (LWAH), was a catalyst investment and leverage for other public resources.
This video was produced as part of the 2017 LWAH grant award program. Alliance Housing’s tenant, Pat Straw, is featured along with other older adults who also have experienced homelessness. Their stories highlight some of the challenges of finding and keeping affordable housing by older adults.