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Hunger and Homeless Grants

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits and Agencies to Improve
Facilities Serving Homeless and Hungry People

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless

Deadline Date:



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Grants averaging less than $7,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribal governments, and schools for programs in hunger relief and housing or shelter for homeless individuals and those experiencing domestic violence. Funding is primarily intended to help organizations expand and improve their facilities to better serve hungry and homeless people.

Grant Guideline Principles:

-Give where the need is greatest.
-Serve front end of the continuum focusing on people who are currently homeless or hungry.
-Preference for projects that either increase the numbers of people served or improve the quality of service to participants.

Eligible Activities:

The primary purpose of these grants is to assist agencies in improving and expanding their facilities to better serve hungry and homeless people. Typical grant awards include funding for kitchen equipment, refrigeration and storage, repair/replacement of HVAC, shelter beds, security systems, renovation of food shelves or homeless/domestic violence shelters, and construction to meet ADA or building codes.

Grants are focused on areas within the facilities that directly serve hungry and homeless people rather than administrative space. Street outreach activities to homeless people are also eligible for this grant.

Funding Priorities:

-OYH is focusing grant making on the front end of the continuum. For agencies serving homeless people, preference is given to services for people who are currently homeless – on the street or in shelters. Transitional housing has lower priority than shelter. Permanent supportive housing programs are unlikely to receive funding.

-Hunger programs must be open and free to all in need. Geographic service boundaries are acceptable, but agencies requiring program participation, membership, purchase of food, attendance/participation in religious service, etc., as a requirement to receive food are unlikely to be funded.

-Infrastructure or equipment for shelters or food shelves must benefit the areas where clients are served. Administrative areas, parking lots, etc., are unlikely to be funded.

-Preference is given to projects that increase the numbers of people served or improve the quality of services provided.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178082

Estimated Size of Grant:

There is no minimum or maximum award. The average grant is less than $7,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Agencies:
-Agencies must serve hungry and homeless Minnesotans.
-Agencies must have 501(c)3 status OR be recognized as tax exempt by the IRS (i.e. schools, units of government or tribal governments) OR use a fiscal agent with 501(c)3 status.
-Organizations must not limit service based on individual’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.

Open Your Heart will not fund:
-Operating costs, utilities, office equipment or salaries and benefits of staff.
-Food purchases. OYH funds food purchase through a separate, invitation only process that distributes food statewide.
-Purchase of consumable supplies.
-Food and shelter costs for disaster victims.
-Retroactive funding for projects that are already completed.
-Group homes, day care programs, schools, senior nutrition programs or treatment centers.

Open Your Heart will not ordinarily fund:
-Structural improvements on buildings not owned by applicant agency. For repairs or improvement of facilities not owned by applicant, applicant must indicate why building owner does not make requested repairs or modifications.
-Facility upgrades to space that is shared with other user. Applicant must demonstrate that repairs or improvements are only to benefit the applicant.
-Major capital campaign or new construction projects.
-Agencies with significant unrestricted reserves.
-Purchase of vehicles.
-Agencies located outside of Minnesota even if they serve Minnesotans.

Pre-Application Information:

Deadlines are March 1, May 1, July 1, September 1, and November 1. Agencies are eligible to apply for one Hunger and Homeless grant per year.

Agencies will be notified of grant decisions approximately two months after the due date.

Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate that they have accessed additional funding to support the project.

On occasion, a natural disaster or other unforeseen event might result in a shutdown of services. OYH may be able to fund quickly in those circumstances. Please call the office if that situation arises. Please note, emergency grants will only be available to agencies that have no other resources available and will require suspending services without immediate assistance.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

Contact Ruby Simmons at or 612-338-5577.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless
314 Clifton Ave, Suite C100
Minneapolis, MN 55403

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota