Amazon Founder Gives Grant to Help End Generational Homelessness

A nonprofit in Minneapolis, Minnesota has received a $2.5 million grant to help continue its critical mission of ending generational homelessness. The Link, located in North Minneapolis, was given this grant from Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’s Day One Families Fund. The grant will specifically be going towards the Link’s Young Families program.

“The Link is honored and thrilled to be a recipient of a Day 1 Families Fund grant. The contribution to our organization and community will have a measurable impact by helping us transition many more young families in Minneapolis out of homelessness and into stable housing,” said Beth Holger, CEO of The Link.

GrantWatch has an entire category dedicated to housing grants, as well as one for grants related to homelessness.

Some Facts About Homelessness

As of January 2020, there were 580,466 people who were facing homelessness in America, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. The majority of people experiencing homelessness are individuals (around 65%) with the rest being families with children. According to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, homelessness has actually risen for the 4th straight year. And in the state of Minnesota, the number of homeless people is 7,977, out of a population of 5,706,398.

So much of homelessness is generational and chronic. If someone struggles with housing insecurity as a child, it’s quite likely they will face similar issues as they get older. One of the most critical ways to end generational homelessness overall is to reduce the number of children who are housing insecure.

So What Will This Grant Go Toward?

The funds from this grant will be going toward the Link’s Young Families program. This program is a scattered-site housing program for young families.

Here are some of the things that this program offers:
  • Housing
  • Supportive services
  • As well as early childhood programming

The program works to help families move quickly from the street to shelters to stable housing. The program specifically focuses on families in Hennepin County.

Here are the requirements for a family experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County to enter this program:
  • A referral by Hennepin County Coordinated Entry
  • Be able to provide documentation of homelessness in Hennepin County on the day of intake. Proof must be a letter from the emergency shelter that one is residing at or from an outreach worker.
  • Also be capable of living independently and be willing to participate in Rapid Re-Housing or Housing Support Program services.

GrantWatch has similar grants to this one available on its website. Below, are five of these grants currently available that are related to homelessness.

Five Similar Grants Related to Homelessness

  1. In-kind grants of donated goods and services to U.S. organizations for distribution programs to support homeless, low-income, and disabled veterans. The types of donated goods vary but will include vital necessities like water, health and hygiene, and clothing items for veterans from all walks of life.
  2. Grants to California cities, counties, and public housing entities to address the needs of homeless populations. Funded activities include capacity building, ensuring sustainable outcomes, housing options and direct services, and administration.
  3. There are also grants to U.S., Guam, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico nonprofits and consumer cooperatives to provide services to veteran families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The program is intended to provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management and assistance obtaining VA and other benefits, which can include health care, financial planning, childcare, legal and fiduciary payee assistance, transportation, housing counseling and other services.
  4. In addition, there are grants to Vermont nonprofit and for-profit housing developers, municipal government agencies, and housing cooperatives for housing projects that benefit homeless and mixed-income individuals and families.
  5. Finally, there are grants available to Minnesota and Wisconsin nonprofits to address homelessness. Funding will improve the lives of individuals, families, and children who are homeless
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