A Request for Proposals (RFP) to implement a school-based host home program for students experiencing homelessness or at-risk of experiencing homelessness in rural and/or tribal areas of Minnesota has been released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services-Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Proposals are due July 11, 2019 with the intended project start date Sept-Oct 2019.

Homelessness impacts the education, health, well-being and safety of young people who experience it. Youth experiencing homelessness have lower school attendance, higher school mobility, and lower educational attainment than their low-income, but housed, peers. Youth experiencing homelessness are at higher risk for physical and mental health issues than their housed counterparts and have increased exposure to trauma and violence.

The grants will help establish up to three school-based host home programs in rural and/or tribal areas of Minnesota for students without a parent or guardian who are experiencing homelessness. The programs will operate on the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness used by schools, which includes any young person without a fixed, regular, and adequate place to live. View RFP.

Unique elements to this project include:
1) focus on partnership between public/charter school, school district or education consortium with tribal governments or non-profit organizations
2) focus on rural communities

The program is being modeled after Mason County HOST program in Washington State. Learn more about the Mason County HOST program.

The Minnesota Department of Education, the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, and Minnesota Housing are partnering on this program. Contact Andrea Simonett with questions at (651) 431-6327 or at andrea.simonett@state.mn.us.