Impact and Programs
Agate’s services range from meeting immediate needs for people living unsheltered to helping our clients find and maintain housing, employment, and childcare through Case Management. Our programs are committed to sticking with people through their journeys navigating systems and recovering from crisis. Case Managers provided more than 4,300 hours of one-on-one assistance last year.
Short term success is defined when people experiencing homelessness receive emergency services and access safe, affordable housing with community resources that increase stable tenancy. Longer-term goals for housing, physical health and chemical treatment, education, life and interpersonal skills, and employment are set by each client. Our person-centered services work- our shelter team doubled the number of clients exiting to permanent housing as compared to the previous year from 4% in 2018 to 7% in 2020 to 15% in 2022.
The outreach team was able to house 40 more households in 2021 as compared to the previous year. From 2020 to 2021, 462 people accessed emergency shelter, 293 stayed in our Park7 residence and supportive housing, and 314 people moved from homelessness to housing with our programs’ help. In addition, our Food Centre served more than 75,000 meals annually prior to a fire in January 2022. We are continuing to meet the needs of individuals and families in our shelters and housing, and planning to return to serving public with meals and our food shelf before the end of the year.
Agate’s mission is to end homelessness and relieve hunger through action and advocacy. We are a Housing First, Harm Reduction agency. Our vision is for every person and family to have a stable place to live, with their basic needs met and a hopeful path ahead. We’re committed to making a difference in our community by offering support enabling people to live their best lives, on their own terms, and centering the voices and life experiences of people affected by homelessness. To this end, we offer A Day in the Life info sessions for the public led by individuals with lived experience, and our Client Advisory Board will be informing programming again this year after a hiatus due to the pandemic.
In keeping with our mission, our overall goal is for our supportive housing and related services, food delivery, street outreach efforts, and emergency shelter services to provide a responsive continuum of resources. Objectives and activities focus on: Ending homelessness for as many people as we can through access to affordable housing and low-barrier shelter with services; Alleviating hunger by restoring the services of our Food Centre, vital to residents of downtown Minneapolis. Construction is underway, with the intention to be completed in autumn 2022; Working with our community partners to advocate for and implement the services and funding people who have experienced homelessness recognize as successful.
Community or Constituency Served
Data from 220 agencies like Agate across Minnesota demonstrates that during 2019 at least 1 in 262 Minnesotans experienced homelessness. Of that number, about 1 in 67 residents of color was represented, compared with 1 in 641 white individuals. This disparity is reflected in the demographics of the people who work with our organization to attain housing and stability. In the 2021 fiscal year, a disproportionate number of Heads of Household identified as Black or African American (41.5%) or Native American (19.4%) compared to the population of Hennepin County overall, where 13.8% of residents identify as Black, and 1.1% as Native American. In addition, 70.9% of individuals reported a “disabling condition” encompassing physical, mental, cognitive, and sensory disability and substance use disorders. In contrast, only 11.8% of the adult population in Hennepin County reports facing these challenges. Not only do too many of our neighbors lack housing and the income to attain it, too many people are on the edge of experiencing homelessness. 44% of Minneapolis renters live in housing that is unaffordable, paying more than 30% on living expenses alone (housinglink.org). Our organization responds to this crisis with referrals to mental and chemical health resources, and services that recognize and respect the differing abilities of our clients. We are committed to Harm Reduction, Housing First, and Trauma Informed, client-centered programming.
Geographic Area Served
We serve Hennepin County, Minnesota, which includes Minneapolis and several suburban communities. However, the people we work with are un-housed and highly mobile, and the affordable housing crisis is in no way confined to the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. People come to us from all over the seven county metro area, as services to help them are available here. On April 5, 2022, 82 families (152 children and 90 adults) and 768 single adults were in shelters in our area; on July 26, this number increased to 133 families (272 children and 152 adults) and 770 single adults. This represents a 97 family increase (303 people) from July 27, 2021. This data from the County’s Office to End Homelessness does not include a count of the people living without housing entirely, in tents or other places not meant for habitation. The Point in Time Counts of people living unsheltered in the last week of January from 2018 to 2021 in our area show this number rising, from 404 people to 642 in the most recent report. (hennepin.us/pit-2022).