A New Vision to Serve Homeless Families in Hennepin County 

Haven Housing and People Serving People Announce Changes at St. Anne’s Place emergency shelter for mothers and their children

(Minneapolis–26 March 2024) With more than four families waiting for shelter for every one permanent shelter room in Hennepin County, Haven Housing and People Serving People have partnered in the fight to end homelessness. Haven Housing plans to gift its St. Anne’s Place emergency family shelter to People Serving People on May 2, 2024, creating a new vision for family shelter in Hennepin County. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Haven Housing. Entrusting us with the generous and incredible gift of St. Anne’s Place underscores our shared commitment to addressing homelessness in North Minneapolis and Hennepin County. It furthers the mission of St. Anne’s Place and People Serving People by providing vital services and a renewed effort to end homelessness for families.” said Hoang Murphy, CEO of People Serving People.

Haven Housing explored options for the best way to achieve its mission through a strategic planning process and approached its longtime partner, People Serving People, with the opportunity to operate St. Anne’s Place. People Serving People, in partnership with their Board and Staff leadership, explored the sustainability, financial capacity, and values alignment of accepting the gift of St. Anne’s Place. Together, People Serving People and Haven Housing determined the gift will strengthen the community’s capacity to combat homelessness in Hennepin County. 

Debra Spears, Haven Housing’s Board Chair, said, “To be responsible stewards of donor and tax-payer dollars—maximizing the resources for families experiencing homelessness—we understood the importance for Haven Housing to find administrative efficiencies without sacrificing the strengths of our program. We are proud to support People Serving People and the person-centered work they champion.”

Both organizations are planning the integration to ensure a smooth transition in May. The goals of St. Anne’s Place to provide a safe haven and prevent future episodes of homelessness for women and non-binary person led families will remain unchanged. No families will be displaced because of the transition, and families will continue to work with the same staff who have been supporting them during their stay. People Serving People plans to hire all St. Anne’s Place staff to continue operation of the shelter.

Shereese Turner, former Haven Housing Board Chair and current People Serving People Board member who stayed at St. Anne’s Place with her children shared, “It is so important that our two organizations found a way to create a new vision for family shelter. Homelessness is an affordable housing issue, there are just not enough affordable units in our community. Family homelessness is at record-high levels, and this is unacceptable in our community. My family is a St. Anne’s Place success story, and I know that many more families will be helped under People Serving People’s leadership.”

Together, in 2023, People Serving People and Haven Housing served 424 families, nearly 1,400 parents and children. By operating both the 16-family St. Anne’s Place in North Minneapolis and the 99-family shelter in downtown Minneapolis, the scale of administration at People Serving People will allow for more services for families. People Serving People is able to offer expertise in early childhood education through their Center of Excellence and expanded opportunities to prevent homelessness.

If you would like to support the ongoing work of St. Anne’s Place and People Serving People’s downtown shelter, please visit www.peopleservingpeople.org. All donations made to Haven Housing prior to May 2, will support operations at St. Anne’s Place. Afterward, Haven Housing plans to dissolve as a nonprofit organization and will no longer accept donations or new volunteers.

Haven Housing’s mission is to provide shelter and the opportunity to explore opportunities for the future to women, non-binary people, and the families they lead. Founded in 1981, Haven Housing has served over 15,000 over the past 40+ years. Learn more at www.havenhousing.org

People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention. Our vision is healed families and transformed communities. We exist to see families thrive. Learn more at www.peopleservingpeople.org/.