Minneapolis, MN – The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) recently recognized Stable Homes Stable Schools with an Award of Merit for the program’s forward-thinking solution designed to tackle the issues of homelessness and the achievement gap simultaneously.

Stable Homes Stable Schools is a collaborative effort between the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), Minneapolis Public Schools, the YMCA of the North, and local philanthropic partners, including the Pohlad Family Foundation.

The Stable Homes Stable Schools program is inspired by a sobering statistic: thousands of students who attend Minneapolis Public Schools experience homelessness each year. Stable Homes Stable Schools provides direct rental assistance to those families through a powerful partnership. School social workers connect with families in need. The City of Minneapolis, MPHA, and a local philanthropy funded one-time and ongoing rental assistance, administered by MPHA.

The YMCA of the North supports the families, connecting them to a web of supportive services, and helped families re-engage with their children’s classrooms. Since 2019, Stable Homes Stable Schools has now reached more than 3,100 children and counting.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for our collective work on Stable Homes, Stable Schools,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Through incredible cross-agency coordination and collaboration, we have been able to provide housing for more than 3,000 Minneapolis Public School students and 900 families facing homelessness or severe housing instability. The opportunity to provide housing stability for students of Minneapolis is a benefit that extends to our entire City.”

“Success in school starts with affordable stable housing. Research has shown that children living in homes where parents pay a percentage of their income towards rent demonstrate better performance,” said Jennifer Keogh, Deputy Executive Director of Minneapolis Public Housing Authority.  “Stable Homes Stable Schools is a strategic partnership working toward a community solution to end homelessness for families in our city.  It requires coordinated public investments in housing and education and together we are making an impact.”

“Acknowledging that learning is impacted by what happens outside of school, Stable Homes Stable Schools provides the direct and needed support of stability and safety for our kids,” said Ed Graff, Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent. “We are grateful for this initiative and for the partners that make this work possible. We are inspired by the caregivers and students who demonstrate resilience and strength in achieving stability and academic success.”

“Hennepin County is committed to making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring,” said David Hewitt, Hennepin County Director of Housing Stability. “This incredible partnership and innovative program has helped change lives and create stability for some of our most vulnerable families and contributed to the dramatic reduction in families needing shelter in recent years.”

“Safe and stable housing is among the most significant out-of-school factors for predicting student success in school,” said Glen Gunderson, YMCA of the North President. “We are honored to work with our community partners to make life-changing impact by investing in stable housing for young learners to break the cycle of poverty and bring long-term economic benefits to children, families and our communities.”

During the NAHRO Online National Conference & Exhibition, NAHRO honored 52 housing and community development agencies with 182 Awards of Merit for a wide range of affordable housing and community development programs. 

“This year’s award winners showcase our members’ creativity and hard work as they continue to meet the needs of their local communities,” said NAHRO Interim CEO Mike Gerber. “As the global pandemic continues to upend lives across this country, the exceptional work of housing agencies is unrelenting. We hope these innovative projects inspire others as they seek to solve local challenges.

About Hennepin County

Hennepin County is the most populous county in Minnesota. Alongside our public and private sector partners, we strive to serve our diverse resident base through proactive, innovative public stewardship. We are committed to reducing disparities and making a long-term impact by focusing on outcomes in education, employment, health, housing, income, justice and transportation.

About Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) is the largest public housing authority in the state Minnesota. MPHA  provides housing stability to over 26,000 residents of Minneapolis every single night.  The mission of MPHA is to promote and deliver quality, well-managed homes to a diverse low-income population and, with partners, contribute to the well-being of the individuals, families and community we serve.  To learn more about MPHA, visit www.mphaonline.org

About Minneapolis Public Schools

Minneapolis Public Schools, located in Minnesota’s largest city, is an urban school district with schools in or near every Minneapolis neighborhood. We embrace diversity in our students, staff and programs, working hard to accelerate learning in everything we do. From early childhood education to early college credits and career preparation, MPS promises a safe, welcoming environment in which learners can grow to become confident global citizens. For more information, visit mpls.k12.mn.us.

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Established 165 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities. The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds. To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcanorth.org.