More than $285,000 in funding has been awarded to Tri-Valley Opportunity Council to address homelessness in Marshall and Norman counties.
Tri-Valley Opportunity Council (TVOC), a nonprofit community action agency headquartered in Crookston, will partner with the Northwest Minnesota Housing & Redevelopment Authority to provide housing assistance and supports for a transitional housing project and a rapid rehousing project.
The agency was awarded $285,469 by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to support this three-year program that will support efforts from the whole of the Northwest Minnesota Continuum of Care (NWCoC) toward ending homelessness throughout Northwest Minnesota.
The Northwest Minnesota Continuum of Care is a regional planning body of representative stakeholders designed to promote a shared commitment to the goal of ending homelessness in Northwest Minnesota. It serves three tribal nations and 12 counties. The Northwest Minnesota Foundation serves as the “collaborative applicant” for the NWCoC, essentially administering the NWCoC and employing its coordinator. The NWCoC has its own board separate from that of the NMF.
In 2022, nearly 8,000 Minnesotans were experiencing homelessness, according to the point-in-time count from that year. It has long been understood that if a person’s physiological needs – water, food, shelter – are not being met, they will be at a disadvantage of achieving stability, improving health, or improving income.
Housing First is a philosophy that values flexibility, individualized supports, client choice and autonomy. Under this approach, anyone experiencing homelessness should be connected to housing as soon as possible and barriers should be removed to access housing. This philosophy is what informs the work of TVOC and the service providers that they work with in partnership.
About the project
Transitional housing and rapid rehousing are designed for independent living, provided to a household living through homelessness at a rental rate of at least 25 percent of the household income for a period of up to three years.
These programs are designed to be intermediate steps between homelessness and permanent housing, assisting the household in removing barriers to transition to stable housing. These barriers may include, but are not limited to: access to child care, transportation, health services, employment opportunities, etc.
TVOC has deep collaborative relationships with regional stakeholder service providers to provide supportive services to the individuals that they serve. The agency has been a leader in eliminating the causes for and the effects of poverty in Northwest Minnesota since 1965.
TVOC has initiated more than 100 programs and services focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. Funding for these programs allows the agency to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for the people in our communities.
With a focus on being a community partner, Tri-Valley strives to allow the clients they serve be the driving force in the solution process. Utilizing a person-centered approach to service delivery recognizes that the client is the expert in their own life, focusing on what they can do first and any help that they may need second.
“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“To bring about meaningful change in our Minnesota communities, it requires us to think in a mindset of ‘we’”, said Barbara Johnson, NMF program officer who serves as the NWCoC coordinator. “Tri-Valley models this mindset in the work they do every day. They show up to serve the wellbeing of the whole community. They understand that when one Minnesotan succeeds, we all succeed.”