St. Andrew’s Family Shelter in Mahtomedi was recently recognized with a national award from a leading economic development association for its efforts to help Washington County families experiencing homelessness and in need of emergency shelter.

The Award of Excellence was given to St. Andrew’s by the National Association of County Community and Economic Development Association (NACCEDA).

St. Andrew’s received $240,000 in funding from the Community Development Block Grant program, which when combined with private donations, facilitated the conversion of the rectory at the Church of St. Genevieve in Hugo into an emergency shelter and assistance center. The CDA administers CDBG funding on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We are pleased to have played a part in supporting such a meaningful and worthwhile endeavor. Information on our CDBG efforts, including how communities and organizations can apply for assistance, can be found here.

But the operational success of St. Andrew’s is a testament to the willingness of Washington County volunteers, churches, and communities to step up and help their neighbors. A dozen churches provide nearly 1,400 hours of volunteer labor each year to keep the shelter staffed in the evening and overnight. They also raise the over $90,000 to cover the shelter’s operating budget each year.

In its first 14 months, St. Andrew’s has sheltered 19 homeless families – 58 individuals, including 34 children. Of those, St. Andrew’s has helped 13 of those families find permanent, affordable housing. The importance of that work – helping to provide stability and dignity to these families during difficult times – could never be measured in dollars alone.

(Photo: Staff and volunteers from St. Andrew’s Community Resource Center shared their 2019 Award of Excellence in Homeless Coordination/Assistance with the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 22.)


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