To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to #StayHomeMN and limit all movement outside to home to essentials from Friday, March 27th through Friday, April 10th.
The Governor also issued executive orders extending the closure of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations until May 1st and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for students beginning on March 30th through May 4th.
Thank you to all of you who have reached out to our office over the last two weeks. Our office is issuing this statement in order to best respond to the many calls and emails we have received and to provide as much accurate and up-to-date information as we can at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-348-3526.
Bill Emory, Constituent Services & Policy Aide, Hennepin County Commissioner Irene Fernando’s District 2 Office
Updates on Hennepin’s State of Emergency and COVID-19
Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2020
On Friday March 13, Governor Walz declared a state of peacetime emergency for Minnesota. The following business day on Monday March 16, Chair Greene declared a state of emergency for Hennepin County. And the business day after on Tuesday March 17, the County Board voted on several policy measures.
Policy and voting can be an elongated process. I believe there are many additional actions the County Board will need to take in the coming weeks. Thanks to the strength of Hennepin’s leadership, we were prepared to vote on meaningful policy actions in a timely and responsive manner. I thank my colleagues for their commitment and for passing each measure unanimously (7-0). Below see all the actions Hennepin has taken to date as well as actions I’m advocating for more broadly.
Actions Hennepin has taken, both as a service provider and as an employer:
Declared Emergency. To increase responsiveness, the County Board authorized County Administration special powers in how Hennepin coordinates or receives aid from local, state, and federal governments—and in the same action we immediately allocated $2.5 million to purchase and contract for all necessary goods, materials, supplies, equipment, and contracted services as part of the Hennepin County’s COVID-19 response.
Increased Shelter Funding. To proactively limit the impact among our most in need, namely seniors and other vulnerable people who are experiencing homelessness, the County Board authorized $3 million to secure alternative living spaces. County leaders have been working with shelters and will transport approximately 150 people to a new site, which will provide separation in space to mitigate the health risk.
More Testing. To remove barriers for testing, Hennepin is waiving copays for COVID-19 testing to the extent permitted by law. I understand that there are other factors and barriers to testing, so County leaders are in conversation with partners to advance this topic.
Closed Public Spaces. To align with recommendations from the CDC, most County buildings are closed to the public. By federal and state statute, there are many services that are required to be delivered in person—so this decision is significant, and County leaders are working with State leaders to ensure compliance with the law and continuation of services.
Equip Remote Working. All workers who are able are required to work remotely. Hennepin has provided guidance, remote tools, and equipment to accomplish this—and some of this may take some effort and patience to implement completely. I would like to note that this doesn’t apply to everyone, and the entire community is grateful for your service. Specifically: (i) workers who care for people in facilities, (ii) workers who investigate allegations of abuse or neglect, (iii) workers who protect our most vulnerable populations such as those experiencing homelessness, and (iv) workers who monitor court-ordered probationers/parolees.
Adjust Employee Policies. The County Board expanded support for employees during the pandemic. Specifically, we authorized: (i) eligibility for 80 hours for an employee who is required to be off work with a medically confirmed diagnosis of or exposure to COVID-19 for them or someone of their family or household, (ii) increasing the number of negative vacation/sick leave/PTO time that can be accrued to 240 hours, (iii) allowing for the ability to earn 80 hours back with continued employment at Hennepin, and (iv) an additional 80 hours of future PTO/vacation time for employees whose jobs cannot be done off-site and are on the frontlines of this crisis. I am grateful for the speed of these changes, and I understand that these policies may need to be further advanced or strengthened as the situation evolves.
Shift Operating Procedures. This is an evolving time with much uncertainty. New information and dynamic factors are revealed constantly, and Hennepin is continually working to respond.
Actions I am advocating for in my leadership capacity as a Commissioner:
Adjust State Statutes. Suspending adherence to state statutes that conflict with Hennepin County’s ability to care for residents and our workforce.
Produce Protective Health Equipment. Identify businesses with the manufacturing ability to produce testing supplies and protective health gear and support them in increasing capacity immediately.
Provide Resources and Care for All. Expand access to public assistance programs and health care programs to all residents, regardless of citizenship status.
Stop Evictions. Suspending evictions and related proceedings, so that people can remain stably housed.
Increase Housing Stability. Expanding eligibility, speeding up processes, and supplementing access to rental assistance and homeless prevention programs, such as FHPAP and EA/EGA.
Increase Basic Needs. Expanding eligibility and speeding up processes for cash and food assistance programs, such as SNAP (food stamps) and MFIP.
Increase Economic Stability. Providing economic support for individuals, including Unemployment Insurance Benefits and other stimulus efforts.
Stop Mortgage and Rent Payments. Suspending mortgage and rent payments, which would benefit renters, homeowners, businesses, and the community as a whole.
Stop Loan Payments. Suspending loan payments (such as student or medical), which would benefit residents and spur economic development.
Stop Utility Payments. Suspending utility payments, which would benefit renters, homeowners, businesses, and the community as a whole.
Define Internet as a Utility. Defining broadband internet as a utility to be regulated (like water or electricity) versus a commodity (like goods or services), particularly in an environment where distance-learning and access to internet are required for other State functions such as education.
Engage on 2020 Census. Increasing community outreach and engagement to ensure a fair and accurate count in the midst of this pandemic.
Secure Elections. Protecting our elections and preparing for a potential shift to elections primarily conducted by mail.
Reduce Correctional Facilities Population. Reducing the health risk for staff and people in correctional facilities by releasing low-risk offenders to home confinement, protecting them and staff from exposure.
Stop Deportations. Implement an immediate ban of deportations. Our interactions with other countries should be centered on this health crisis and not on the forced removal of our neighbors.
Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish located on 13th Ave NE across from the Logan Park Rec Center will be opening a temporary relief shelter for those experiencing homelessness. Veteran consultant and shelter director Monica Nilsson will run the shelter program taking place between the two neighbor churches. They currently have funding for 3 months beginning (tentatively) Feb 14. Thank you to the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for their generous support! Please see https://elimstrongtowershelters.org for more information.
DONATION NEEDS Donated items like yours allow us to meet basic needs, provide comfort, and assist with building trusting relationships with our program participants.
DONATION QUALITY STANDARDS We welcome donations of high-quality items. Most items must be new, except where noted. Items must meet the following standards:
Toiletry items and food must be unopened and unexpired.
Staff assess items and may request that you donate items to another agency based on the quality of the items and our current needs.
Donations of assembled toiletry kits, or blessing bags, may be helpful depending on our storage space.
Unsure whether you should donate an item? Ask yourself if you would give the item as a gift to a friend.
DROP OFF LOCATION/HOURS: Elim Church 685 13th Ave NE Minneapolis, MN 55413 (please use 13th Ave door)
Evening Hours: 7 days a week: 6pm to 9pm (upon shelter opening)
Daytime Hours (varied):
Mon: 9am to noon Tue-Thu: 9am to 4pm Fri: 9am to noon Sat: no day hours Sun: 7:30am to 9:30am
Winter gloves, scarves/hats
New thermal long underwear for adult men and women
New adult underwear/bras, socks and t-shirts
Sheets or Towels
Bath towels: high quality gently used or new
Wash cloths: high quality gently used or new
Pillows & pillow cases, twin size fitted and flat sheets, pillows and pillow cases: high quality gently used or new
Toiletries and Personal Care Items
Travel/full size body wash, deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion
Razors, Shaving cream
Foot powder, Disinfectant spray for shoes & feet
Combs & brushes, African American hair & skin care products
Products for natural/textured hair
Coffee, tea bags
Hot cocoa packets
Disposable eating products
Non-perishable snack items
Paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue
Cub Foods gift cards
Backpacks & duffel bags: high quality gently used or new
Combination locks and padlocks with keys
Here’s Elim Church’s statement on the new Temporary Relief Shelter. Thank you to our Northeast neighbors for providing this wonderful resource!
“Dear neighbors and greater Northeast community,
Guided by core values of hospitality, compassion and love for all people, Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish have been in communication about how to better serve women and men facing homelessness. Elim has operated a volunteer led cold-weather shelter for men, as we are able, over the past 8 years and operates Hope Avenue, a weekly drop-in program. Strong Tower Parish operates a food shelf weekly. Together, we have 1400 congregants. In partnership with Tasks Unlimited, a 50 year old non-profit and a long-time advocate for people experiencing homelessness and Monica Nilsson, we have pursued temporary funding to take in women and men who are without a place to sleep at night for the next 3 months at each of our churches. Elim will accommodate women; Strong Tower will take in couples and men. People will be able to keep their bed while working with professional staff so there will be consistency and stability in the community.
We are providing this temporary relief with support from the Richard Schulze Foundation (the founder of Best Buy). We will discern during this time if there is a continued need and the support of our congregations, the community and funders or we will close. We are contacting you to keep you informed and invite you to share in this experience of serving those in need: whether by dropping off towels or twin size bedding in good condition, volunteering your time or serving a meal. Helpful links will be coming shortly on our church websites for your review. You are also welcome to visit the program once it is running in mid-February. It will operate nightly from early evening to early morning. This program will work in complement with existing day programs and guests will be provided a bus token in the morning to make their way.”
As Proverbs 21:13 tells us, “Don’t close your ears to the cry of the poor.” We stand ready to do what we can and invite your engagement.
If you’re interested in volunteering, please reach out to the contacts below.
Paul Stephen Olson, Lead Pastor Elim Church, 685 13th Avenue NE Office: 612.789.3591
Becky Hanson, Pastor of Congregational Care and Hope Avenue Elim Church, Office: 612.789.3591
Pastor Emmanuel Olowokere, Senior Pastor The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Strong Tower Parish, 697 13th Ave NE
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. (Day 1) Do not park on EITHER side of a Snow Emergency route until 8 a.m., or the street is fully plowed.
Thursday, Nov. 28, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Day 2) Do not park on the EVEN numbered side of a non-Snow Emergency route until 8 p.m., or that side of the street is fully plowed, or on EITHER side of a parkway until 8 p.m., or the parkway is fully plowed.
Friday, Nov. 29, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Day 3) Do not park on the ODD numbered side of a non-Snow Emergency route until 8 p.m., or that side of the street is fully plowed.
You can find an interactive map for street lookup here.
Is your home in need of critical repairs or painting? Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity can help! Applications for the “A Brush With Kindness” program are now open!
What is A Brush with Kindness? We believe that every family should have the opportunity to affordably maintain and preserve their home. But many situations can create barriers for you to keep up with repairs, including unexpected life events or loss of income. Our paint and repair program provides health and safety repairs that can help you maintain a safe and stable home. That’s why more than 2,000 local families have partnered with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program!
The “A Brush with Kindness” program focuses on exterior painting, and health and safety repairs. Their home repair program utilizes a combination of volunteers and contractors to help homeowners affordably maintain their homes.
Homeowners with roofing needs are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as roofing resources and funds are limited – roofing projects will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Work will start on accepted projects in May 2020, weather cooperating.
If you submit an eligible application, staff will visit your home to understand your repair needs. Habitat staff, volunteers and/or contractors will complete projects within one year of your application.
What we do:
Carpentry repairs on roofing, siding, flooring, doors, windows
Mechanical system repairs to plumbing, electrical, heating
Tree trimming and removal
Safety and accessibility modifications (ramps, grab bars, ADA toilets, lever-handles for doors and faucets)
What we don’t do:
Cosmetic repairs (Remodel)
Large Structural repairs (Foundations, waterproofing, etc.)
Building additions (Rebuild garage, finish basements or attics)
Homeowners are eligible if:
Home is in 7-county Twin Cities metro area
Owner occupied for at least the last 2 years and have homeowners insurance
Meeting notes and presentation from the February Community Advisory Committee meeting posted online
Thank you to all of the community members working together to create the East of the River Park Master Plan! The next East of the River Park Master Plan Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting is scheduled Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 6-8 pm at Van Cleve Recreation Center, 901 15th Ave SE.
This meeting will focus on a “Data Jam,” where we will look at and synthesize at all the data we’ve collected from community and other sources and develop recommendations for each park. This is an exciting step in the design and planning process and we can’t do without you!
As usual, the CAC meeting is open to the public, with free dinner and children’s activities.
Meeting notes and other materials from the last CAC meeting have been posted online.
Also save the date for the April CAC meeting, which is scheduled Moday, April 30, 6-8 pm at Luxton Recreation Center. This CAC meeting will kick off the Park Design Week where we will have six teams of designers and MPRB staff working on two park concepts for each park.