Heading Home St. Louis County is in year four! We have made some amazing progress in all goal areas. Committees are working on funding issues, evaluation techniques, prevention-discharge planning, access to services, public relations and communications, rapid re-housing issues, and support services. Each committee meets on a monthly basis with outlined strategies and work plans being the guiding force of the implementation. Geographic obstacles have made this no small task. Committee members donate in-kind time to drive to a mid point within the county for meetings as necessary. The tireless, committed spirit of the volunteers has been the driving force behind our plan.

The New San Marco Apartments opened their doors in May 2007. The building has 70 units - 30 permanent supportive Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing units for individuals experiencing chemical dependency and 40 units of supportive efficiency apartments for people with a history of homelessness. Social services, advocacy, mental health treatment, and alcohol and chemical dependency recovery are offered to residents using a Housing First model. With the one year anniversary celebration underway, The New San Marco Apartments has released a celebratory video and evidence based data which show the huge success of community driven project. Congratulations to all who have lent a hand in seeing this dream become a reality. For more information contact Lori Reilly, New San Marco Site Director at 218-733-7133.

The Virginia Youth Foyer Project is development idea which arose for a community gaps analysis conducted by the Rural Housing Coalition which identified youth housing as the number one priority for the community. This 15 unit apartment consists of 13 efficiencies and 2 - two bedroom units. Located in the City of Virginia, this permanent, supportive housing building serves youth age 16-21 years. The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) in conjunction with Range Mental Health Center provides support services to the youth residing at the Foyer. These services consist of education, job training, employment/retention skills, and community services referrals. For more information, please contact Dana Hiltunen at 218-749-2912.

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) located in Duluth, MN is in the process of developing Gimaajii Mino Bimaadiziyaan- an Ojibwe phrase meaning "together we are beginning a good life". This permanent supportive housing development will consist of 27 units of housing and the first American Indian community and cultural center in Duluth. This housing development will primarily serve very low-income families who are homeless or fleeing domestic violence. Gimaajii will be providing cultural supportive services to homeless families and individuals. For more information, contact Sherry Sanchez-Tibbetts at 218-722-7225.

The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) is pleased to announce the development of the Duluth Veteran's Place located in the Spirit Valley neighborhood in Duluth, MN. Two buildings with a combined 16 housing units will house five units of transitional housing, six units of permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing long-term homelessness, and five units of permanent housing for low income veterans. Services help with employment, educational opportunities, information and referral, transportation, and health services will be provided to residents. For more information, contact Durbin M. Keeney at 218-722-8763.