Developing Solutions to Address Rural Homelessness, Heartland Community Action


Heartland Community Action Agency provides a wide range of housing services for its community of Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker and Renville counties. Heartland’s emergency housing programs target people that are homeless or "at risk" of homelessness. The goal is to connect people to available resources to best meet their needs while reducing the days of homelessness.

Since there is no homeless shelter in our four-county area, Heartland utilizes eight leased motel rooms and apartments (five in Willmar, two in Litchfield, and one in Hutchinson) to provide emergency shelter for households experiencing homelessness. The rooms are funded through a variety of partnerships and funding sources, including grants from the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Office of Economic Opportunity, United Way of West Central Minnesota, partnerships with local churches, and private foundations, and many generous donations.

Heartland allows households to stay in the rooms for on average 35 days, though some stays may be shorter if program guidelines aren’t being followed or longer if a household needs more in-depth assistance. During that time, they must work with one of Heartland’s Outreach Workers to develop goals and a plan to find permanent housing, employment, and access other services they may need to help them move out of homelessness on a more stable footing.

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