Supportive Housing Programs

Housing is among the greatest needs in the population we serve. The concepts of "Supportive Housing" and "Housing First" mean that clients are more likely to succeed in their recovery and ability to live in the community if they can secure housing (and subsidies) with supportive services available, often on site.

MHR has steadily increased its supportive housing programs since 1996. Supportive Housing Programs at MHR reflect a variety of models.  MHR serves 978 individuals in the following supportive housing programs.

Ramsey County

Avenues to Independence: This is the most recent addition to MHR's supportive housing programs and provides subsidized housing and support services to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness who are transitioning out of shelters. This scatter site program maintains 16 vouchers for those living in Ramsey County.

Project Homeward: This project through Hearth Connection began in September 2002. MHR provides supportive housing in a scattered site model to 85 individuals who are the most underserved and multi-need adult clients in Ramsey County.  These individuals have experienced homelessness (or are at risk of becoming homeless), mental illness and chemical dependency and have not received services previously or received services that did not have an adequate impact.

Ramsey Hill Apartments: MHR is partnered with BDC Management Company to offer 13 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments in St. Paul to individuals recovering from mental illness who also meet the Group Residential Housing definition of homelessness.  These apartments are scattered throughout several market rate buildings on Cathedral Hill.

Dakota County

Dakota Community Treatment Team's Supportive Housing: MHR offers 13 one-bedroom apartments scattered throughout Dakota County to individuals recovering from mental illness, chemical dependency, and/or HIV/AIDS who also meet the Group Residential Housing definition of homelessness.

Haralson Apartments: MHR is partnered with BDC Management Company to serve individuals with mental illness in 16 one-bedroom apartments in a 36 unit building. Four of the 16 units are designated for people experiencing long-term homelessness.

Project Restore is designed to provide subsidized apartments in Dakota County and supportive services to adults meeting the federal definition of homelessness and experiencing mental illness.

Hennepin County

Stevens Supportive Housing: MHR is partnered with Stevens Community Associates to serve 29 homeless individuals who also cope with chemical dependency and/or mental illness. These tenants reside in scattered site apartments around Stevens Square Park in Minneapolis and throughout Hennepin County. Tenants must meet the Federal definition of Homelessness.

Trinity on Lake Apartments: MHR is partnered with BDC Management Company to serve individuals with mental illness in 8 one-bedroom apartments of a 24-unit building located in South Minneapolis. Services are provided through MHR's Seward Community Support Program.

Multiple Counties

Bridges:  MHR administers 40 Bridges subsidies and provides supportive services to individuals with serious mental illness, complex health issues and co-occurring health care needs.  These individuals are transitioning out of Anoka Regional Treatment Center into the community (Hennepin and Anoka Counties).  This program utilizes a scattered site permanent supportive housing model.


Rita’s Story

When Rita came to MHR four years ago, words like “sobriety,” “recovery” and “hope” were not a part of her reality. Rita reported that in the last 20 years she had not been sober outside of treatment for more than a week. In addition to her chemical dependency, Rita also struggled with major depression and experienced frequent suicidal ideation/attempts leading to numerous hospitalizations. Rita’s depression and alcoholism caused her to lose her job of 15 years, her housing, and several significant relationships, including her children and grandchildren, who refused to see her.

MHR’s Haralson Supportive Housing counselor Lynelle took a closer look. Once Rita was connected to stable housing, Lynelle began encouraging Rita to look at the relationship between her mental and chemical health. Lynelle assisted Rita in finding Mental Illness/Chemical Dependency day treatment program to help her address both issues simultaneously, and made referrals to a psychiatrist and therapist to continue her progress. Because of Rita’s commitment to recovery and Lynelle’s hopeful guidance, Rita has an entirely different outlook than she did four years ago.

Rita has maintained her sobriety for several years and has reported no suicidal ideation for the past year. She has re-established relationships with all three of her children and often babysits her grandchildren, was approved for Social Security and has held a part-time job at Target for over a year. Rita has developed a support network of friends to help her maintain her sobriety, and feels the mix of independence and Lynelle’s support has been the key to this success.