June 5, 2018
Community Partners Create New Homeless Shelter in St. Peter
Local Ministry Buys, Donates St. Peter Motel to Partners for Affordable Housing
ST. PETER—The St. Peter Motel will transition into a new emergency homeless shelter after a local ministry worked with nonprofits to buy the property and donate it to Partners for Affordable Housing.
Through a partnership with Greater Mankato Area United Way, a Christian ministry purchased the property on June 5 and immediately donated it to Partners for Affordable Housing to be used as an emergency shelter. The ministry prefers to remain anonymous.
The move maintains the property’s current housing support offerings while expanding its functions and services.
“The St. Peter Motel was already being utilized informally to provide temporary and long-term housing to people in need,” said Jen Theneman, Executive Director at Partners for Affordable Housing. “This partnership leverages the property’s current use with the potential to add a role as a shelter too. Long-term success is improved when staff walk alongside a guest to determine their unique barriers and empower them to address them. We plan to eventually add the kind of case management and supportive services that Partners for Affordable Housing provides, to positively impact more lives and help people obtain sustainable housing. Our goal is always housing, and after people obtain that, other barriers seem to fall away too.”
According to Theneman, the planned shelter is unique in its potential to offer housing support that combines emergency shelter, transitional housing and long-term affordable housing.
In addition to its existing emergency shelters, Theresa House and Welcome Inn, Partners for Affordable Housing owns and operates 32 rental units in the Mankato area that provide transitional and permanent affordable housing options to previously homeless and/or at-risk individuals and families.
Discussions began when the ministry approached Greater Mankato Area United Way CEO Barb Kaus with an interest in purchasing the St. Peter Motel as a shelter through United Way’s facilitation. Kaus connected with Partners for Affordable Housing because of the great work it does to provide shelter to people in need.
Kaus says the accomplishment is an example of Greater Mankato Area United Way’s work in “community convening,” or bringing people and organizations together to meet community needs.
“We see community success when we collaborate and partner together,” said Kaus. “Our community members are not only compassionate and generous but also actively involved in creating change.”
Some initiatives developed from Greater Mankato Area United Way’s community convening include the BackPack Food Program, the Connecting Kids program, the Boys & Girls Club of Mankato and Success by Six.