Fort Snelling has a new apartment complex for homeless veterans

The new building has 100 units.
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More of Minnesota's homeless veterans have a place to live.

A new apartment complex for homeless veterans is opening near the VA Medical Center at Fort Snelling. The five-story, 100-unit affordable housing community called "Veterans East" celebrated its grand opening Wednesday, Minnesota Housing said.

The complex will help connect residents with health services, education and job training, the Pioneer Press says. Residents will be moving in over the next few weeks.

Eligible veterans – those who have experienced chronic homelessness – will pay 30 percent of their income toward rent, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said in a news release

The $14.3 million project was developed by the nonprofit Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC) and funded by public and private sources, the department said.

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group is the largest private investor, Business Journal says, providing $5.2 million in equity for the project using low income housing tax credits.

The new housing adds to the 140 units that CHDC built at Fort Snelling in 2006, and the five historic military buildings that CommonBond Veterans Housing converted into 58 apartments in 2015.

Homeless vets in Minnesota

Minnesota is making a dent in veteran homelessness, but the new units are needed. 

About 8 percent of Minnesota’s homeless adults are military veterans, according to the most recent homeless count by the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

And on any given night, more than 10,000 Minnesotans are homeless, including more than 279 veterans, according to Heading Home Minnesota, a public-private partnership that aims to end homelessness.

But our state has shown a lot of progress. From 2010 to 2016, the number of homeless veterans in Minnesota dropped by 57 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last year, a national report estimated that of the 279 veterans without permanent housing in Minnesota – 248 were living on the street, and 31 were living in a shelter or transitional housing.

Any veteran facing a housing crisis can get help by calling 1-888-LinkVet. For more information on homeless resources in Minnesota, click here.

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