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Rep. Heather Keeler’s “Pathway Home Act” legislation passes off the House Floor

Thursday, March 2, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the “Pathway Home Act” with a 73-57 vote. The legislation, authored by Rep. Heather Keeler, HF 444, ensures prevention methods are established to create sustainable resources and support systems to keep youth housed in Minnesota.  

“Youth and families across Minnesota should have equitable access to emergency support services when they are in crisis,” said Representative Keeler. “Our youth are our future. The decision we made tonight will benefit many families and future generations to come. We can keep our youth off the streets by developing services and programs that will offer financial literacy and informative housing practices. I want to be clear: this bill alone will not end the issue of homelessness. Ending homeless will not happen overnight; we need to work collectively with our neighbors, relatives, and community leaders to ensure people can receive services and housing needs in their communities, rather than enabling displacement outcomes.”  

“House DFLers have long made preventing homelessness a priority. While we have made some progress in recent years, we know there is a lot more work to be done,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Housing insecurity — no matter how brief — negatively impacts every part of a person’s life, leaves lasting trauma, and often leads to tragic outcomes. We have a moral obligation to address this crisis, and this bill is a strong step forward.” 

Emergency services grants provide homeless persons essential services and emergency shelter. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis and provide emergency shelter, motel vouchers, day shelter, and essential services to children, unaccompanied youth, single adults, and families who are experiencing homelessness. The Homeless Youth Act provides services to people who are 24 years of age or younger who are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian and without shelter where appropriate care and supervision are available, whose parent is unable or unwilling to provide shelter and care, or who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. 

“We are not doing enough as a state to ensure that all Minnesotans have pathways to stable housing. I want to thank Rep. Heather Keeler for authoring the Pathway Home Act and for her relentless advocacy to disrupt the cycle of homelessness that many people are experiencing,” said House Majority Leader Jamie Long. “We know that emergency services, outreach, and shelters save lives, and this bill provides new, ongoing funding that ensures all Minnesotans have access, regardless of their background or zip code.”  

The transitional housing programs provide housing for a homeless person or family at a rental rate of 25% of family income for a period of up to 36 months. Transitional housing may also include up to six months of follow-up support services for persons who complete transitional housing as they stabilize in permanent housing. 

You can watch the presentation and testimony of the bill here.   

Photo Cutline: Pathway Home Act graphic