our mission

One of the 10 core initiatives of the mpls downtown council‘s Intersections: The Downtown 2025 Plan is to end street homelessness in Minneapolis. The 2025 Plan’s Ending Street Homelessness committee is made up of a collection of individuals and organizations who are working together to achieve this goal, and in the process working to extend housing, treatment, job training and outreach efforts as well as educating citizens on how they can best help. Members of this committee include street outreach teams and employees, business leaders, downtown residents and public officials.

Committee Co-Chairs

Joseph Desenclos  | Mpls DID Livability Team

Joseph Desenclos has over 10 years of direct service and six years of management experience working with social service organizations that service individuals experiencing homelessness. For the past eight years, he has dedicated his focus on street-level social service engagement to end homelessness for people who are sleeping outside or in places not fit for human habitation.

Mark Hamel  |  Dorsey & Whitney, LLP

Mark Hamel has been an Ending Street Homelessness committee co-chair since 2011. At Dorsey & Whitney, he practices in all aspects of real property law, principally on transactions involving the acquisition, development, construction, financing, sale or leasing of commercial real estate, including office, mixed-use, retail, hotel and hospitality, industrial, health care, assisted living and multi-family.



110 families in Minneapolis shelter on night of April 10

397 people counted…

counted in April 2018 as experiencing homelessness unsheltered or in place not meant for human habitation.

1,264 people in Minneapolis shelter on night of April 10

Of those unsheltered…

292 were on transit at or at transit stops, 40 were age 24 or under, and 196 had a disabling condition

205 children in Minneapolis shelter on night of April 10




Throughout Minneapolis, homeless shelters provide hot meals throughout the day. Giving your time to serve meals or help these shelters with the resources they need each day is important to meeting their needs.


Helping offer advice on building resumes and preparing for job interviews, tutoring elementary students and helping make connections for employment are all ways we can give back.


Gifts such as toiletries and clothing are important. If you are in position to give a financial gift that will be put toward sheltering those experiencing homelessness, click here.




In the effort to end street homelessness, one of the barriers to success is the public’s perception of panhandling. Not all panhandlers are homeless, and many of those who are experiencing homelessness choose not to panhandle because it feels degrading. One of the more important communication goals in helping end street homelessness is that giving spare change to panhandlers on the street is not the answer. Contributing to proven programs focused on long-term solutions is far more effective. By doing so, your contributions will go toward efforts that will truly help those in need through giving resources for providing homes, delivering social services like drug and mental health treatment, offer job training or meaningful activities to those experiencing homelessness, and more.


By not giving to panhandlers, your contributions will be going to places where it can truly make a difference. It will also help decrease the negative behaviors that damage livability and deter investment in our city’s core: loitering, panhandling, public intoxication, etc.


In order to best help those in need, when you see a panhandler and are compelled to give we recommend you donate through our website or directly toward  a social services program of your choice. Speak to panhandlers with respect, and point them toward a team that can help them—like the DID Livability Team (612.332.1111).




In order to best represent what one needs to bring themselves out of homelessness, we look to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The 5 essential needs are self-actualization, esteem, love/belonging, safety and physiology. These icons represent these needs and are a supporting visual element to the ending street homelessness mission.



DID Livability Team

The Mpls Downtown Improvement District works to create a greener, cleaner and safer downtown. The DID Livability team conducts proactive street-level outreach in the District. Last year, they had 5,634 interactions downtown, provided 350 social services referrals and 396 hospitality resources.

Adult Shelter Connect

The five Minneapolis shelters serving single adults in Hennepin County have formed the Single Adult Shelter Collaborative. It assists single adults experiencing homelessness in accessing and navigating the single adult shelter system in a more logical and dignified way. Individuals will need to visit the Adult Shelter Connect (ASC) for an assessment and placement at one of the five Minneapolis shelters and referrals to other services.

People Serving People

People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive family homeless shelter in Minnesota, with 60 percent of their guests being children with an average age of 6 years old. People Serving People helps homeless and at-risk children and their families manage crisis situations and build a strong foundation for their long-term success.


YouthLink works with homeless youth, ages 16-23. We are located in downtown Minneapolis, and serve youth across the Twin Cities. YouthLink provides basic needs: hot showers, warm meals, assistance with educational and career goals, accessing mental and physical health resources, and more.

St. Stephen’s Human Services

St. Stephen’s Human Services, a 501c3 nonprofit, helps thousands of people secure housing and other support each year. They envision a community in which housing instability is rare, brief and non-recurring, ending homelessness as we know it. Their core values include Equity, Dignity, Integrity, Self-Determination and Mutual Responsibility.


MAD DADS, Inc. was founded by a group of concerned African-American men and parents who were fed up with gang violence and the unmolested flow of illegal drugs in their community. MAD DADS activities are designed to promote and demonstrate positive images of fathers engaging and protecting community, youth and families.

Summit Academy

Located in the Heritage Park neighborhood of North Minneapolis, Summit Academy OIC is the only community-based vocational training and job placement program in North Minneapolis. They exist to assist individuals in developing their ability to earn and to become contributing citizens in their community.

Simpson Housing Services

Simpson Housing Services is a Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated to housing, supporting and advocating for people experiencing homelessness. At any given time, Simpson Housing provides supportive services to 100 individuals and 210 families with over 500 children.

Salvation Army – Harbor Lights

The Harbor Light Center at 1010 Currie Ave., Minneapolis, is a place for people to stabilize their lives and begin the process of healing. They offer a wide range of basic needs to anyone without discrimination. As Minnesota’s largest homeless adult outreach facility, they meet people at their greatest point of need to inspire hope, instill belief in possibilities, and impart opportunities for a fresh start.

House of Charity

Since its origins in the 1950s, House of Charity has been transforming lives one person at a time. Currently located at 510 S. 8th Street, the building currently houses 116 men and women experiencing homelessness. Their primary goal is to help struggling individuals meet their basic human needs of food and shelter while reducing barriers to their long-term self-sufficiency. They provide daily free public meals, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, chemical and mental treatment and public showers.

Catholic Charities

The mission of Catholic Charities is to serve those most in need and to advocate for justice in the community. Men, women, children and families, just like all of us, come to Catholic Charities during some of the hardest times in their lives. The darkness of abuse, illness, homelessness, hunger. They respond in three ways – preventing poverty, meeting basic needs in times of crisis and creating pathways out of poverty.

Blogs and Hubs

Hippy Feet
Heading Home: Minnesota’s Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness
YouthLink: The Cost of Homelessness
Amherst Wilder Foundation Statewide Homeless Study
Invisible People