Greater MN Shelter Capacity Grant

Greater MN Shelter Capacity Grant

We are no longer accepting applications for this grant.

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has funds available for 501(c)3 agencies in select Minnesota communities for the purpose of increasing their capacity to serve more homeless individuals or families. Those homeless due to domestic violence are also eligible. This is the second of two rounds of our partnership grant with the Otto Bremer Foundation.

Questions should be directed to our office. Please do not contact Otto Bremer Foundation with questions or applications for this grant. 

This was a Special Project of Open Your Heart. Applying for or receiving grant through this project does not affect an agency’s eligibility to apply for any other Open Your Heart Grant.

DUE DATE: September 15, 2014. Funds for successful applicants will be available no later than November 1, 2014. Grant funds must be expended by December 31, 2015.



  • Eligible grantees must be located in, or serve at least 25% of clientele, from one of the following counties. Aitkin, Becker, Benton, Blue Earth, Clay, Crow Wing, Douglas, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lyon, Marshal, Mille Lacs, Ottertail, Polk, Pope, Redwood, Sherburne, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Wilkin.   For agencies not located in one of the counties above, but serve at least 25% of clientele from one or more of the counties listed, you must indicated how you determine county of origin.
  • Agencies who have not already received an Greater Minnesota Shelter Capacity Grant.
  • Agencies that serve homeless people as their primary function.
  • Agencies must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies as determined by the Internal Revenue Service and in compliance with Attorney General’s annual reporting. Non-profit agencies without 501(c)(3) status may submit with a fiscal agent. Eligible applicants must also be registered as a charitable organization with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office unless they are exempt. For more details and to determine whether your organization is exempt, see the Minnesota Attorney General’s website.
  • Organizations must not limit service based on individual’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.


The focus of this grant is to assist agencies in the above communities to increase their capacity to serve homeless people. Successful grantees must demonstrate that funds will increase the numbers of homeless people able to access emergency shelter. Increasing shelter capacity can be defined as adding beds to an existing facility, adding beds in an off-site location such as a church, community center, or through the increased use of motel vouchers. Adding capacity to a transitional housing site for homeless is also eligible. Funds are to be used to enhance physical capacity, i.e. purchase of beds/mats, renovating space to increase capacity, motel vouchers. Administrative, operating, or staff costs are not eligible.


Every three years Wilder Research conducts a comprehensive statewide study of homelessness in Minnesota. The study includes face to face interviews and a point in time count of homeless people. The most recent study was conducted on October 25, 2012. While the survey indicated a 6% increase in homelessness statewide from 2009, the increase was most evident in Greater Minnesota, with an increase of more than 9%.  Most troubling is the numbers of unsheltered homeless. While 12% of homeless in the metro area were unsheltered, thus living in cars, outside, or in other places unfit for human habitation, in Greater Minnesota 41% of homeless were unsheltered.

At Open Your Heart, we believe that it is critical for homeless people to get off of the streets and into a safe environment. Shelter is an essential first step in accessing the services and support needed to get back on their feet. Needless to say, with Minnesota’s climate, finding shelter can be a life saver.

To address the critical need of improving capacity in Greater Minnesota, Open Your Heart has secured a matching grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to assist homeless service providers in expanding the number of beds available for people they serve.


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