Senior Homelessness RFP

Request for Proposals

New funding opportunity removes barriers for homeless shelters and emergency shelters in assisting the alarmingly increasing numbers of homeless seniors. 

The fastest growing segment of the homeless population this decade has been among individuals 55 years old and over.  The 60% growth in Minnesota in the past decade has presented unique barriers and challenges faced by homeless senior citizens and those who serve them.  Most homeless seniors have at least one chronic health condition and, since many are homeless for the first time, they are particularly vulnerable.  OYH is launching this new initiative to specifically address this issue to ensure that homeless seniors have the support they need and that shelters are able to meet their unique needs.  

Open Your Heart is offering direct financial and technical support to shelters and other facilities serving homeless seniors in Minnesota to address issues relating to services.  Support will improve facilities and agency capacity to better accommodate the shelter, care, physical/mental health, and housing needs of homeless seniors with the objective of ensuring that they move into safe and stable housing.  OYH staff will visit with each applicant agency, conduct due diligence, review equipment/contractor bids, and monitor performance to ensure assistance is provided where most needed.

Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, a Minnesota non-profit, has supported hunger, homeless, and domestic violence programs throughout the state.  Entirely funded by the private sector, mostly individuals, Open Your Heart has also worked to ensure that homeless students have the same access to educational opportunities as all Minnesotans.


The purpose of this grant is to assist agencies throughout Minnesota in improving and expanding their facilities to better serve this new and ever-growing population of homeless individuals.  In your application, please describe specifically how this funding will help your agency better serve senior clients.

Grant Deadline

11:59 PM on November 30, 2019

Grant Amount

Up to $3,000

Grant Eligibility

  • Agencies must serve hungry or homeless Minnesotans as the agency’s primary function. Agencies must have 501(c)3 status OR be recognized as tax exempt by the IRS (i.e. units of government or tribal governments) OR use a fiscal agent with 501(c)3 status.

Eligible Activities

  • Financial assistance: security deposits, transportation fees, first month’s rent, application fees, bridging fees, moving costs and smaller costs such as birth certificates, ID’s, etc. Program working with homeless seniors on finding housing. For elderly poor people who are at-risk of becoming homeless, the key to stable housing is often finding the resources to prevent eviction.
  • Motel vouchers as many seniors are too vulnerable to stay in shelter but end up there due to lack of other options.
  • Making existing shelters more senior-friendly. Grab bars, hand-held showers, railings, extra lighting.
  • Small facility improvement to better accommodate needs of seniors.
  • Purchase of equipment that will improve access, mobility, comfort, care issues of senior.
  • Expenses relating to case management services to seniors.
  • Training costs for staff education on working with homeless seniors.

Funding Consideration

  • Ability of funds to significantly impact ability of agency to provide effective and respectful service to homeless seniors.
  • Agency record providing effective, high quality services to homeless people.
  • Agency fiscal and programmatic performance.
  • Grant will increase capacity and/or improve the quality of service to homeless seniors.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply, please contact [email protected] to request an electronic grant application and submit your completed application via email to [email protected] by 11:59 PM on November 30, 2019.


Please call (612) 338-5577 or email [email protected] with any questions.

Thank you!