Lakes & Pines County Community Action Council, Lakes & Pines County


Best Practice | August 11, 2006

Lakes & Pines Community Action Council serves rural Minnesota counties without an emergency homeless shelter. With access to the Family Prevention and Housing Assistance Program resources, Lakes & Pines Community Action Council focuses on preventing homelessness and stabilizing families in housing in their own communities. Without access to a homeless shelter, they are working with families with multiple challenges to help them achieve housing stability, either in their own home or in new housing following a homeless episode. This allows families who would otherwise seek shelter elsewhere to retain access to their existing support systems and prevents needless disruption in families' lives and their children's education.


Target Population:

  • Individuals, families and youth.



  • Families under sanction through TANF administering agency are not eligible, however, they will provide assistance to end the sanction after which point the family is eligible.
  • Because the counties have no homeless shelter and only limited transitional housing, they are assisting families where mental health, substance abuse and domestic violence is a contributing factor and providing the services necessary to help them stabilize in their housing.
  • Housing costs must be sustainable to the family after intervention.
  • Family has exhausted alternative funding resources—i.e., Emergency Assistance funds.
  • Assistance in excess of $5,000 must be approved by Advisory Committee as well as any stabilization periods that extend beyond four months for families and single adults, six months for youth.



  • Financial assistance to pay past due rent, mortgage or contract to prevent eviction or mortgage foreclosure.
  • Financial assistance for damage deposit, first month?s rent or a two-month stabilization period.
  • Individually tailored supportive services including information, guidance and referral, development of a self-sufficiency plan to prevent future homelessness.
  • Case management/services to stabilize family for an average of two months.
  • Provides landlord mediation, education and referral to community programs and resources.


Resource Development:

  • One agency has developed a Housing Vacancy Matching service that attempts to match participants with affordable housing and seeks to establish relationships with landlords to facilitate housing families and other individuals into housing units.


Source of Funding:

  • Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) that includes TANF block grant and state general revenue funds
  • Emergency Shelter Grant Program funds utilized to provide temporary, emergency short term stays in motels for homeless individuals.


Service Utilization/Outcome Data:

Served 192 households from 7/99 to 2/16/01

  • 17 were homeless upon application for assistance
  • 175 were in need of homelessness prevention assistance
  • 82 households surveyed, 74 were in housing after 6 mos.


For More Information Contact:

Robert Benes, Director
Community Services Department
& Pines Community Action Council
1700 Maple Avenue East
Mora, MN 55051-1227

(320) 679-1800