Family Shelter Report

Due to lack of wage growth and affordable housing, the number of families experiencing homelessness has trended upwards for the past few years both nationally and in Ramsey County.
When families find themselves living in places not meant for human habitation (streets, a car, camping, public transit, etc.) they are eligible to complete an intake assessment with Ramsey County staff to receive unsheltered homeless status, and most often are placed on the emergency shelter waitlist.

Total families on shelter waitlist

Currently, there is not enough family shelter space to meet the needs of families who are struggling with housing instability.  Space for Ramsey County family emergency shelter is limited and beds are not immediately available. Completing an intake with Ramsey County shelter staff is the only way to be placed on the shelter waitlist, but does not guarantee shelter or housing.


Families assigned to shelter

Ramsey County staff work hard to place families on the Family Shelter Waitlist into emergency shelter, when space becomes available. This does not include families in the Emergency Hotel Shelter Program, because those families are still on the waitlist for shelter.

Family shelter options in Ramsey County

Families on the family shelter waitlist are placed at the Family Service Center, Project Home overnight and day shelters or the Emergency Hotel Shelter Program, when space is available.

The Family Service Center

Ramsey County contracts with Catholic Charities to provide programming for the Family Service Center. Located in Maplewood, the center provides temporary shelter for families in crisis. The goal of the center is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for families transitioning to permanent housing. The Family Service Center can serve up to 65 people at a time. Families can stay for a maximum of 120 days per year.
During their stay, the Family Service Center provides housing and employment search assistance, three meals per day, activities and tutoring for children, parenting education, transportation assistance, laundry facilities, and a computer lab.

Project Home overnight and day shelters 

Each month, with the help of local faith communities,  Project Home provides 40 overnight emergency shelter beds every night. In fall 2019, Interfaith Action opened the Project Home Day Center to serve families who are guests in Project Home overnight shelters. The center, located in First Baptist Church in downtown Saint Paul, provides meals, lockers, showers, educational programming and social workers to help families find stable housing.

The Emergency Hotel Shelter Program

The Emergency Hotel Shelter Program ensures more families avoid spending nights in places not meant for human habitation by using hotels, until shelter space becomes available. This program mirrors the schedule of the academic calendar to provide consistency for children attending school. A family must have an unsheltered status within the last seven days and the status must be verified by a third-party professional.

Learn more about homelessness in Ramsey County

Resources are available for people experiencing housing instability or homelessness in Ramsey County.