Watch CBS News

Dakota County looking to bring permanent homeless shelter for adults to the suburbs

Homeless shelter proposed to replace Eagan hotel
Homeless shelter proposed to replace Eagan hotel 02:09

EAGAN, Minn. -- Dakota County officials want to bring a permanent adult homeless shelter to Eagan.

Members of the county commission are discussing purchasing a hotel, the Norwood Inn and Suites.

Dakota County Commissioner Laurie Halverson wants to turn it into a permanent homeless shelter, with 24/7 services for unhoused adults.

"That could be referrals to mental health treatment or referrals for healthcare and really anything anybody needs to get stable enough in order to move into permanent housing," Halverson said.

This week, county commissioners discussed applying for a $10 million state grant, which would pay for, in part, purchasing and rehabbing the hotel.

"Anywhere in the state you go, homelessness is a problem," Halverson said.

MORE NEWS: Fire destroys large part of historic Hastings creamery

It's a problem Halverson said she's seen first-hand while doing point-in-time counts, which put a number on how many people are experiencing homelessness at a given time.

"We found people who didn't have access to shelter for the night everywhere we went in the middle of January," Halverson said.

It's a problem she said is getting worse in Dakota County.

"The intervention is about much more than a roof over somebody's head, it's really about providing the kind of stabilization you need to get permanent housing," Halverson said.

"I am more concerned about how much this is going to cost the taxpayers," said Dakota County Commissioner Liz Workman.

Workman said she still needs a lot more info about the plan and worries about the total estimated cost of $24 million for the entire project.

"The plan is good, what's so unknown is the condition of the building, the total cost," Workman said.

Halverson is hopeful, but the county is still very early on in the process.

"This is really going to make a difference for lots of folks in the community and help make sure that our neighborhoods are safe and secure and that people are living healthy lives in our community," Halverson said.

The county commission is set to meet next Tuesday at a special board meeting to decide whether or not to apply for the state grant.

If all goes as planned, Halverson said the permanent shelter could be ready in a year.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.