The WoMen’s Rural Advocacy Programs, Inc. (WRAP) recently received word about a financial gift it would be receiving.

The Walz-Flanagan administration issued a call-to-action to bring more people inside, launching the Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative.

In response, the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation set up the Minnesota Homeless Fund to assemble resources from philanthropy, corporate donors and public entities.

The fund was set up to provide nimble funding for crisis response, shelter and low-barrier affordable housing across the state.

In late December 2019, WoMen’s Rural Advocacy Programs, Inc. was informed of this funding opportunity and the decision was made to apply to help expand shelter options for those experiencing domestic violence in Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood and Yellow Medicine Counties.

The proposal was submitted in early January 2020.

On March 10, WRAP received an e-mail notifying the agency it had been awarded $25,000 through the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

The funds given to WRAP will be utilized to provide ease of access to local, safe and immediate housing options for victims of domestic violence within the rural counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood and Yellow Medicine located in southwest Minnesota.

This will be done by utilizing a local safe house operated by WRAP as well as hotel/motel vouchers. It will also provide WRAP staff more hours to devote to helping those who are homeless or are about to be homeless due to domestic violence. 

During the months of October, November and December 2019 alone, WRAP provided 40 of its neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members access to emergency shelter and/or housing assistance.

That included 197 nights of emergency shelter stays, so that they would have a safe place to lay their head for the night. WRAP also provided relocation assistance 407 times.

This included:

• Connecting them to community resources, such as United Community Action, Continuum of Care, Section 8/HUD Housing Programs and Southwest Health and Human Services, etc.

• Helping them search for safe, affordable, long term housing options

• Advocating with landlords

• Helping to them move their personal items

• Collecting items donated by local community members, and distributing them to those in need. WRAP also provided transportation assistance 152 times to those in need.

This included volunteers and staff transporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse to shelters, safe homes or hotels.

This also included providing gas cards or bus tokens to important appointments that helped to prevent homelessness for themselves and often times, their children.

To learn more about WRAP and the services it provides, call (507) 532-9532 (business line), (507) 532-2350 or 800-639-2350 (crisis line) or visit www.letswrap.com.