At the heart of Solid Ground is the belief that housing stability is fundamental to the healthy development of children and to a family’s ability to be contributing members of the community. Solid Ground helps homeless families achieve and maintain housing stability, and to secure permanent housing when they leave our program. Our programs provide housing for homeless families and serve nearly 400 individuals each year in suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties.
DeNisha grew up in Washington County. After she graduated from high school she moved into her own apartment and began working. It was at work that she met a man and after dating for 6 months, became pregnant. When she was nearly 9 months pregnant, DeNisha and her boyfriend moved to out of state to be near his family.
In their 8 years together, DeNisha came to realize that the man that she fell in love with in the beginning had changed into someone completely different. He hit her, choked her, threatened her and belittled her, even telling her that they would all be better off if she would kill herself. Over the years they were together, DeNisha lost multiple apartments, jobs, and had three cars repossessed because of her boyfriend and his actions. Even so, DeNisha thought she was doing the right thing to stay with him. She thought it was important for her kids to have a mom and a dad.
One day, DeNisha went to the ER with stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and a panic attack. One of the doctors there could tell what was going on in her life and told her that she needed to leave or she would die. It was then she began to plan her escape.
After living in shelter for almost 6 months, DeNisha was referred to Solid Ground’s HomeSafe program, “When Shannon from Solid Ground called me, it was the best and scariest feeling in the world. I never knew there were programs like this, that this kind of help existed. I had no hope, I had lost everything. Meeting Shannon, I got hope back again.”
Shannon assisted DeNisha in finding an apartment with a landlord who would look past her credit history. Her new home is right down the street from a nice park. Solid Ground pays part of her rent, and she pays part as well. When she moved in, Solid Ground provided furniture and everything that she need to make it a home. She meets with her Advocate regularly, and feels supported. Her Advocate helps her problem solve and connects her with resources. DeNisha has been working and setting goals for herself. She’s working on loving and taking care of herself so that she can be the best mom that she can be. In their new environment, the girls are thriving. DeNisa says, “Solid Ground makes you feel like you have a chance. I’ve realized that I don’t have to be forced into a box. I now know that I have options.
East Metro Place
East Metro Place provides 20 units of transitional housing in White Bear Lake, MN near Century College. Families can stay for up to two years and receive income-based rental assistance. In addition to housing, families living at East Metro Place participate in a range of supportive programs to help them build the strong foundations they need for a better future.
East Metro Place II
East Metro Place II was added to the White Bear Lake campus in 2005 and provides 14 units of permanent supportive housing. Like in the transitional program, families participate in intensive supportive services and receive income-based rental assistance. Seven units are designated for homeless families with disabilities, and seven units serve families with histories of long-term homelessness. Families living at East Metro Place II can stay as long as they need.
Home Again serves families experiencing homelessness in Washington County, MN. Solid Ground provides families with rental assistance and supportive services for six to twelve months while families work to increase their income.
HomeSafe provides rental assistance and supportive services to families for twelve to eighteen months in suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Launched in August 2016, HomeFront serves long-term homeless veterans and their families. This permanent supportive housing program, in partnership with Sherman Associates, serves 10 households at a mixed-income development in Maplewood.
Homework Starts with Home
Launched in November 2018, Homework Starts with Homework works to prevent and end homelessness for children and their families so that preK-12 grade students can achieve housing and school stability. This program is delivered in partnership with Lutheran Social Service, Ramsey County, Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative, St. Andrew’s Community Resource Center, and the four suburban Ramsey school districts and their Community Social Workers.