How to Help the Homeless During COVID-19

Shelter providers across the Twin Cities have stepped up operations. Here’s how you can help.

Across the Twin Cities, organizations are providing shelter, meals, housing support, and advocacy for the homeless—a segment of the population that’s especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus due to pre-existing conditions, close contact within shelters, and many other factors.

“For the nonprofits that are operating shelters, there are staff shortages, they’re paying overtime, they’re paying hazard pay,” says David Hewitt, director of Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness. “Costs are going up across the board just to deliver the same services, in addition to the very specific measures we’ve had to take in response.”

Here are some shelter and aid providers you can support. But we also encourage you to reach out to your local shelter to discuss donation and volunteer opportunities.

Atmoic Data donates to St. Stephen's
An employee from Atmoic Data helps bring donates to St. Stephen’s

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Donate your dollars to the Twin Cities’ largest shelter provider for single adults. You can also donate items or volunteer to take on tasks as needed.


Seven clinics across the Twin Cities metro provide all-ages services to those with disabilities and disorders. Support childcare, healthcare, housing assistance, career planning, and employment services with a donation.

Greater Twin Cities United Way

Donate to shore up resources for household stability, education, and economic support. The Greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund provides food, shelter, hygiene and sanitation supplies, as well as financial aid.

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless

Support advocacy, housing services, and the coalition’s push for legislation responding to the pressures of COVID-19. Keep tabs on their progress here.

Loaves & Fishes

The food-service nonprofit is still feeding those in need, while following strict protocol. At 37 dining sites across the metro, meals are take-away only. Find out how to volunteer, or donate.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

Caring for homeless youth, seniors, those in need of mental health services, and others, LSS is currently taking donations of items such as hygienic essentials and groceries. They’re also seeking volunteers for a variety of services: sewing masks, delivering meals, offering friendly telephone support, and more. You can make a financial donation, too.

Neighbors, Inc.

Neighbors, Inc., has moved to a pre-packaged food-shelf system, on-site volunteering has been suspended, and food donations will continue after the “stay-at-home” order is lifted. For now, they’re asking for financial donations.

People Serving People

As well as shelter services, People Serving People is offering childcare for the kids of essential workers. Donate here.

Street Voices of Change

This organization of individuals who have personal experience with homelessness offers support, advocacy, and a chance to feel heard. You can donate here.

St. Stephen’s

Make a financial donation or drop off something useful, like a tent, a cell phone, infrared thermometers, underwear, and more items listed on the organization’s website.


Tubman is still offering a 24-hour resource line, shelter for victims of family violence, housing for youth victims of violence and exploitation, emergency legal services, and other resources. Click here to see what items to donate, and make those donations here.

Union Gospel Mission

Help feed the guests at the Union Gospel Mission’s shelters with a financial donation.

Keep reading: How life has, and hasn’t, changed for Minnesota’s homeless

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