Grand opening set for July 26, 5 – 7 p.m. at 2525 2nd St NE, Minneapolis

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are 36 people celebrating and anxiously awaiting moving day for Marshall Flats, a new 36-unit apartment building at 2525 NE 2nd St., Minneapolis, built by the nonprofit Clare Housing. The grand opening is July 26, 5-7 p.m. The public is invited.

Clare Housing serves those living with HIV/AIDS who are very low-income and have been homeless or at risk of being homeless. New Marshall Flats residents will arrive in small clusters starting August 1 giving them time to adjust to what is for many a major change in daily life. Some have been in shelters; others have been couch hopping between family and friends and living in cars.

“Those living in Marshall Flats will be at different places in their journey living with HIV,” said Clare Housing Executive Director Chuck Peterson. “The majority will come from long-term homeless backgrounds and will be at various stages of independence with need for support. We’ll have 24/7 front desk security and a supportive services manager to provide information, support, referrals and advocacy.”

“To identify the new residents we started with our waiting list and we had a steady stream of applicants through social workers and case managers,” said Peterson. “As of July 19 our waiting list had increased to 346 with 54 new additions to the waiting list since July 1.”

Housing is health care

According to Peterson, the fight against HIV is tied directly to the fight against homelessness and the disparities that exist in our communities. HIV continues to take its largest toll on our most marginalized populations. When Clare Housing residents have a safe and secure place to live and access to nutritious food, they can focus on their personal health and well-being.

Stable housing is linked inextricably with health care. A person must know his or her HIV status, remain connected to care, and maintain the medical treatments to optimize health and reduce transmission of the disease. This is the critical pathway to ending the epidemic. Maintaining the regimen of medication reduces the viral load of those with HIV/AIDS to undetectable levels which in turn will reduce the spread of the disease.

Peterson says Clare Housing plays a critical role in helping end the HIV epidemic. “In 2016, 87 percent of our residents had undetectable HIV viral loads and 96 percent of our residents are under the care of a physician or clinic. Our work slows the spread of the disease benefitting first our clients who live healthier lives and then those living in our neighborhoods and cities who are protected from a disease without a cure.”

“Housing has been our mission for 30 years because the combination of affordable, safe and stable housing with access to the supportive servicers helps people lead satisfying lives with independence and dignity,” said Peterson.

According to the MN Department of Health (MDH), Minnesota recorded 290 new HIV cases in 2016, bringing the number of those living with HIV to 8,554. Since MDH began tracking the number of people living with HIV, there have been 11,309 cases of HIV/AIDS in Minnesota.

There is still no cure for the disease. Even those who are most vigilant about taking their medications can have debilitating side effects particularly after years of treatment.

Marshall Flats Open House, Wednesday, July 26, 5-7 p.m.

The program begins at 5:30 p.m. with remarks from Executive Director Chuck Peterson, Mayor Betsy Hodges and funders. The event is open to the public. Register at clarehousing.org/events.

About Clare Housing and financing for Marshall Flats

People living with HIV experience a higher probability of housing loss and instability due to the disabling and impoverishing effects of HIV. Clare Housing is the state’s largest provider of housing for people living with HIV/AIDS who are low-income and have experienced homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. Founded 30 years ago in 1987 by Brother Louie, Clare Housing operates four community care homes serving a total of 16 people, 32-unit Clare Apartments, 45-unit Clare Midtown, 36-unit Clare Terrace, the new 36-unit Marshall Flats and 42 units of scattered housing. The nonprofit provides housing, supportive services and compassionate care to more than 200 people each year.

The budget for Marshall Flats is approximately $8.1 million from the following sources: City of Minneapolis, Affordable Housing Trust Fund – $655,000; Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines – $500,000; Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority – $370,000; Metropolitan Council, Metropolitan Livable Communities Fund – $400,000; Minnesota Housing – Economic Development and Housing Challenge Program – $420,000; U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – HOPWA Program – $150,000 and National Equity Fund – Low Income Housing Tax Credits – $5,562,384.

The project has taken four years to complete and is on the former site of the Little Jack’s restaurant parking lot. The design was done by Cermak Rhoades Architects with Frerichs Construction as general contractor. Both worked on Clare Apartments, Clare Midtown and Clare Terrace.