Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Youth shelter residents play a game of cards

At capacity: One year, 110 served at youth shelter

Added on Monday, June 17, 2013

The Salvation Army Booth Brown House marked one year of service at its homeless youth shelter on June 4 with new stats showing 110 young adults have already been helped by the facility.

“We are at capacity most nights,” said Major Arnel Ruppel, Administrator of the Booth Brown House.

There are currently 11 beds in the facility at 1471 Como Ave., located about two blocks from the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul. Upon arrival, shelter guests receive a gift of new clothes, and their personal clothes are washed. The young adults share a room with up to two other shelter guests, but they have their own closet to keep personal items secure. Two meals are served each day, and social services are also available.

Most of the 110 young adults who have been served are around age 20, the higher end of the 18- to 21-year-old age range allowed to stay at the shelter. Guests may stay in the shelter for various time periods. The standard time allowed is 30 days, but exceptions can be made based on county status and willingness to engage with case management.  The average length of stay in the shelter is 22 days.

Although there are no formal waiting lists, shelter staff members say hundreds have been turned away due to lack of available beds.

The shelter was established in 2012 with a three-year grant of more than $645,000 from the Otto Bremer Foundation. Plans are already in place to expand to 16 beds by 2014.

“We will need the community’s generosity to make our plans a reality,” Ruppel added.

The easiest way to support the homeless youth overnight shelter is with a financial gift. Remember to designate “Booth Brown House youth shelter” in the specific use field when making your online donation or when sending a check to Booth Brown House, 1471 Como Ave. W., St. Paul, MN 55108.

Want to help in other ways? Volunteer to be a part of the parking crew at Booth Brown House during the State Fair. Or, organize a donation drive to supply hygiene items for guests. For more information, contact Major Arnel Ruppel at 651-646-2601.