Minneapolis nonprofit opening housing for homeless living with HIV/AIDS

A Minneapolis non-profit is opening an apartment building for homeless and very low income individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

On August 1, Clare Housing will slowly start welcoming residents into the new 36-unit building on NE 2nd Street in Minneapolis. Clare Housing Executive Director Chuck Peterson believes 90 percent of those moving in will be coming from a shelter or off the streets.

“The majority will come from long-term homeless backgrounds and will be at various stages of independence with need for support,” he said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, there were 8,554 people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota in 2016. Clare Housing says around 1,000 of those individuals have reported having temporary or unstable housing situations.

“LGBT, transgender and those living with HIV aren’t comfortable going to shelters,” said Peterson. “Quite frankly, because shelters don’t know where to put them.”

Peterson says the building not only provides a housing solution, but helps reduce the rate of infection in the community.

“Being able to stabilize your housing situation and have support along with you made a huge difference in helping those folks get to an undetectable level,” said Peterson.

He claims that 87 percent of Clare Housing residents have undetectable viral loads, while the rate among the entire HIV/AIDS population in Minnesota is 63 percent.

“When we opened Clare Terrace in Robbinsdale, 47 percent came in with undetectable viral loads. A year later, those who stayed housed, that number went to 75 percent,” said Peterson.

The new building will include 24-hour front desk security, a full-time nurse and full-time social worker.

With many of the residents on social security or other forms of public assistance, rent will be based on income. Every resident will be required to pay 30 percent of their income.