Beating the Odds on Chronic Homelessness in Minneapolis: How December 22, 2023 became a Day of Hope

Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s the idea that small changes can have huge consequences. On December 22, 2023, a small change was made in Minneapolis, MN that had an enormous effect on the city’s homeless population. Although Minnesota is known for its harsh winters, homelessness rates have been soaring across the state for years. But on that day, something truly remarkable happened. Thanks to a new program aimed at beating the odds on chronic homelessness, Minneapolis was able to create a day of hope that has set a new standard for addressing this issue. And the best part? It all started with just one phone call.

The phone call came in early December of 2023. On the other end of the line was an anonymous donor who wanted to give $5 million to combat chronic homelessness in Minneapolis. The catch? It all had to be spent in one day. Naturally, the city’s homeless advocates were skeptical. How could anyone make such a massive dent in the city’s homeless population in just 24 hours?

But they decided to accept the challenge, and the planning began. The goal was to provide housing for as many chronically homeless individuals as possible on December 22, 2023. And the plan involved using a Housing First approach, where individuals are provided with stable, permanent housing before receiving assistance with other issues like addiction or mental health.

As the day approached, things started to come together. The program garnered national attention, and donations began pouring in. Volunteers lined up to help transport individuals, move furniture, and prepare meals. Housing units were secured, and contracts were signed. And on December 22, 2023, Minneapolis went to work.

The results were nothing short of astounding. In just 24 hours, 500 chronically homeless individuals were provided with permanent housing. The program also offered a range of services, including mental health care, addiction treatment, and job training. By the end of the day, hundreds of lives had been transformed.

So, what made this program so successful? It’s all about the Housing First approach. By providing stable housing to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, they are given a sense of safety and security that can form the foundation for addressing other issues. This approach has been proven to work in other cities, but Minneapolis took it to the next level by setting a concrete goal and rallying the community behind it.


Today, December 22, 2023, is a day of hope in Minneapolis. It’s a day that proves that even the most challenging problems can be overcome with a little creativity and dedication. By using the Housing First approach and setting a concrete goal, Minneapolis was able to make an enormous impact in just 24 hours. But the work doesn’t stop there. The city is committed to continuing this program and providing housing and services to even more individuals in the coming months and years. So let December 22, 2023, be a reminder that change is possible, even in the face of the toughest challenges. And let’s keep working together to create a better world for everyone.

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