July 2012 | Lincoln Place is the largest suburban housing development in Minnesota to link affordable housing for youth with services that develop self-sufficiency skills. Located in Eagan, Minnesota, this 24 unit project was developed by Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA) in 2010. Lincoln Place provides safe, stable housing with services for young adults ages 18-25 who are homeless or are at significant risk of becoming homeless. Since opening, its first residents have seen dramatic improvements in their lives.
According to a 2009 Wilder Research report, on any given night there are an estimated 1,950 Homeless Youth (ages 18-21) in Minnesota. Homeless youth largely go unseen because they are less likely to stay in shelters, more often staying temporarily with friends or in places not intended for habitation. Youth that have aged out of the foster care system at age 18 have a high risk of becoming homeless because they often lack resources and a strong support network. Dakota County has the fourth highest percentage of foster care runaways in the state. Each year, 15-20 youth leave Dakota County foster care unprepared for independent living.
|Green Design Elements Include:|
|Sustainable Site||Redevelopment site located within 1/2 mile of services and public transit; efficient building footprint increased density and open space|
|Water Efficiency||Landscape is designed to reduce irrigation demand; roof storm water is captured in an underground storage tank and reused for irrigation; low-flow faucets, showers and dual-flush toilets reduce water consumption|
|Energy & Atmosphere||HVAC and lighting systems designed to maximize energy performance; appliances that are all Energy Star® rated; exterior walls with foam-in-place to have very low air infiltration|
|Materials & Resources||Over 50% of construction waste was diverted from disposal in landfills; durable building materials were used (brick, cement siding, solid flooring); framing lumber is Forest Stewardship Council certified|
|Indoor Environmental Quality||Smoking is prohibited in common areas; low-VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings were used; low-VOC carpet; increased exposure to daylight views in all occupied spaces|
In 2005, Maxfield Research conducted a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment in Dakota County. To help end homelessness in the county, the needs assessment recommended the development of a 20- to 24-unit housing project for adults (ages 18-25) who are homeless and/or leaving foster care. The development would provide on-site support to assist youth in obtaining employment and independent living skills.
The Dakota County CDA and Dakota County Community Services collaborated on the project to address the need for supportive youth housing. Often already working with individuals through other social service programs, Dakota County Community Services serves as a referral service for youth who would be good candidates for living at Lincoln Place.
One-on-one case management is provided by The Link, a non-profit with 20 years of experience working with youth. The Link provides advocacy, life skills training and goal setting around education, employment and overall health (chemical, mental and physical) to help residents transition to independence. Additionally, they provide referrals to health services and community activities to build volunteerism from both the residents and community partners.
Mark Ulfers, the Executive Director at Dakota County CDA notes, "Lincoln Place is an excellent example of how supportive housing for young adults can be accomplished within the suburban context. Its strength is the three way partnership between the County, CDA and a non-profit service provider with strong city support."
Several green design elements were incorporated into Lincoln Place to provide housing that is sustainable for the environment, reduces long-term operating costs and enhances residents' lives and health. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded a gold certification to Lincoln Place for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
|Mindy in her Lincoln Place Apartment|
In spring 2010, Mindy Paurus was completing her senior year of high school, was homeless, and living in a car with her mother and brother. Two years after moving into Lincoln Place, she has graduated from high school and started her college education at Normandale Community College.
Mindy was recently awarded $1000 from the 2012 Minnesota NAHRO Education Scholarship Program to assist her with college expenses. In her scholarship application Mindy noted, "After I moved into Lincoln Place, I finally felt like I was on the right track." She aspires to become an educator or to work with teens to prepare them for the road ahead.