A development that includes housing and services for youths aging out of foster care has opened its doors in Minneapolis.
PERIS Hill delivers 45 units—30 for adults and 15 for young people leaving foster care—along with supportive services for the young residents.
At the end of September, Hennepin County reported 1,182 youths in the foster-care system, with 28% between 13 and 20 years old. Several years in the making, PERIS Hill aims to help many of those individuals.
“Young people aging out of foster care, disproportionately Black and brown youth, are at higher risk of falling into homelessness,” says Courtney Kiernat, executive director of the PERIS Foundation, which managed PERIS Hill’s development and will continue to oversee the property. “PERIS works to prevent that and surround youth with support as they transition into adulthood. It’s a first-of-its-kind model that provides intentional affordable housing and support for youth aging out of foster care. Our partnerships were vital in making this dream a reality.”
The development is the result of a collaboration of the Graves Foundation, Landon Group, and Graves Hospitality.
The Graves Foundation has a strong focus on youth development in Hennepin County. Co-founder Denise Graves, a longtime guardian ad litem working with vulnerable children, recognized the importance of stable housing, according to her son, Bill Graves, president of the foundation.
The team met with community members, looked at local needs, and studied national best practices, which all led to the development of the affordable housing project, Graves says.
In addition, young people were involved in PERIS Hill’s creation, from the building design to the supportive housing programs.
Financing for the approximately $12.3 million development includes about $9.1 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from R4 Capital. Other funders include the Graves Foundation, city of Minneapolis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Hennepin County Affordable Housing Incentive Fund, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities Demonstration Act, and an investment and loans from Bremer Bank.
In addition to helping finance the building, the Graves Foundation has made a 10-year commitment to providing $250,000 annually to fund resident services.
Market-competitive amenities available to all tenants include in-unit washers and dryers, a fitness center, a bike lounge/repair station, community spaces, and large windows in every unit. In addition, PERIS Hill’s central location is close to multiple transit options, the newly redone Thomas Lowry Park, and other amenities.
Volunteers of America is the property manager. On-site supportive services will be provided by The Link, an organization founded in 1991 by former Minnesota Vikings players Jim Marshall and Oscar Reed who wanted to support the area’s young adults.
Bill Graves would like to see PERIS Hill, with its combination of deeply affordable housing and strong supportive services, become a model other communities.
“We’re hoping that it can be a best practice for the future,” he says.