Workforce, Housing, and Families Information

Workforce, Housing, and Families Information


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Workforce Housing Families & Childcare Immigrant and Refugee Communities Virtual Activities


Workforce Resources

Dislocated Worker Program

The Dislocated Worker program can help people who have lost their job through no fault of their own return to work. Eligible people may qualify for the individual career planning and counseling, connection with employers who are hiring now, connection to education resources, and more. Visit CareerForceMN.com/dislocated-worker to learn more.

Jobs in Demand During COVID-19

Many employers are hiring right now during the COVID-19 pandemic⁠—and they want to connect with people looking for work right away. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has created a resource that provides information about the top 30 jobs in demand now in Minnesota and wage range information for each of those jobs, along with a link to additional information about wages, educational requirements, daily tasks, a short video and more for each job.

Career Labs

In partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County has launched six new community Career Labs to support COVID-19 job seekers. Career Labs provide services for COVID-19 impacted job seekers by reservation. All sites accord with Public Health guidelines for COVID-19. Learn more at ramseycounty.us/careerlabs and call 651-793-1699 to make a reservation today. 

Unemployment Benefits

If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, please apply for unemployment benefits by going online to www.uimn.org. Please use the www.uimn.org website to submit your application, because this is the most efficient way to serve applicants. The website can accept applications Monday - Friday 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. We are working to add Sunday hours.

Health Insurance

  • MNsure Health Insurance. You may qualify for MNsure's special enrollment period (SEP) if you lost or will lose "minimum essential coverage" because of any of the following: 
    • You or your dependent loses employer-sponsored coverage (includes end of continuation coverage such as COBRA and retiree coverage)
    • There’s been a change to a dependent’s status, such as turning 26 years old and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
    • An employer ends your coverage
    • You or your spouse lose employer-sponsored coverage when you lose or leave a job
    • You've reached the end of your non-calendar year plan
    • You lose coverage in Medical Assistance (MA) or MinnesotaCare
    • You lose other government-sponsored coverage such as most types of TRICARE
  • Community Health Centers. If you don’t have a health care provider or are uninsured, contact a federally qualified Community Health Center.  

Transportation

Metro Transit has resumed front-door boarding and onboard fare payment as of Saturday, Aug. 1. Metro Transit has returned to front-door boarding and onboard fare payment will be required (pay before boarding on METRO lines). All buses now have plexiglass shields that help protect drivers and customers.

Minnesotans who lost their driver’s license or ID card, or had it stolen, can now apply for a duplicate card while Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) exam stations are closed. There are two options:

  • Deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices can accept duplicate driver’s license and ID card applications that do not require a photo at their office. No face-to-face transactions are available, so offices are offering this in a way where you do not physically enter the building.
  • If a local office isn’t offering this service, DPS-DVS can send a photo receipt and letter to serve as a temporary replacement for a lost driver’s license or ID card while exam stations are closed to Minnesotans who submit the request.

More information, including instructions, is on the DVS COVID-19 FAQ webpage.

Additional Resources

  • Looking for online training to build your career skills? Sign up for a Saint Paul Public Library e-card and access free, online business, design, and tech courses through Lynda.com at sppl.org/staying-in. 
  • Call Saint Paul Public Library's Open Lab line at Call 651-212-5390 to get one-to-one technology help, including assistance with emailing, internet, computer programs like Word, Powerpoint, and Google docs, and more. 
  • Do you need access to a computer or the Internet? View this list of resources for home internet and computers compiled by Saint Paul Public Library.
  • The Twin Cities Hospitality and Events Workers’ Relief Fund supports workers who have lost income due to business closures and event cancellations related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more at https://www.twincitieshospitalityfund.org/.

Housing Resources

If you are in need of a safe place to stay because you are fleeing an unsafe environment at home, call the MN Day One Crisis Hotline at 1-866-223-1111 to speak with an advocate who can guide you to a service provider and safe place. If you are in an emergency, call 911.

City of Saint Paul Housing Resources

  • Renter's Rights during COVID-19. The City of Saint Paul wants residents to know their renter's rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has created frequently asked questions to help.
  • Executive order on evictions, Stay at Home, & COVID-19 information: Resources for tenants regarding these orders and general advice about tenant rights.
  • Rental rehabilitation loan program: Receive assistance to preserve existing affordable rental housing in Saint Paul.
  • The Saint Paul Downpayment Assistance Program provides financial assistance for homebuyers at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI). Qualified homebuyers can receive up to $40,000 for a home downpayment, closing costs, and/or property inspection. The program was developed to protect and preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in neighborhoods vulnerable to displacement and gentrification pressures. The Downpayment Assistance Program is funded by the Housing Trust Fund, with support from Minnesota HousingHomebuyers must:
    • Owner occupy and register as a homestead with Ramsey County throughout the loan term;
    • Have net assets at or under $25,000; and,
    • Earn at or less than 60% Area Median Income (AMI). 
    • AMI is based on the number of people in a household

Ramsey County

Get help with rent, mortgage, and utility payments with Ramsey County's Emergency Assistance program. You may be concerned about interruptions in your income and paying your bills. Ramsey County can help with Emergency Assistance (EA) and Emergency General Assistance (EGA).

  • Emergency Assistance helps adults with children, and pregnant women.
  • Emergency General Assistance helps adults without children.
  • EA and EGA help with shelter, such as past due rent, a damage deposit, or to stop foreclosure. EA and EGA also help pay for utilities, when there is threat of disconnection. Utilities include electricity, heat, and water.
  • In general, if you have not had EA/EGA help in the last 12 months, and you do not have enough resources to resolve your crisis, you may be eligible. You must show you have enough income to pay bills moving forward.If you ARE receiving public assistance (SNAP, healthcare, or cash assistance through Ramsey County), call your caseworker or 651-266-4444 for an application. There is a short application for clients with active cases.
  • If you ARE NOT not receiving public assistance, you can apply for EA/EGA online at applymn.dhs.mn.gov.
  • For questions about eligibility or application status, call the EA/EGA hotline at 651-266-4884.

Find more information about Ramsey County's housing services and support.

Community Resources

  • Virtual Home Energy Squad. Whether you are at home working, learning, or just staying safe, the additional time spent inside can mean higher energy bills. The Home Energy Squad, provided by CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy, is here to help with a new free service: the Virtual HES Visit. We’ll take customers on a home walk-through via video chat, and together we'll help find ways to reduce energy bills while keeping indoor air clean and healthy. Learn more about the Virtual HES VisitSign up online or call 651-328-6220.
  • American Indian Family Center - Thinica Owichakiyapi Thipi: 651-793-3803
  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES): 612-746-3550
  • Face to Face - Youth Homelessness Project: 651-772-9644
  • Lutheran Social Services - StreetWorks Collaborative: 651-354-3345
  • Minnesota Community Care: 651-266-1290
  • Neighborhood House: 651-793-7340
  • YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities:763-493-3052

Family and Childcare Resources

School and Child Care Questions? Call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504. This is a state hotline open for school and child care questions for Minnesota residents that is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends.

Nutrition Assistance

  • City of Saint Paul Meal Service. To address growing food insecurity in Saint Paul due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is partnering with YouthpriseArts-Us, and the Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service through June 5 to Saint Paul families in need. Learn more at stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.
  • Now through August 27, Rondo and Riverview Libraries are distributing meal boxes to families two times a week. The boxes have 14 meals, consisting of one week of breakfasts and lunches. Boxes will be distributed as long as supplies last, first come, first serve.

    • Riverview Library (1 E George St) will distribute meals Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m.

    • Rondo Library (461 N Dale St) will distribute meals Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. 

  • Saint Paul families can sign up for free meal delivery from Saint Paul Public Schools this summer. You do not need to be enrolled in SPPS to receive meals. Boxes are delivered once a week and include five breakfasts and five lunches. Meal boxes can also be picked up at Riverview Library on Mondays and Wednesdays, Rondo Community Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and three SPPS schools on Fridays. This Friday (July 10), families who pick up a meal box at Harding High School can also get a free art kit courtesy of the Walker Art Center and Chase Bank. For more information, visit the SPPS summer meals page.
  • Free Meals for Kids App. Families and kids can find and access free meals at nearly 400 schools and other sites across Minnesota using the Free Meals for Kids mobile app. Learn more at hungerimpactpartners.org.
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP): Families can apply for cash emergency and food (SNAP) assistance at http://applymn.dhs.mn.gov. Before applying, you can see if you are eligible for ApplyMN programs at http://mn.bridgetobenefits.org.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a supplemental food, nutrition and breastfeeding program that helps eligible pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy. Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health continues to offer WIC services to eligible families with children up to age five. Please call 651-266-1300 to apply for WIC.
  • Hunger Solutions has created an interactive map and directory of meal services. 
  • Find food resources with Ramsey County's interactive Food Access Locations map. Ramsey County offers food and basic needs resources are for residents, including assistance programs to increase monthly food budgets, for children under the age of 18, for seniors, and for residents with transportation or mobility barriers. 

Childcare

  • Essential Kids Care Program. Free childcare will be provided by Saint Paul Community Education for children ages 5-12 of health workers and emergency personnel who live within the Saint Paul School District.
  • Think Small provides resources and information to childcare providers and parents.

Saint Paul Public Schools Information

  • Find the latest information about Saint Paul Public Schools’ response to COVID-19, including meal information, at spps.org/covid.
  • Governor Walz, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), have announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School YearSchool districts and charter schools will begin in one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. Experts at the Departments of Health and Education will partner with local school districts and charter schools to help determine which learning model they should use to start the school year. The decision-making process centers on the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, staff, and families by using the level of viral activity in the surrounding county and other factors such as the district’s ability to meet mitigation requirements. The learning model decision will be announced by the local school district. The leading recommendation is that Saint Paul Public Schools will plan to start the school year in distance learning for all students. Find the latest information about Saint Paul Public Schools' planning for the 2020-2021 school year at spps.org/reopen2020.


Immigrant and Refugee Communities

Anyone who is sick during the COVID-19 crisis should seek medical care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services.  It is important that everyone in Saint Paul including non-citizen residents regardless of immigration status obtain medical care should they become ill.  

Public Charge Rule

The recent changes to the “public charge rule” which makes it harder for some immigrants to obtain a green card or visa when they have received certain government benefits and ICE’s increased enforcement activities in local communities have worked to discourage immigrants and refugees from going to hospitals and medical care facilities to seek medical treatment.  

However, it is important for our immigrant and refugee communities in Saint Paul to know that: 

  • Public charge: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)  will not consider any “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine because available) related to COVID-19 in a public charge determination, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits.”  

  • ICE Enforcement: On March 18th, ICE announced that it would “temporarily adjust its enforcement posture” and focus enforcement on “public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.” For all others, the agency “will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.” The ICE also stated that “consistent with its sensitive locations policy, during the COVID-19 crisis,  it will not make any arrests near hospitals, doctor’s offices, or health clinics “except in the most extraordinary circumstances.” 

Find more information on the City Attorney’s Office translated into Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/city-attorney/civil-division/immigration-resources-assistance

Reporting Discrimination

  • Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither should we. Stigma will NOT fight COVID–19. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of COVID-19, contact the City of Saint Paul by calling 651-266-8966, email hrights@ci.stpaul.mn.us, or visit www.stpaul.gov/hreeo
  • Amid rising reports of discrimination from the Asian American community, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today launched a Discrimination Helpline to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The toll-free helpline, which is at 1-833-454-0148, will allow those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Virtual Activities

Special Needs
Local
  • The University of Minnesota Extension Family Resiliency Educators are offering free webinars to support families and workers who are impacted by COVID-19. Topics include  adjusting to suddenly reduced income, budgeting 101, COVID-19 scams, and more.
  • Saint Paul Public Library launched a new Virtual Musical Residency with multi-talented Saint Paul resident Lucy Michelle on FacebookLucy will be offering original performances beginning tomorrow, Friday, May 15 with a four-song set. Following weeks will feature more unique performances as her online residency continues. She’ll also be sharing some of her favorite book and music selections available from our library collection.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is partnering up with Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham to offer a home workout directly from his home to yours. C.J. demonstrates drills and skills you can do from your living room or yard. Watch the video.
  • Como Zoo Park Zoo Live! While we all #StayAtHomeMN and practice social distancing, check this space for challenging, fun learning opportunities. Then, tune in Monday – Friday at 1:30pm on Como Zoo's Facebook page for special LIVE zookeeper talks and gardener talks. 
  • Saint Paul Public Library launches Little Learners@Home featuring online programming throughout the week to keep you and your family engaged and connected through stories, songs, movement and more! Learn more at sppl.org/little-learners and check back weekly for new content.
  • Story time at MN Children’s Museum
  • MN Science Museum – Learn from Home
  • Saint Paul Port Authority Working River Workbook for 3rd Graders
  • Take a Trip to a Virtual Zoo: MN Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Shedd Aquarium, etc
Historical Sites and Museums
  • The Smithsonian Museum offers virtual tours of their current and permanent exhibits, and viewers can even take a look at a few of the past exhibits. Users can easily navigate between adjoining rooms of the museum and click on the camera icons for a closer look. 
  • NASA is offering a slew of STEM activities for grades K- 4: Activities range from building foam rockets to solving space station emoji puzzles. Parents can also download coloring sheets and books for younger kids.
  • Discovery Channel: Discovery Education offers free virtual field trips complete with companion guides and hands-on learning activities. For example, kids can explore Polar Bears And The Tundra or take a look behind the scenes of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas
  • Take a trip to Mars: Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover. The site is in the middle of an update, but the 360 mode offers a great digital view. 
Doodling, Color Books, Games, Videos: