MACV NEWSLETTER - September 2020
MACV in the News
MACV Creates Outreach Team To Help Veterans Experiencing Homelessness During Pandemic
WCCO covered our targeted work to get Veterans out of situations that could expose them to COVID-19, illustrating the changes we have made in order to safely help those in need.

“We’ve got to have our own street outreach team. Try and partner up with a community partner if you can, but get out there, get to the camps, get under the bridges, get to the parking lots at night and find veterans where they are,” CEO Neal Loidolt directs.

MACV recently broke ground on our newest project alongside partners Lennar Builders and Housing First Minnesota Foundation.

The Housing for Heroes project in North Minneapolis will help provide Veterans with stable housing. Once completed, this 2,232 square foot, four-bedroom home will increase MACV’s capacity to serve more clients in need of a place to live. Housing First Minnesota covered the ceremony on their blog!

Shannon Gregory, Metro Regional Leader for MACV, sat down with Minnesota Military Radio to share how MACV combats Veteran homelessness in Minnesota. Listen to their conversation here!
Case Manager Spotlight: Marie Pollnow
When Dave* first landed on Case Manager Marie Pollnow’s radar, his recent housing story already included three chapters. Starting with his release from prison, this Veteran had initially stayed with a friend in her residence until her own activities threatened to violate Dave’s conditions of parole. Deciding that his freedom was more valuable than a comfortable home, Dave enlisted the help of his family to move into a motel while he figured out his next steps to stable housing.

While this story sounds typical for many of our Veterans so far, Dave had the rug ripped out from under him when the motel owner decided to nearly double the occupancy rate. Even with help from family and friends, Dave found he could no longer live in this arrangement and instead started living out of a tent. Moving on a nearly daily basis to avoid trouble and stay safe, our incredibly resilient Veteran still managed to succeed in a position as a dishwasher during this point in his journey.

Marie first met Dave after he started living in a tent, and one day after he managed to secure full-time employment at a local outdoor sports retailer . “It’s very humbling to work with him because he’s been through so much,” notes Pollnow. “He’s so grateful for every little thing we do to help him. He’s constantly saying, ‘thank you so much, thank you so much’…he’s just a model client.”

Marie worked quickly to find a hotel placement for Dave, who was working in the service industry full-time and experiencing unsheltered homelessness, two major risk factors for exposure to COVID-19. He currently resides at a local motel, a setting which he found “incredible” after life in a tent. Dave declared that the first thing he wanted to do was take a bath while listening to music, both great examples of the privileges so many MACV clients cannot take for granted.

These days, Dave is focused on “keeping his nose clean” and in good standing with his parole officer while the MACV team assists him with securing long-term housing. While this process can be arduous and frustrating, MACV can now promise Dave that if he stays out of trouble, he has a place to stay and does not have to worry about becoming homeless again. For Dave, that assurance is enough to keep him moving forward.

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality.
Upcoming Events

Eagle Group Virtual Job Meeting: Tuesdays (weekly), 5pm - Join Online

Lavender/MACV Silent Auction: Today until Oct. 9, LIVE NOW!

Mankato Stand Down: Saturday, Sept. 19, Franklin Rogers Park, Mankato

Wells Fargo Truck Donation: Thursday, Sept. 24, 1pm, Apple Ford, Shakopee

New Home Ribbon Cutting: Thursday, Sept. 24, 2pm, N. St. Paul

Cornhole Tournament & Auction: Saturday, Sept. 19, Support the Troops Minnesota

Military, Family, & Veterans Day at the Farm: Saturday, Sept. 26, Sutton Ridge Farm

For more events, check out our Upcoming Events page at

Lavender Magazine considers Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) a close ally in the fight to acknowledge the contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals who served or supported members of the military. MACV is dedicated to ending Veteran homelessness in Minnesota by building a unified system of resources and relationships driven by its passion to give back to those who served us first. More information at

Bidding starts 7 pm on September 10 and runs through 8 pm, Thursday, October 8.
Partner Spotlight
Xcel Energy Days of Service Volunteers
Xcel employees came together on September 11th and 12th to complete landscaping and outdoor living projects at two of MACV’s Veteran transitional homes in St Paul.

The first of two projects included an extreme makeover on the outside of our of our older residences, which provided eye-popping curb appeal and rendered the home's next-door neighbor speechless when he stopped by. The Veteran who currently resides in the home was amazed at the transformation and very grateful.

In between the two days of service, a representative from the Minnesota United Soccer team visited our new home in North St Paul and donated a framed signed jersey now proudly displayed in the home. Xcel also donated two smart thermostats and LED light bulbs to provide green energy solutions for several of our transitional homes.

On September 12, the volunteer group built a picnic table for our newest transitional home in North St Paul, along with five raised garden beds we plan to deliver to three other homes throughout the metro. Last but not least, the group led by Xcel President and COO Bob Frenzel installed a flagpole and American flag which now proudly flies in the front yard. What a great way to end the day and wrap up their two days of service for MACV!

Both days had volunteers of all ages lending a hand to support our mission of ending Veteran homelessness. It was so wonderful to see young kids pitching in to help and learn what volunteering is all about, which warms the heart. Great job, kiddos!

These two days were an amazing experience which will have lasting impact on the Veterans MACV serves. We cannot thank the Xcel coordinators and volunteers enough for all of the hard work that went into making this partnership a success. We look forward to working with you again soon!

Nate Martineau, Operations Manager
Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans
Donor Spotlight
IKEA Bloomington
MACV recently received ten move-in kits and various household items donated by the Bloomington IKEA store. This new partnership has already resulted in welcoming Veterans beginning a new chapter of their lives with "first day" necessities like linens and other housewares. Thank you for your generosity, IKEA! We look forward to continued collaboration in the months to come.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Chaska
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Chaska hosted a fundraiser for MACV at the Deer Run Golf Club on September 2, accompanied by a virtual silent auction. All proceeds from the combined events benefit MACV programs and services.
Altar'd State
Local women's boutique Altar'd State donated a portion from their store's profits to MACV for the second year! Their passionate dedication to supporting causes addressing hunger, service members, and housing the homeless led to identifying us as a partner aligned with their focus areas. Thank you for your generosity in such challenging times, Altar'd State.
Stevens Square Foundation
Stevens Square Foundation awarded MACV a grant to serve seniors residing in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. This committed partner has generously supported MACV every year since 2014, donating over $55,000 to our cause over time. The Foundation's devotion to inspiring and empowering others to live with dignity provides a hopeful message to our older Veterans. Thank you, Stevens Square Foundation, for your continued generosity over the years!
VFW Post 1816
VFW Post 1816, located in Garrison, MN, has committed to recurring donations for MACV operations throughout the state. We deeply appreciate the Post's commitment to serving their brothers and sisters in the armed forces, and want to say thank you for providing much-needed steady support in an unsteady time.
Otto Bremer Trust
Otto Bremer Trust is one of our most committed supporters, granting MACV general operating fund awards since 2011. We recently secured a grant from the Trust for $60,000; this significantly alleviates the financial stress felt across the state as we expand our services to meet client need. As always, thank you to Otto Bremer Trust!
Thank You to Last Month's Donors
You Can Help End Veteran Homelessness
Our team is working hard to stabilize Veterans without a place to shelter.
We anticipate a growing number of homeless Veterans to seek services as they leave encampments, and an eventual spike in eviction cases when the statewide moratorium on payment-related evictions lifts. Heavy enrollment in local rental assistance programs indicates that at least 7,800 households in the Twin Cities alone are in danger of losing their housing due to layoffs, furloughs, or other lost income.