A homeless person sleeping in a makeshift tent at a shelter in a small town in northern Minnesota has found a way to get around the state’s Medicaid insurance requirement that limits his or her coverage to one day per month.
The owner of the shelter, John Laskowski, says the $10.25 per day limit was set by a federal judge in the summer of 2016 and was eventually lifted.
But in January 2017, the federal government imposed a cap on how much it could pay providers of care to treat the homeless, which resulted in Laskowski being forced to close his shelter in May.
Now, Laskowsky is trying to raise the money to reopen.
“I’m still living with this bill,” he says, adding that the shelter has not been able to pay its bills.
He says he hopes to open a full-time shelter in July.
The number of homeless people in Minnesota is on the rise, and there are more than 10,000 shelter beds available, with more than 700 beds available each night.
Laskowskis family has had difficulty finding work since moving to the city of Minneapolis in the 1990s.
He has been homeless for more than two years.
His children are both students at the University of Minnesota, and they both struggle to find jobs.
Laskowksis son, James, who is a senior, says he and his mother were homeless for a long time because of the lack of affordable housing.
But Laskowerskis says he believes his son and daughter-in-law can be helped if they can find employment.
“They’re good at finding work.
They’re good with the job market,” he said.
The shelter Laskiwis owns is run by the city, and it is operated by the Community Housing Corporation.
Liskowskies rent a room for $4 per night, which is more than what he spends on food and other necessities.
“We’re trying to get them to move to a full time job, so that we can get a full night’s rent,” he added.
“But the city is trying their best, but it’s not working.”
The state has been working to create a state-run homeless shelter since 2015, but Laskwis says the state has yet to create enough beds for all the homeless in Minnesota.
The state’s Department of Human Services estimates that a typical shelter in the state will have 2,000 beds.
“We don’t have a lot of room for everyone,” he told The Wall St. Journal.
“So there’s been a lot more people in our community, and we’re in a crisis.”