Extreme makeover: Minneapolis men’s shelter gets facelift

Feb 4, 2021

One of Minnesota’s largest men’s shelters has been freshly remodeled thanks to the help of Hennepin County and your donations to The Salvation Army. (See photos.)

On Feb. 1, renovations were completed on “Safe Bay” – a 30-year-old men’s shelter located inside The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis. The new space features improvements galore, including:

  • New bunkbeds, with 80-person capacity 
  • Power outlets and USB ports for each bed
  • Remodeled bathrooms with touch-free faucets and toilets 
  • COVID-friendly environment, including state-of-the-art ventilation system, socially-distanced bunk placement, alcove rooms, and more

Safe Bay was in dire need of improvements after three decades of nonstop use. The bathrooms were in disrepair. Ventilation was poor. The space was overcrowded, with 65 bunks sleeping a total of 130 men. 


“We needed to create a new normal – a new space that supports health and dignity," said Trish Thacker, Executive Director of The Harbor Light Center.

The new Safe Bay "is the start of how we want to see shelters evolve to be a more dignified and individualized experience,” added John Adams, Program Director of the Harbor Light Center. “We want to make this the standard for sheltering.”

Incredibly, the $1.1 million project was completed in just six weeks. It was mostly paid for with Hennepin County CARES funding, along with donations to The Salvation Army. 

Thacker and Adams are grateful to every staff member, business partner, volunteer, and donor who contributed to this project. 

“We thank everyone involved,” Thacker said. “These are the people who share our vision and mission to serve those in the most need and do the most good.”

Please join The Salvation Army in serving those in crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.

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