Shelter Beautification Funding

A Special Request for Proposals focused on projects designed to improve and enhance the experience of unhoused adults, families and youth.

Understanding that unfortunately, many shelters have no choice but to prioritize operational and program expenses above aesthetics, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless (OYH) is releasing a Special Request for Proposals focused on projects designed to improve and enhance the experience of adults, families and youth experiencing homelessness. Aesthetics is the study of beauty, taste, and art, but also a way of expressing oneself through visual, artistic, or lifestyle elements. Simply put, aesthetics makes us happy. On an emotional level, they elicit feelings of happiness and calm. They connect us to our ability to reflect on and appreciate the world around us which in turn gives us feelings of contentment, hope, and respect.

Through this Request for Proposals, the goal is to support organizations serving adults, families and youth experiencing homelessness in aesthetically enhancing their shelter space to create a more welcoming, safe, and dignified environment. Preference will be given to proposals that have included people served in the identification of facility enhancements and contain innovative design considerations that meet the needs of the unsheltered community. Please note that priority will be given to agencies without significant operating budgets/unrestricted reserves. 

Eligible Activities:

OYH will fund requests supporting facility enrichment projects that reflect the input and needs of the individuals being served. This can include acquisition of artwork, commissioning of artists and/or shelter guests, outdoor spaces, area rugs/carpeting, painting, flooring, lighting, music players, coffee/tea-making equipment, culturally specific updates, etc. – projects with the goal of creating physical spaces that promote safety, well-being, and healing.

Grant Amount
Up to $5,000

Grant Deadline
November 15th, 2023, by 11:59 pm

Organization Eligibility:
● Agencies must serve Minnesotans experiencing homelessness as their primary function. Please note, that this RFP is focused specifically on projects serving unsheltered adults, families and youth, regardless of whether the facility provides emergency shelter during the day, overnight, or both.
● Agencies must be located and operate within Minnesota.
● Agencies cannot have received/been awarded an OYH grant within the 2023 calendar year. Agencies who applied for funding in 2023 but were denied, are eligible to apply.
● Agencies must have 501(c)3 status OR be recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS (i.e., units of government or tribal governments) OR use a fiscal agent with 501(c)3 status.

How to Apply:
Submit this form by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
*Grant awards will be determined by Friday, November 24, 2023. Applicants will be notified of their application status that week.

Please email [email protected] with any questions.