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Minneapolis and Hennepin County plan to end homelessness by 2016

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Homeless in St. Paul
One person's belongings on a recent night at a shelter for the homeless in the Twin Cities.
MPR Photo/Toni Randolph

Ten years from now, leaders in Minneapolis and Hennepin County want homelessness to be a problem of the past.

Starting today, a 70-member city-county commission begins work on a plan to end homelessness by 2016.  Currently, officials say, about 2,400 people are homeless on any given night in the state's biggest county.

The rhetoric at today's kickoff was strong, with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak saying it isn't enough to "manage" homelessness but instead, it's time to end it.

The project is part of a nationwide effort by the federal government to enlist cities and counties in ending homelessness. Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in Washington, told Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Crann that  strong rhetoric is vital to reaching the goal.