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Twin Cities Masks Distribution: Helping Neighbors Stay Safe

Throughout the summer, CommonBond Communities was happy to serve as the Twin Cities distribution site for Minnesota affordable housing providers to pick up donated masks for their residents.

The distribution events were part of a larger mask distribution initiative driven by the Governor’s Office to ensure that everyone—including those who can’t afford or easily obtain a mask—is able to mask up and stay safe. Specifically, the State of Minnesota acquired 300,000 cloth face masks to distribute at no cost to low-income neighbors across the state. This initiative was also a specific effort to support people in following the Governor’s executive order in late July requiring face coverings in indoor public spaces.

In order to spread the word about this resource, Minnesota Housing began to reach out to their network of housing providers across the state. Housing providers were invited to fill out an order form to request masks for their residents. According to Minnesota Housing, there was an overwhelming response, which they said speaks volumes to the care and dedication that affordable housing providers across the state have for their residents and their communities.

CommonBond is one of 10 affordable housing providers, continuum of care centers, food shelves, and other social services organizations who volunteered to receive the shipments and be a hub for the donated masks. There were also an additional 10 operators who received direct shipments of masks because of the large size of their portfolios.

At our Central Office in St. Paul, we received a total of 29,000 masks, which we stored in our office garage before we hosted the distributions. Then, during weekly designated pick-up times, a total of 37 organizations stopped by to pick up their allotment of these donated, 100% cotton masks for their residents.

Huge thanks to Minnesota Housing and the Governor’s Office for their great efforts in organizing, coordinating, and spreading the word about this initiative! We were happy to partner with them in this effort to make sure residents and neighbors across the state can stay safe during these challenging COVID-19 times.


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