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Associated Press, Published August 10 2011

5 new homeless shelter in rural Minnesota

ST. PAUL — Funding for sheltering the homeless in Minnesota shifts to rural areas with five new centers opening this year.

The state Department of Human Services has awarded grants to open shelters in Cass Lake, Pine County, Mankato, Faribault and Marshall. At the same time, the department is cutting funding for several Twin Cities programs, including a drop-in center for homeless adults in St. Paul.

Advocates for the homeless say shelters are urgently needed in rural areas, but that it shouldn't come at the expense of urban areas. Department spokeswoman Beth Voigt tells Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/qrHbFA ) that the state had been relying on more than $10 million in one-time federal stimulus funding, but that expired June 30.