Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester's Mayor has been selected for a new state task force on shelter.

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As part of the new 2021 Housing Omnibus bill passed into law during the recent legislative sessions, a new State Task Force on (Homelessness) Shelter was established.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton was appointed by Cathy ten Broeke, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director, Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness. The 24 members include positions dedicated to shelter providers in experiencing homelessness, advocates for persons with disabilities, cities, counties, and members of the public.

Photo provided by Kim Norton

“I am honored to have been selected to serve in this capacity," Mayor Norton said in a news release. "The topic of shelter and providing appropriate options and services for our community’s vulnerable, unsheltered population has been an important focus for me since I took office. I look forward to sharing what we have learned, and continue to learn, in Rochester and am eager to see Minnesota strengthen services in this area.”

The group will meet for one year beginning this August to develop two reports to help develop standards for the provision for shelter and examine the need for, and feasibility and cost of, establishing state oversight of shelter.

In addition, the group is also required to make recommendations to the legislature regarding standards that will strengthen the shelter system and help ensure that shelters have the ability and resources to provide safe and appropriate shelter services to those in need.

The Task Force will be required to submit an initial report to the legislature no later than February 1, 2022 and a final report no later than August 31, 2022.

A full list of Task Force appointments can be found here. The Task Force meetings will be open to the public. The first meeting will be held virtually on August 16, 2021 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Members of the community can sign up to watch the first meeting here.

Wow! Check out how Rochester has changed throughout the years in these Google photos.

As we are soaring down Hwy 52, it is hard to imagine what life was like in our town before the Target store was built where it is today. Or the house that you live in now, at one point in town, that wasn't there. In fact, Rochester has grown so fast throughout the years, most of our houses weren't even around 50 years ago! Don't believe me? Look through these photos to get a glimpse of what Rochester was like years ago.