House pulls legislation to send $6.5 million to Somali resettlement nonprofit

The nonprofit has been mentioned in court documents connected to the Feeding Our Future case.

Rep. Hodan Hassan/Minnesota House

A Democrat in the Minnesota House of Representatives made a motion to pull two bills that would have allocated $6.5 million to an organization called Somali Community Resettlement Services (SCRS) via a pair of grants.

Authored by Rep. Hodan Hassan, D-Minneapolis, HF 4719 and HF 5243 would have awarded a combined total of $6.5 million in grant funds to Somali Community Resettlement Services. Sen. Zaynab Mohamed, D-Minneapolis, is the author of the Senate versions of both bills.

Somali Community Resettlement Services is a Minneapolis nonprofit organization created 25 years ago by “a volunteer network of Somali refugees to directly respond to the needs of Somali refugee and immigrants.” The organization offers a variety of services including “Job placement,” “Social Security applications,” “Housing,” “Education,” “Help new arrivals access healthcare,” and assists new arrivals in “navigating the American system.”

The first bill authored by Rep. Hassan, HF 4719, would have given Somali Community Resettlement Services a $5 million grant to “address the critical need for affordable housing and commercial space for the Somali community in Minneapolis.” The legislation would have required grant funds to be used specifically for “developing a three-acre parcel of land to create a mixed-use residential and commercial development that will include a minimum of 60 affordable apartments and ten retail spaces.”

Reps. Mohamud Noor, Samakab Hussein, Jay Xiong, and Aisha Gomez were co-authors on the bill. All five of the authors for HF 4719 represent Minneapolis or St. Paul in the state legislature.

The second bill authored by Rep. Hassan, HF 5243, would have given Somali Community Resettlement Services a $1.5 million one-time grant for “job training and job placement initiatives.” Reps. Noor and Hussein served as co-authors of this bill.

Two days before the bills were pulled, the Center of the American Experiment’s Bill Glahn reported that Somali Community Resettlement Services has been mentioned 40 times in a new court filing related to the Feeding Our Future scheme. A massive food fraud operation, the Feeding Our Future scheme involved roughly $250 million in fraud and has resulted in 70 indictments. The vast majority of those indicted are Somali.

According to Glahn, “neither [Somali Community Resettlement Services] nor any of its staff have been charged with or accused of any wrongdoing.”

Nevertheless, Rep. Hassan opted to pull both pieces of legislation related to Somali Community Resettlement Services on Thursday. The Minneapolis lawmaker did so in what is known as a “motion to return bill to author.” Rep. Hassan’s motion was approved by the full House of Representatives.

In short, this means her bills are no longer in the legislative process.

Rep. Walter Hudson, R-Albertville, issued a statement in response to Hassan’s decision to pull her bills.

“After more than $250 million in fraud and 70 charges, it’s about time Democrats have started to take this massive fraud seriously,” said Hudson. “The fact that this bill was even introduced after the benefitting nonprofit appeared in Feeding Our Future trial documents more than 40 times is beyond concerning. I’m glad to see that Democrats are beginning to pay attention to this scandal, but it’s long past time to stop the insanity.

“Instead of continuing to pour millions of dollars into unaccountable nonprofits, Democrats need to fund the basic government services that Minnesotans need, like our emergency medical services,” added Rep. Hudson.

In February, Rep. Hassan announced that she will not be seeking reelection to her Minneapolis seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.