Grant Snyder is, quite simply, one of the most amazing humans I've ever met. And I've been blessed to meet quite a few incredible people - so that's saying a lot.
Officer Snyder is the Minneapolis Police Department's liaison to the city's homeless and vulnerable adult population. He approaches this work with a depth of compassion rarely seen. The homeless and struggling people that most of us turn away from - literally - are the ones he seeks to serve.
Snyder has the capacity to connect with individuals who otherwise fear and dislike the police. His manner is direct, honest and full of heart. He earns the trust of the mistrustful by showing up, helping as he can, and going above and beyond to find pathways to housing, a new tent, or just a pair of shoes for those in need.
Snyder formerly headed up the Department's efforts to fight human trafficking. He is known as a national expert and recently served on the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s human trafficking task force. Homelessness, addiction, and trafficking are all deeply interlinked, and Snyder's years of experience are an asset to those at the encampment - both the residents and those trying to provide services and stabilization.
Officer Snyder and I recently worked together to move a camp couple to a safer location. Skeptical about moving, Snyder engaged the couple and discussed their needs. He came to find that they really needed a bigger tent, as one of the individuals uses a wheel chair. He reached out to me to help find funds to purchase a larger tent. It was a moment of synchronicity as a friend had just given me a 5 person tent to donate to someone at the camp. Grant and I met, the tent was gifted, and the couple was moved to a better location.
These little victories, these days when things fall into place and lead to a happy ending, are rare and incredibly satisfying. Officer Snyder helps to create these days for homeless individuals at the camp and throughout the city. A recent StarTribune story mentioned Snyder was a "deeply spiritual" man. It's clear to see this is true in the soul and commitment he brings to his work - and for this we are grateful.
Officer Snyder outside PowWow Grounds and NACDI - getting ready to deliver the 5 person tent.