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A newcomer's perspective on what's possible
December 3, 2014

By Jennifer Peterson | I have been at Beacon just over a month now. The first weeks in any new job can be a real whirlwind, but never have I joined an organization with such positive, forward momentum underway. Since arriving at Beacon I have witnessed a chain of events that leaves me in awe of what we can accomplish when we all work together to end homelessness. 

I attended Ending Homelessness Together, a very moving event where over 900 community members assembled to hear Beacon’s story, and more importantly, the stories of individuals and families whose lives have literally been transformed by their moves to stable housing. 

I was there when it was announced that Beacon would receive a $200,000 Archibald Bush Legacy Grant in support of our work to end homelessness. 

And I was able to attend a thank-you celebration for our tireless Community Builder volunteers at Beacon’s newly purchased building, the former TCF bank in Edina, which will eventually house 39 formerly homeless youth and be known as 66 West.

In my new position as gifts officer I have had the opportunity to get to know a wonderful group of colleagues and dedicated volunteers. My co-workers and our volunteer partners come from a wealth of different backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common: wherever we hail from, whatever our past work lives and experiences have been, we were all drawn to Beacon’s mission to end homelessness. In my case, the desire to work on affordable housing came from volunteering with at-risk children. In many cases, children were suffering from “toxic stress” that was somehow related to a lack of stable housing. If children, from infants to those who are just turning 18, are to have real opportunities for education and a chance succeed, I see stable housing for them and their families as a critical first step.

The promise that by uniting with our 70 congregational partners and a host of community volunteers we can truly make a difference in the lives of those who need it most motivates us all every day. 

I couldn’t be happier with my new job, and I look forward to all we will be able to do together in the coming years as we spread the word about Beacon’s mission.

Jennifer Peterson
Jennifer is one of Beacon's newest employees. She is a member of Wayzata Community Church and a mother of three.