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Power through the people
March 30, 2016

By Michael Dahl | I believe in home.  And I believe we can end homelessness in Minnesota.

My three and a half years at Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative have taught me many things. First and foremost is that there are thousands of Minnesotans who also believe in home. And you are putting forward your efforts to end homelessness, the most acute result of lack enough affordable housing for all our residents.

This year’s state legislative campaign — with Beacon Citizens declaring the numerous things they do to address and end homelessness in their communities — is really helping me see an energized slice of this building public will to end homelessness.

Your statements of the actions you take once again remind me that together, we are more powerful than is immediately obvious. 

Thousands of people are active in so many ways. You support affordable housing in your community.  You serve, you give, you advocate, and you lead. And it’s not just you. You are surrounded by many others who share this passion and drive for housing justice.

The work of Beacon Citizens has been to demonstrate that when we come together, we win.

Together, we’ve been a part of increasing funding for the Homeless Youth Act from a paltry $238,000 every two years to $8,238,000 each biennium.

Two years ago, through the “three words for home” campaign, we came together to advocate for $100 million to build and rehab affordable housing. That advocacy helped make Prior Crossing a reality – it’s under construction as I write, with an opening date in sight this fall.

And now, funding from the year after that is currently moving 66 West along a similar path.

In a couple days I will be concluding my time as advocacy coordinator at Beacon. I will also be leaving affordable housing advocacy — my career for nearly all of my adult life — to focus on health, affordable, and safe food for all.

Thank you for filling me with so much hope.  We are on our way to a future without homelessness.

Michael Dahl
Michael has been Beacon's advocacy coordinator for three and a half years. He is stepping down to become the director of the Minnesota Food Charter Network.