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Tiny narratives of heartbreak and hope
February 11, 2015

By Kris Berggren | Emails come regularly from people seeking housing or shelter.

Each email is a little story with an ending yet to be revealed. These tiny narratives are full of human drama, heartbreak and hope alike. The writers are single adults, youth, parents. Pregnant women. People doubled up with relatives. People trying to help a friend.

Here are a few excerpts edited only to remove identifying details:

  • Wondering if you have any affordable housing coming up for 2 adults and one child for less than $780.00/ month? Thanks.
     
  • Im 16 And I Was Wondering About The Nicollet Housing You Guys HAve Along With The American Housing And The Abbott View. I Have A Job But I Make Very Low Income. I Was Wondering How To Get In One Of The Apartments You Guy Offer, Im Tired Of Being Homeless Please Respond Asap
     
  • I am a 28 years old Hmong mother of 2 sons and a baby on the way. I am about to give birth to my 3rd baby and is homeless. I need your help please? I am staying from places to places. I wished I was able to work so I could financially take care of me and my kids, but its hard when I don't have a job, neither a transportation. I tried applying for job, but no reply.
     
  • Hello last week my mother in law passed. Myself, husband and four children were all living with her, we all need to be out of the property she was renting by the  end of January and with myself only on mfip and my husband on ssi its going to be very hard to find a place unless its low income housing. Can you please help us figure out what to do to keep our children's life as close to normal as possible!
     
  • Family has nowhere to go after tonight; Mom, Dad, two kids ages 11th grade girl and 5th grade boy. Dad lost job only works part time and they are getting kicked out of motel no more money.  Trying to get into apartment but getting delayed.
     
  • HELP ME PLEASE!  I DIDN'T THINK I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN A SINGLE ROOM RENTAL, BUT I LIKE THE LOCATION AND NEED A PLACE TO LIVE NOW! PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH INFO ON AVAILABILITY AND YOUR WAIT LIST. 
     
  • Good Morning, I don’t know where to start but her name is Jenny. I knew her when she was a child through her parents.  She is now in her late 20s and homeless with two daughters.  She looked me up and called yesterday for help. Unfortunately they ended up sleeping her vehicle last night.  Might you be able to help her?  

It’s my job to respond to these emails. I do my best to be kind and polite, to say I’m sorry for their difficult situation.

But as we all know, not every story has a happy ending. Because our housing and shelter programs have relatively few vacancies I often must refer them to other resources.

These little stories are works in progress. It’s our work to make progress toward more happy endings for more people. And that’s our story.