By Jinnet Fowles | My interest in housing options began years ago while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. I realized then that sound housing was the basis of a secure life. I also learned that we need many more housing alternatives. When, in 1999, my church (Plymouth Congregational Church) began creating housing options that worked for those outside the mainstream, I was excited. Here was a community-driven, thoughtfully considered approach that was making a difference.
I subsequently left the country to volunteer in the Peace Corps for two years. I served in the Kingdom of Tonga standardizing survey research processes at the Institute of Education, University of the South Pacific - Tonga. This international experience actually circled back to shape my thinking about local housing. I observed that many well-intentioned people around the world were trying to improve the quality of life in Tonga. But more importantly many Tongans themselves were committed to developing their country. It was striking to me that the people in the community had by far the best sense of what could and should be done. I left even more convinced that solutions should come from within the community. I believe Beacon to be that kind of community-focused organization.
When I returned to Minneapolis I was astonished and delighted to find that the work of a few had morphed into the combined efforts of 60-plus local congregations. I admire Beacon’s practical, well-informed variety of approaches to meet the housing needs of differing groups in our community.
I’m retired now with modest resources. Still, I wanted to find a way to support the critical work that Beacon does. With the cheerful assent of my children, I am delighted to contribute a portion of my estate to Beacon through my will—of course, I hope that gift will not be made too soon!
Ed. note: Please contact Sarah Mollet if you would like to discuss naming Beacon in your estate planning.
Jinnet Fowles is a Spirit of Home Society member and has named Beacon as a beneficiary in her estate planning.