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Your voice needed now
May 3, 2013

It’s crunch time at the Capitol. Now would be a good time to contact your legislator to make sure our state's budget -- our moral blueprint for what we're investing in-- includes significant funding for services for the growing number of people who are homeless in our state, including the 46 percent who are children.

I’m a Beacon employee and a Beacon Citizen and here’s what I wrote this week to my state senator, Jeff Hayden.

Dear Sen. Hayden:

I am so grateful for your commitment to ending homelessness and your support for the Homeless Youth Act, and appreciate your responses to my previous emails.

Today as the DHS conference committee goes about its work, I am just writing once more to urge you and your fellow legislators to please invest an additional $11 million into critical services – including $6 million for the Homeless Youth Act – that help children, youth, and families transition into stable housing. Nearly half of Minnesota’s homeless population are children and youth under 21.

In fact, I just met a woman named Danielle who has four children and is working two jobs to keep a roof over her children's heads. She is also going to school so she can set an example for them and get a better job one day. The family experienced homelessness, sleeping in parks last summer. They fortunately found shelter through the Families Moving Forward program, and are now housed. Yet she told me just the other day that she fears becoming homeless again because her rent has gone up and her budget is strained.

Danielle is working so hard to make sure her children are educated, well-fed and housed. I wish her life could be easier, and I think of all the "Danielles" out there and their kids, the next generation Minnesotans. We owe it to them to fund these services and prevent and end homelessness.

Kris Berggren

FYI: The $11 million we’re asking the conference committee to include is new money to invest in emergency and preventive services for Minnesotans who are homeless —including $3.5 M for Long-Term Homeless Supportive Services Fund; $1 M for Transitional Housing; $0.5 M for  Emergency Services Program; and $6 M for the Homeless Youth Act.

If you agree that state lawmakers should make this funding a priority, please contact your legislator. Share a story – or simply make the ask. Danielle’s counting on you.