Beacon Successes

Young black men with incarceration in their past have little in their favor as they try to get back on their feet: few employers or landlords will take a chance on them, so housing and jobs are scarce. Antwann Dillard, 30, says the felony he committed at age 19 – a first-time offense for...
Sydney Reuben grew up without a stable home, living at times in shelters with her mother, then in a youth shelter on her own. She is determined to follow a different path—to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness — and Nicollet Square gave her a platform to dream bigger....
Jamal learned English quickly after arriving in the United States at 12 and did well in high school. But when he was just 16 his father moved back to Ethiopia, their country of origin, for medical reasons, leaving Jamal and his siblings to make their own way. “At that age you still need...
Finding affordable housing for a larger family is especially difficult. The average fair-market rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities metro area is $1,403. Abdi, a bus driver with a wife and four children, would never be able to afford that. But he can afford to live at...
Jim can point to the day he began to reclaim his life. It was Sunday, August 29, 2008, after “the worst night of my life,” he said.  Somehow that Sunday after years of drugs, alcohol, jail time and job losses Jim believed he could change. “I made up my mind I could stop...
Jill is trim and petite, her thick blond hair pulled back into a ponytail with a few curly tendrils framing her face. She’s with Sugar, her little dog, who greets a visitor clearly expecting to be loved. Jill has struggled to keep stable housing in the past, staying with her mother or at...
Melanie’s path as a young parent hasn’t been easy. She regrets her poor rental history and bad credit. Originally from northern Minnesota, she left home after an eviction to stay temporarily with an aunt in the Shakopee area. That situation wasn’t working well, so she left -- and...
On the last day of April 2006, Jackie lost her job as a manager at a Saint Paul Goodwill store. Losing her income meant losing her apartment, too. She had a 6-year-old son, Tyler – and she was pregnant. Jackie could not afford an apartment on the small amount of financial assistance...
The Rev. Rena Turnham, a deacon at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Edina, recently spoke to Wayzata Community Church members about her congregation’s engagement in the movement to create 66 West, housing for homeless youth in Edina. She says her congregation's participation in...
After 25 years without a stable home, numerous stints in jail and numerous attempts at treatment for addiction, John Fritz managed to get sober while still living on the streets, but having housing and support at Beacon’s American House changed everything. He said he was once...

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