Designing Home

Dylan Novacek April 3, 2020

The following piece has been adapted from The Flame, the monthly newsletter for Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis. Originally written by Anne Seltz, adapted by Dylan Novacek, Content Specialist. 

At Great River Landing, Beacon’s newest housing development, men who have experienced homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration can have a stable home. The definition of home is different for everyone. However, at its core everyone seeks stability and safety. When conceptualizing what home will look like at Great River Landing, a lot went into the design.

Building architects, 4RM+ULA, collaborated with Roger Cummings of Juxtaposition Arts to help create a beautiful home for residents. For Roger and the architects, it was important to think about what the residents really needed to feel a sense of community, warmth, and safety.

For weeks, Roger took time to speak with residents about their feelings and experiences to help inform design choices within Great River Landing. The process began in 2015 as the architects and Roger conducted a series of hands-on workshops centered around building and designing safe spaces.

As a result, they created six unique floor concepts with their own themes for the collective values of the Great River Landing community. Themes of the floors include Love/Change, Faith, Acceptance, Belonging/Family, Inclusion, and Support. These themes inspired artwork, symbolism, and colors that guide and welcome residents and visitors alike.

In addition to tailoring specific themes for the floors, Roger asked residents what amenities they would find useful in their home. For these men, they wanted a place for their children to play outdoors as well as room for families to gather. And of course, a mediation room was a must for many of the residents!

Great River Landing gives us much to be excited about! The collaborative work that went into creating these spaces will surely inspire future development in the areas. Most importantly, these residents have a fantastic home that breeds healing, warmth and safety.

View a time lapse video of the construction of Great River Landing!

Creating stable homes for these men are invaluable to their well-being and safety, and each of these 72 homes cost about $15,000 before construction even began. Here at Beacon, we call these the seeds to a home- seeds that will create an environment of growth for these men.

Financial gifts are critical to the success of these homes. Visit to learn more about how to make a gift and contribute to our vision that all people have a home.

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