Pointing the Way for Family Supportive Housing

Dylan Novacek December 11, 2019

Beacon proudly introduces Prairie Pointe at Shakopee kickoff.

By Dylan Novacek, Content Specialist

“As a young child I was exceedingly fortunate,” said Gary Shelton. “This would all change when my mother, the strongest influence in my life, was diagnosed with cancer.”

A thoughtful silence would fill the church basement where he was speaking. By age 15, Gary, who recently retired as Scott County Administrator, had lost both his parents and found himself without a home. Reflecting on this experience, Gary noted that children like him were invisible in the late 1960s. Now, with years of public service under his belt, Gary hopes to help point the way for change, especially for families with children who have gone overlooked. And he isn’t alone.

Gary Shelton speaking at Beacon kick off for Prairie Pointe

“Homelessness happens for many reasons. For many, its simple math,” remarked Gary. “This is true in Scott and Carver County where the average cost of rent is $1000 per month for a single bedroom.”

Gary was one of many who showed up to Beacon’s launch of family supportive housing in Shakopee. Others shared how homelessness – and the lack of affordable housing options – had impacted their lives. As the night progressed, powerful silences would turn into calls for action, with dozens of supporters saying yes to supportive housing for families.

Beacon revealed the name for this new development: Prairie Pointe. This name reveal was met with inspiring applause. Beacon’s goal with Prairie Pointe is to create about 50 high quality apartment homes for families who make less than $30,000 a year. These new homes will also include onsite support services for residents.

Beacon hopes to point the way to ending homelessness, and absolutely cannot do it without our collaborating congregations. Among our many speakers were congregation leaders who spoke to the need for Prairie Pointe.

“As people of faith, we have tools to give back,” said Gretchen Pierskalla of Crown Glory Lutheran Church in Chaska. “If we have any hope to change the world, we must be brave and bold…”

As this large group of supporters engaged with the message of the night, many would stand and say a resounding “YES” to Beacon’s goal of building new sustainable housing. As the night drew to a close, supporters were led in song by Hans Peterson, Intern Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Jordan.

“Build up! Prepare the way,” sang the group of supporters as they stood to their feet and clapped along. Everyone left energized and excited to “pointe” the way to Prairie Pointe.

As the kick off drew to a close, Gary’s closing words became evident. “Simply put, no person should be without a home,” Gary said, spoken with courage and conviction. Beacon couldn’t agree more.

Please follow along on Beacon’s journey. Click here to support Beacon’s mission and check back soon for more details on Prairie Pointe.