We Showed Up For Home

Dylan Novacek June 5, 2020

Written by Dan Gregory, Strategic Communications Manager

Heavy rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we raced across the parking lot and shook off umbrellas at the entryway. More than 40 supporters were gathering at the Shakopee City Hall on Tuesday, June 2, dodging a line of storms for one purpose: to move Prairie Pointe one more step forward.

Prairie Pointe is a development of 46 apartment homes for families. Located in Shakopee, it’s designed with support services right on site tailored to each member of the family and what they need to thrive together. Prairie Pointe is the first supportive housing of its kind in Scott County, and would be quality, well-managed apartments for families who make less than $30,000 a year.

It was in solidarity with those families that we gathered. Homelessness and housing instability continues to increase across Carver and Scott counties. The families who hope to call Prairie Pointe home have already waited far too long for a place to hang up their children’s drawings and store their toys. When the storms of life come, they want a warm, comfortable place to dry off and feel secure, too.

An evening that started out with pounding rain soon gave way to a peaceful sunset – a hopeful sign for what lay ahead! When the city council turned their attention to Prairie Pointe, we were ready to share. Sharing why Shakopee was a great community for families. Sharing the track record Beacon has of developing and maintaining quality homes. Sharing the details of this building.

But more importantly, sharing why our faith and values compel us in this work.

There were personal stories of how our families have been surrounded by helping hands in times of crisis. There was sharing about seeing children trying to show up well to school when they didn’t have a home to do their homework in. There were moments of grief for times when the assistance from a local congregation wasn’t able to stretch far enough. And there were visions of hope that together, we could ensure that all people in our community have a home.

Following continued discussion, the city council voted to approve Prairie Pointe in a 4-1 vote. It was a thrilling vote which demonstrated the values of home, community, and connection. And it was a huge step forward for Prairie Pointe!

But we’re not done yet.

We’ve done the math and it takes $15,000 to start a home – we call it a seed – a seed that when planted by a donor like you can grow into a home. This seed allows Beacon to do all the work needed before the shovel hits the dirt: the planning, organizing, design and financing. Donors have planted three seeds for Prairie Pointe. It will take an additional 43 “seeds” – or about $645,000 in private contributions – to get Prairie Pointe advanced. We are able to leverage your gift up to 20 times as we approach move in day.

It will also take a strong investment of local and state funding to build Prairie Pointe. Bonding dollars approved by the legislature are essential to make the financing work on developments like this. With the city council vote, Prairie Pointe is now shovel-ready – but we have to secure funding through Minnesota Housing before we can break ground. The more bonding dollars our elected officials approve, the more projects can be built – projects like Prairie Pointe. We’re calling on legislators to pass an historic $200 million in housing bonds this year, and hope you’ll contact yours and ask for their support!

We showed up in a BIG way for Prairie Pointe on June 2! Now, we are called to continue showing up to get it across the finish line. Because until the key clicks in their door for the first time, the families are still waiting for Prairie Pointe to become a home.