Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week has started.  Did you know raising the minimum wage is among the top three priorities for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless during the 2014 legislative agenda? Too many individuals and families do not have a stable place to live, simply because their wages are too low.  Yes, there are homeless Minnesotans, and Minnesotans on the brink of losing their apartments because their wages are too low. I’ve met so many people, especially women working in retail, hospitality, and costumer service jobs who can’t afford rent, even though they are working. Raising the minimum wage is one tool to push working families up and out of homelessness and into a more stable economic position.

Last session, the Minnesota House passed a $9.50 minimum wage increase, tied to inflation. Next year, we’ll be asking the Minnesota Senate to do the same. Today, we’re asking you to help build public support for the minimum wage increase by contacting your state senator before Thanksgiving (the sooner the better!).  Check out Minnesota Housing Partnership’s 2013 Out of Reach Report for more context about wages and housing costs.

Action Alert

WHO: State Senators find out who represents you (the second name listed)

WHAT: Call or email your state senator today. Let them know you support raising the minimum wage to $9.50. Let them know rent is out of reach for full-time workers earning the minimum wage. Too many Minnesotans lack a stable place to live because wages have not kept up with the cost of rent.

WHEN: November 18, 2013

Why: To build public support for a minimum raise increase before Thanksgiving in the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota House passed a $9.50 increase in 2013.

Sample Email/Phone Message:Hi Senator _____, I am a constituent in your district and I support raising the minimum wage to $9.50. Too many Minnesotans cannot afford rent because wages are too low. On any given night, approximately 14,000 Minnesotans are homeless. Please support a minimum wage increase next session. Thank you. Sincerely, Your name”

Feel free to make your email or phone message more personal – either a staffer or your Senator will read or listen to every one.

Please email Dan Kitzberger once you’ve contacted your state senator.  We’ll keep track of who has been contacted and their responses (dan@mnhomelesscoalition.org or 651-645-7332).

Thank you.