As we close out the year, I’m filled with hope and gratitude–both for the work we have accomplished together and also for the opportunities that lie before us. Together, we’ve met the challenges of the pandemic, historic levels of homelessness, and widespread housing instability with inspiring levels of commitment. Thank you for your partnership and the countless ways you have shown up to help advance the vision that every Minnesotan has a safe and dignified home.
As I sit down to write, I find myself thinking of the 20,000 people without a home tonight and the impact that the bitter cold has on families and individuals experiencing homelessness. Winter is a brutal reminder that safe shelter and dignified homes are fundamental to solving homelessness–not only for survival–but for healthy and thriving individuals and families. The pandemic has been hard for everyone, but it has been even more pronounced for the individuals and families that are barely affording their home or worse–trying to survive without a safe place to come in from the cold. That is what keeps me up at night.
Here is the hope that we bring each morning and the fuel for our determination: we know that shelter saves lives and housing ends homelessness. I’m hopeful–and grateful–that as more of you join us and recognize the vast problem of disinvestment in homes, we are able to accomplish more towards this fight.
The Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless will continue to advance the proven solutions needed to end homelessness in Minnesota. Everyone should experience the joy of home.
We’re grateful and humbled to be in partnership with you. On behalf of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, we wish you health, joy, rest and renewal as we work to bring the joy of home to our neighbors in 2022.
Rhonda Otteson, Executive Director
Clara Lind, Director of Development
Matt Diaz, Director of Communications
Matt Traynor, Director of Organizing
Noa K. Levi, Operations Manager
Zack Eichten, Director of Policy
Zara Wolfe, Regional Experts Organizer
P.S. On Thursday, December 16th, I’ll be joining the Homeless Memorial March to honor the lives of 300+ people we’ve lost this year: people who died while homeless, people that were previously homeless, and advocates that dedicated their lives to ending homelessness. It’s a time to create space to remember the lives and contributions of each person and to share in the beauty of lives lived. It’s a powerful event that I invite you to join. You can submit a name to be read during the remembrance here or attend a virtual service on Facebook Live at 7 PM on Simpson’s Facebook page.