Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

Creating More Equitable Communities Where All People Have a Home

As an interfaith collaborative of 100+ congregations from across the Twin Cities metro, the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative brings faith community efforts together to achieve more than we ever could separately. Each congregation brings unique strengths, perspectives, resources, and passion to the vision.

Our parish partnership with Beacon began in 2014 when a group of our parishioners became impassioned after learning that, on any given night, 200-300 homeless young adults live in the southwest suburbs.  Our parish has been committed to helping reduce homelessness in our community ever since.

Our first project with Beacon was the development of 66 West Apartments which now provides supportive housing for 39 young adults who have experienced homelessness. Since then, our partnership has expanded and our community now serves in a variety of ways supporting this collaborative mission.

COVID-19 Response Update: In a time when Minnesota’s rental crisis continues to worsen, Beacon continues its work developing affordable, supportive homes for those with the lowest incomes, sheltering families, and working to change systems that result in affordable housing shortfalls. St. Stephen’s awarded Beacon a Rapid Response outreach grant earlier this year and parishioners continue to work with Beacon in a variety of ways including our Quilters who will be bringing quilts to be blessed at worship on September 13th before they are shared with those in need.

SERVING LOCATION: Serving locations vary with each opportunity.

TIME COMMITMENT: Volunteering is flexible based on your schedule, interests, and availability.

ROLES: 

  • 66 West – Host a Birthday Lunch: Celebrate the birthdays of 66 West residents! Plan and prepare lunch, provide a birthday cake, purchase a birthday card, and $10 Target gift card, and write an inspiring birthday message to each honoree. Handbook provided which will walk you through the event. We recommend three volunteers team up for this opportunity to gather friends and family and serve together.
  • 66 West – Quilters: Help us welcome all new residents with a quilt! Our dedicated group of quilters work at home and together at the church creating a variety of quilts throughout the year.
  • Affordable Housing Education & Research: Beacon offers quarterly training on issues related to affordable housing and public policy. In addition, discussion guides and planning sessions are available to aid those who feel called to meet with public officials to explore issues of homelessness and affordable housing developments.
  • Contacting Minnesota Legislators: There are many opportunities for you to contact Minnesota legislators or other public officials about upcoming bonding, affordable housing solutions, and/or policy issues. Let us know if you wish to be notified and we will add you to our email list. Beacon provides suggested scripts as well as links to identify legislators’ contact information.
  • Families Moving Forward: Families Moving Forward, a Beacon program, offers families experiencing homelessness hospitality, emergency shelter, and a path to permanent affordable work-force housing. Our parish signs up to host families for a week several times each year. This takes 70+ volunteers each week and there are a variety of roles from cooking dinner and playing with children to shopping for groceries or acting as an overnight host.

SAFE CHURCH REQUIREMENT: 

  • 66 West Birthday Hosts: No
  • 66 West Quilts: No
  • Affordable Housing Education & Research: No
  • Contacting Minnesota Legislators: No
  • Families Moving Forward: Yes

MINISTRY CONTACT: Contact those listed below through the church office, office@ststephens.com.

  • 66 West Birthday Hosts: Jackie Sullivan
  • 66 West Quilts: Katie Hardy
  • Affordable Housing Education & Research: Marillene Allen
  • Contacting Minnesota Legislators: Cathleen Godsall
  • Families Moving Forward: Cathleen Godsall