Often, we have to advocate to our lawmakers for the people we serve. Whether it be calling those who represent us in congress or attending events at the capital or elsewhere, our work is never done.

Do you want to be a part of that?

There is strength in numbers and we love it when people join us in our advocacy.

If you’d like to advocate, keep an eye on this page; we’ll update every time there is a new opportunity to advocate. If you’d like to be updated when there are new opportunities, email Anna: a.cisewski@houseofcharity.org

Upcoming Opportunities

(click to view details)

June 13 - End of Session Soiree with MCH

Date: June 13, 2019

Time: 5pm-8pm

Location: Moscow on the Hill(371 Selby Ave., St. Paul, MN)

Join the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless for a fundraising happy hour as we celebrate the end to 2019’s legislative session! $20 per ticket will include 1 drink and appetizers. Please RSVP to ensure that adequate drinks and appetizers are provided. We look forward to celebrating with you all!

Purchase tickets HERE.

June 21 - Federal Housing Forum Feature Sen. Tina Smith

Date: June 21, 2019

Time: 2:30pm-4:30pm

Location: Al-Amaan Center ( 5620 Smetana Drive, Minnetonka)

A safe, decent, and accessible affordable home is a basic human right. We are pleased to feature an afternoon with Senator Tina Smith and conversation about critical federal investments in affordable housing. Join Minnesota Housing PartnershipMinnesota Housing, and New American Development Center for this important conversation!


  • 2:00pm: Registration and seating
  • 2:30pm: Program begins
  • 4:30pm: Adjourn

About Senator Tina Smith

Tina Smith serves as United States Senator for Minnesota. She’s a fierce advocate for Minnesotans and is focused on continuing the progressive legacy of the seat she holds.

Tina was born on March 4, 1958 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and grew up in Santa Fe. In 1980, she graduated from Stanford University and in 1984, earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Tina has dedicated her career to working on behalf of Minnesotans to improve lives and ensure that the state government works better for the people it serves. She’s served as Chief of Staff to both Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Governor Mark Dayton. In 2014, Tina was elected to serve as Minnesota’s 48th Lieutenant Governor. As Lieutenant Governor, she’s traveled to every corner of the state to talk with, learn from, and work on behalf of Minnesotans.

Tina is proud to have worked on issues like tax fairness, health care, early education, and rural broadband. Read about Senator Smith’s accomplishments as a Senator here.

More info and registration HERE.

June 21 - Actualizing Equity: Securing Strong Community Benefits

Date: June 21, 2019

Time: 11:30am-1:30am

Location: Hamline Midway Library (1558 West Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul)

From community benefits to co-creation, local organizing is beginning to shift the calculations around large-scale developments, pressing government officials and private developers to consider and address the potential impacts of their investments on local residents and businesses. In St. Paul, the construction of Allianz Field has raised concerns about the impact of the soccer stadium on affordable housing, small businesses and the communities of color that have long called the area home.

Join city officials and community leaders as we discuss and envision how to create and implement effective and innovative community benefit agreements for large-scale developments.

Details and register HERE.

July 15-19 - Basic Economic Development Course

Date: July 15-19, 2019

Time: 9am

Location: Great River Energy Headquarters (12300 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove)

Capacity for this course is 45 students. Please submit your contact information via the REGISTER button above and scroll down on the next page to follow the steps to be added to the waiting list.

**Note: if you have applied for a scholarship but have not yet registered, please be assured that MNEDF is holding a place for you. You will be notified about the scholarship on June 10 and will be provided additional registration details at that time.

This course provides intensive training in the basic concepts, methods and strategies of local economic development. It is designed for those new to the field, as well as those seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills. A diverse and experienced faculty provide a blend of theory and practice during the five-day course.

Participants will study the core building blocks of economic development, including:

  • Business Retention & Expansion
  • Finance for Economic Development
  • Marketing & Business Attraction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Community and Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse
  • Workforce Development
  • Infrastructure and utilities
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Managing Economic Development Organizations
  • Ethics

View details and register HERE.

Advocacy Announcements

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#1: Housing + Legislative Agenda

Find your inner Advocate.

Welcome to the first of many announcement letters about the state of housing, hunger and mental & chemical health policy and advocacy in Minneapolis, Minnesota and beyond!

As you know, policy and advocacy are important pieces to House of Charity operations, along with moving the needle on central issues that impact our clients and ourselves.

These announcement letters will not only update you on what’s going on- but give you info, tips and tricks to flex your advocacy muscles!



ADVOCATE QUIZ:  (Mark all that apply)

  • I believe Housing is a Human Right
  • I believe access to food changes everything
  • I believe access to mental and chemical health programs is a human right
  • I talk to my friends about my job
  • I challenge assumptions people make about the homelessness, mental and chemical health, and hunger.
  • I know who my legislators are
  • I know where my legislators stand on these issues
  • I’ve called or written to my legislator
  • I plan on attending 2019 Homeless Day on the Hill
  • I read articles and books on the topic of housing, mental and chemical health and/or hunger

If you’ve checked ANY of the above boxes you ARE an advocate.

ADVOCATE = To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.

How does House of Charity Advocate?


House of Charity is an ACTIVE organization in Homes for All!

  • Homes for All is a nonpartisan, statewide coalition of more than 170 non-profit organizations (Including House of Charity), for-profit partners, and local governments.
  • Homes for All advocates at the Minnesota Legislature for more state funding and better policies that will lead to housing stability for all Minnesotans.
  • The goal is to ensure people are able to find and keep safe, stable, and affordable housing.
  • They put on the Homeless Day on the Hill event in March!


All organizations involved with Homes for All voted on the 2019 legislative agenda! One policy DIRECTLY IMPACTS House of Charity!

Housing Support (formerly Group Residential Housing)

Increase in GRH base rate (increased from $893 to $993). This is what funds room and board for OUR residents!

This policy will serve approximately 3,000 persons throughout the state who have experienced long term homelessness, including our residents.

SEE entire policy agenda HERE


Choose at least one:

  • Read through the Homes 4 All Website
  • Commit to accomplishing one new way to advocate from the quiz above between now and May (Make a mental note or sticky note!)

#2: The Legislative Session Has Started!

First Day of Legislative Session!

Your legislators are in the building!

Let’s get excited to connect with those who represent us at the capitol! We will get to talk directly to them in March at the Day on the Hill event, but before that, we can prepare our stories, learn about policies and more!

Remember, in the last announcement we learned…

ADVOCATE = To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.


House of Charity is part of the Homes for All Coalition to advocate for housing policy


Part of the Homes for All policy agenda is the increase in GRH base rate (from $893 to $993–up by 100). This is what funds room and board for OUR residents!

What I didn’t tell you was…

You can get excited with the Home for All team at kick-off evetns!

Join Homes for All for appetizers, networking, and a short program to kick off our priorities for this legislative session at the following dates and times.

Metro Kick off!

Date: Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

Time: 3:30 pm – 6:00 pm; ceremony at 5:00 pm

Location: SpringBOX! 308 Prince Street, Suite 270; Saint Paul, MN 55101

Northwest/North Central (Bemidji)

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2019

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm with refreshments following

Location: Calvary Lutheran Church; 2508 Washington Ave SE,  Bemidji, MN 56601

Take Action!

Choose 1

  • Edit and send a letter to your lawmaker! See my example letter HERE!
  • Follow Homes for All on social media

#3: Raising our voices for housing and hunger

Overcome your fear!

What’s holding you back?

We all become advocates in different ways. Some have personal experience, some work with those in need. No matter how we came to it, we know the truth about housing, hunger and mental and chemical health. We have seen it. We may not know how to solve it, but we want to be part of the solution.

Here’s how you can start:

  1. Identify your fear
  2. Dissect the thoughts that come with the fear. Are they true?
  3. What’s the next step outside your comfort zone?

Does advocacy require public speaking? No!

Check out the training below to learn more about what advocacy does entail.

Voices for Housing Training

  • February 19th, 6-7:30pm
  • The Center of Excellence, Center for Changing Lives. 2400 Park Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404 – free parking

Ready to Step forward?

Show up for housing now!

When advocates show up for housing, legislators take note.

Join the Homes for All Coalition:

  • Wednesday, January 23 at 8am in Room 200 of the State Office Building

Show your support as the House Committee on Housing Policy and Finance hears the Homes for All MN 2019/20 agenda.

Then at 11am, join Homes for All for a press conference in the Capitol Press Conference Room (B971).

Sign up to advocate HERE!

Hunger Policy Highlight

While housing is important (especially this year), House of Charity also focuses on hunger advocacy as “feed” is the first pillar of our mission statement. One such organization leading the charge on this is Hunger Solutions!

HERE is their full legislative agenda.

Hunger Policy Highlight

Fully Fund the Good Food Access Program

The Good Food Access Program helps establish permanent facilities for the sale of healthy, affordable food in areas of the state where better access is needed. The program provides grants, loans, and technical support for food-related enterprises such as new and improved grocery stores, mobile markets, farmers markets, fresh food refrigeration, and other innovative community-driven solutions.

Lead organization: Hunger Solutions Minnesota

Committee: Agriculture

Did you know?

“Quotas” are used by legislators to determine what needs their attention. One call from a constituent on a topic won’t make a quota, but 50 calls on that same topic is a different story!

Sign up for action alerts to be one that helps an issue reach the quota!


Choose at least one:

#4: Step up for affordable housing and mental health

Where we live impacts every aspect of our lives. Where we call home affects the groceries we buy, where we send our kids to school, and how we thrive in our community. At every stage of life, where we live is the foundation for our health, education, safety, and economic wellbeing”

Identify Your Story

In March you will be face to face with your legislators at the Homeless Day on the Hill! Let’s start thinking through what you will want to say.

  1. Have you ever experienced homelessness?
  2. Did you have to move around a lot as a child?
  3. Would you consider your home stable?
  4. Do you have access to a park?
  5. Can you walk to your nearest grocery store?

Why does preserving affordable housing, increasing emergency services or presenting homelessness matter to you?

Housing Hearing at the Capitol!

The Homes for All legislative agenda hearing was held at the capitol on Wednesday January 23rd. Check out the moving testimonies.

Click here for video of the Full Hearing

Click here for listing of media coverage

Click here for Village of Hope testimony

Click here for Stepping Stone Emergency Housing testimony

News coverage of the hearing


House Session Daily lead story 1/23

Pioneer Press

Duluth News Tribune

Bemidji Pioneer

West Central Tribune (Willmar)

Minnesota News Network

Housing Policy Highlight

Register for Homeless Day on the Hill

We are so excited to advocate with you all at Homeless Day on the Hill this year! If you are registering others, keep in mind that you will need to do so by adding them as guests on your own registration form!

Click here and register today

Who: You!

When: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM registration

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM program/advocacy training

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM – @ the Capitol advocating!

What: Advocacy training, legislator meetings, and more!

Where: Training: Central Presbyterian Church | 500 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN 55101 | Advocacy: Minnesota State Capitol | 75 Rev. Martin Luther King Drive St. Paul, MN 55101

Contact: Eden Fauré at 651-645-7332 | eden@mnhomelesscoalition.org

Click here and register now!

Click here for the Facebook Event!

Expand your knowledge

Attend a free advance screening on February 18 of Jim Crow of the North, a Twin Cities Public Television documentary film that is based on the work of the Mapping Prejudice Project at the University of Minnesota.

The film is about 60 minutes in length and will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A with the producer, Daniel Pierce Bergin, and Kirsten Delegard, Mapping Prejudice Project Director.

Event Details

What: Advance screening of Jim Crow of the North

When: February 18, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Where: University of Minnesota, Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 120

Mental Health Advocacy

While housing is important (especially this year), House of Charity also focuses on Mental Health Advocacy as “EMPOWER” is the final pillar of our mission statement. One such organization leading the charge on this is NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). See their legislative agenda HERE.

#5: Expand Your Housing Knowledge

Connect the dots.

Let’s get more excited for Homeless Day on the Hill!

Where we call home affects… the groceries we buy, the schools we send our kids to, the pollution we inhale, the stability we feel, the number of sick days we have to take.

Check out the following Homes for All one-pagers!

  1. Click Here for the Homes for All 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda One Pager.
  1. Click Here for the Homes for All Department of Human Services Appropriations Requests One Pager
  1. Click Here for the Homes for All Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Appropriations and Policy Requests One Pager

Highlighted Policies

Challenge Program – Funds a flexible tool used for the development and preservation of multi and single family housing

Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) – Funding to serve adults, youth and children at risk of experiencing homelessness.


Share Your Voice!

The State of Minnesota is developing its annual Action Plan for 2019 and encourages citizen and community partici­pation in its development.

  • The state will hold its first public hearing about the Action Plan on Thursday February 21, 2019, to gather commu­nity input on housing and community development needs and how federal funding should be allocated in the state. This hearing will be held at 4:00 PM at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Room 1240, (444 Lafayette Road, St. Paul). Free parking is available in parking lot C adjacent to the building. For more information please reach out to Michelle Vang: vang@state.mn.us

Housing Advocacy Training Tonight!

Voices for Housing Training

  1. February 19th, 6-7:30pm
  2. The Center of Excellence, Center for Changing Lives. 2400 Park Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404 – FREE parking

Stories from the Book of Harbor Light

The community is invited to attend a theater performance of Stories from the Book of Harbor Light, on March 15th at Hennepin Theatre Trust, 900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.  A reception at 5:30 p.m. will be followed by the performance at 6:00 p.m. The troupe includes clients of the Harbor Light Center, who will transform their stories of homelessness into a performance designed to touch people’s hearts and motivate them to action to end homelessness.

Success in Housing: How Much Does Criminal Background Matter?

Is someone’s criminal background an indicator of their ability to maintain stable housing? Aeon, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, CommonBond Communities, and Project for Pride in Living, set out to answer that question.

On February 26th, join these organizations at the Wilder Foundation to find out  what was learned about the impact of a criminal background on individuals’ chances at housing success.

RSVP deadline: Tuesday, February 19.

RSVP and additional details: Success in Housing.

Star Tribune: Minnesota nears goal of ending veteran homelessness

A goal that once seemed unattainable — securing safe and stable housing for every veteran known to be homeless — is now within reach. Read more HERE.


  • Attend one of the many events above!
  • Post “Housing is a human right” somewhere visible in your home or office
  • Watch THIS documentary on the affordable housing crisis

#6: Homeless Day on the Hill is next week!

Get Ready!

Homeless Day on the Hill is next week!

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale

Remember, you are here to elevate the voices of…

More than 1 in 4 Minnesota households that pay more than they can afford for housing, putting them at risk of not being able to afford food and medicine
Extremely low income families that struggle to find housing due to there only being 36 units for every 100 families available
Children under the age of 17 that accounted for 38% of all people experiencing homelessness in 2015
Yourself! Tell your OWN struggles with housing and homelessness or those whom you know
Start preparing today
1) Find your legislator & district! Simply input your home address!
2) Register for Homeless Day on the Hill! (You can sign up your clients too!) Please let me know if you will be there!
3) Read your District Profile for more information about homelessness and housing in your neighborhood!
4) Write your elevator pitch
5) Read this article about homelessness in the suburbs (for those who don’t live in the metro!)
6) Dig into the Homes for All Legislative Agenda! Want to know more about the funding and policies the coalition is fighting for? Check them out!
Can you volunteer at Homeless Day on the Hill?
The Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless needs volunteers to help register people as they arrive!
If you are interested in volunteering, you can click here to read through the tasks and sign up for the one(s) that work(s) for you.
They are using SignUp Genius to help them organize and communicate. You will need to create an account, but it’s simple and free.. If you have any problems with the sign up, contact Barbara atVolunteer@MNHomelessCoalition.org.
Put this show on your calendar!
zAmya Theater works with residents at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Center to create a new show about homelessness to premiere at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s 900 Hennepin.
March 5 | Affordable Housing in Minneapolis: What’s Next?
Join the League of Women Voters for the next Civic Buzz event, free and open to the public. Speakers include Eric Hauge, Director of HOMELine, and MHP board member Andrea Brennan, Director of Housing Policy and Development for the City of Minneapolis.
Show Premiere: March 15 at 6 p.m. with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at 900 Hennepin Ave
The event will increase awareness and dispel myths about homelessness and will bring together a socially diverse audience. A donation of $20 is recommended. Ticket proceeds will benefit The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center. No one will be turned away due to inability to pay.
Take Action!
  1. Share your excitement on social media
  2. Sign up to volunteer at Homeless Day on the Hill
  3. Put the Harbor Light event on your Calendar

#7: Lots of Learning

Read the Research

2018 Minnesota Homeless Study – Wilder Research
Click here for the full 2018 Minnesota Homeless Study
2019 State of the State- Minnesota Housing Partnership
Click here for the 2019 State of the State

Save the Date — Homes for All Rally!!

What: Homes for All Spring Rally; Unite for Homes
Date: May 06, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm (program)
Location: Capitol Rotunda
More details and RSVP here.

Watch a Short Film

Based on and narrated by Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law,” a new animated film short “Segregated By Design” examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.
An increase to MFIP cash assistance is as well-positioned as anything could be at this point in session.
The Governor and House have both included a $100/mo. increase in their proposed budgets. The Senate did not give us a hearing but does want the issue discussed in conference committee.
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless is asking us to help us get 200 letters to conference committee members by the end of April. Can you help?
Letter writing instructions and a sample letter can be found HERE(please write your letter ASAP, mail to MCH, and ask your networks to do the same!)
MCH’s Facebook post is HERE and my LinkedIn post is HERE (please like and share with a personal note about your own commitment!)
Please share this broadly!
Tuesday, April 30, 6-7:30pm
More than 10 percent of those leaving jails and prisons are homeless in the months before or after incarceration, according to a Volunteers of America study.
At this forum hosted by the ACLU of Minnesota, experts will tell their stories about how their lives have been impacted by the lack of re-entry housing and will offer solutions to this crisis.

#8: End of Session


Don’t let lawmakers forget about housing during these final days of session!
Session ends on May 20th. Between now and then legislators are making FINAL decisions, and we NEED YOUR VOICE to make sure housing is on the top of their agenda.
Call the legislators
Please contact the following lawmakers using the script below!
Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) 651-296-4280 or rep.melissa.hortman@house.mn
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-46A, St Louis Park) 651-296-7026 or rep.ryan.winkler@house.mn
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) 651-296-4875 or thismail form.
Senate Minority Leader Thomas Bakk (DFL-03, Cook) 651-296-8881 or thismail form.
Governor Tim Walz 651-201-3400 or this mail form.
Use the script below:
Hello, , my name is , and I live in .
Please keep affordable homes a priority this session! More than half a million Minnesota families pay more than they can afford for housing, and that number is growing. Support the Homes for All agenda that includes bonds for housing, increased funding for shelters and the Affordable Housing Tax Credit. We can’t wait for next session to take action. Thank you!

Share the Joy

Unite for Housing: Homes for All Rally was held on May 6th and it was a success! We shared stories, heard from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Street Voices for change and many others.
Check out Homes4All for pictures to share with your networks!

Watch a Short Film

Based on and narrated by Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law,” a new animated film short “Segregated By Design” examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy.