On January 17th, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity hosted an Intentional Social Interaction called “Welcome Home!”.
Want to see great photos from the event, go to the photo gallery blog! More photos will be posted this week!
We are having some technical difficulties at our FaceBook Site. If you go to facebook.com/MarnitasTable, you SHOULD be able to see the photo gallery that was uploaded by clicking on “highlights” or “posts by friends,” but we were experiencing some difficulties. Maybe some of you “tech types” can give us an answer why some people can see the photos and some can’t? We’d love for you to tag photos you are in, post comments, “like” the Marnita’s Table facebook page if you enjoyed your experience and to use both the Marnita’s Table Blog here or our facebook site to continue the conversation.
One of the activities that was extremely enjoyable was called “mindstorm,” a freeform brainstorm with 150 of our closest strangers. Check back to this space weekly. We’ll be updating with facts about affordable housing and new action that was catalyzed as a direct result of this conversation.
Thanks for being a part of Welcome Home!
What is something the government could do to help provide more affordable housing?
Can’t rely on others to fix problem – start collaboratively and expand.
Engage them – take them to the site versus talking at them.
Don’t just rely on government, start in own background.
Counseling network – connecting them to opportunities
Mandatory educational program required for mortgages
Incorporate into the schools & proficiency levels.
Go back to basics – financial – create a budget or balancing a checkbook (financial literacy).
How to survive on x/annual/monthly income.
Change the way you live today, more to live with tomorrow.
Basic needs to include – actual exp (childcare / emergency expenses, car repair).
Put ownership on individuals – find out expenses.
Buy up foreclosures.
Subsidize land trust in St. Cloud area.
Regulations regarding number or ratio of affordable housing units.
Gov incentives to corps/companies who build & rent.
Rural Development – Funding
Rxxx(?) student loan debt
Increase minimum wage
Voucher program – transition time after getting job – don’t just stop.
Mandatory for communities
Education (encourage) for high school/college students – finances/credit, etc.
Take money from military and give to our own communities.
Ask those who need it, what challenges? What do they need?
Encourage banking police to increase lending to families and /or developers
Help with transitional/transactional costs to build low income housing.
Better programs to help people assimilate – learn language and help connect with full-time work.
Talks in state and fed – looking at budgets.
Human services are being cut – resulting in great hardship – need to increase awareness of what it is like to live in poverty.
Look at recommendations made 6 or 7 years ago – “legislative commission to end poverty”
More government incentives
South Sudanese women – language barrier, so many restrict to qualify for affordable house. We want to live here in a home. Habit required you are working full time. We can’t find FT work.
Grant money for Habitat to buy foreclosed homes.
More money for affordable housing rather than for prisons or war. Children need parents who are at home, not working all the time to afford a home.
Government could identify affordable areas for housing (Greenfield projects).
Relax regulations for who can get mortgages, especially those who were foreclosed on during the recent economic collapse.
Raise the minimum wage.
Create financial incentives for developers/construction to build more affordable homes.
Create affordable loan incentives.
Value as community members coming together to make a difference.
Government should be more aware and acknowledge that there is a need.
Incentives for people to give.
Government should give more land for housing.
Bank level – affordable loans.
Encourage building to accommodate large families.
Balance where affordable housing is located; build more facilities that offer affordable housing.
Programs that educate individuals – begin at a young age.
Programs that train individuals to be more competitive.
Help change the law (Ban the box – second chance).
Tax credits for service/product providers on Habitat
Section 8 Housing – too long a wait – Federal $
Encourage “reasonable” materials for Section 8 Housing
More oversight of living conditions, maintenance training
Incentivize Social Security by volunteer encouragement
Teach financial literacy in school
Empty houses – should be donated to programs – Habitat/Anna Marie’s
Build more housing – connect people with low income, so affordable. Refugees have lots of needs. Programs hard to access.
Sudanese – women work, men in school. Income for one person not enough. 6-8 kids with one income.
Since women are working is low pay – can’t get education.
Latino community – $7/$8 an hour – minimum wage.
Men get education leave – mom single. Men go back to Sudan.
Company partnered with government to help buy house. Deducted from paycheck.
Once graduate HS, kids find work – not college.
Under-age kids working.
Latino & Sudan similar story.
Transportation – bus is hard.
Childcare is only daytime, not overnight.
Raise minimum wage, improve housing programs. One person spoke about the HRA in Minneapolis as being a very good example of housing. Another also said housing affects education (make sure that more people are educated) Government should increase grants for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. The government should also improve pay and benefit package for citizens.
Being able to offer assistance with down payments on houses
Be more sensitive to issues of immigrants who wish to own a house for instance, some religions do not allow payment of interest.
Form a model, create a model where interest does not need to be paid.
Rehab loans, and generally, focus on rehab and not just rebuild/build.
Tax credit for housing
Support legal aid, help more people. Increased access to legal help.
Utilizing the organizations already forms
Work with these agencies that understand the troubles that their communities are facing.
Look closer at how individuals transitioning from (jail/prison) find a place they can afford.
Central MN Re-Entry program ? ?
Local government – how could gov. use foreclosed homes to make housing affordable and more accessible.
Could government provide re-development funds for neighborhoods that have a high density of foreclosed homes.
Fund homeless youth shelter/housing
Government/department of Veteran Affairs – services for non-combat vets
Increase mental health services
List programs/success stories/people that you’ve heard about that have made a difference in delivering more affordable housing to a community
Good Samaritan Foundation – couldn’t afford deposit but could afford monthly rent. Behind on electric company help make payment and create payment plan.
Independent homeowners contributing to affordable housing options.
Youth build and mentorship – grow up in Habitat Home “Pay it forward” and help.
Essence Properties – utilizing tax credits provide affordable housing options for women, learning domestic violence situations in Sartell.
Place of Hope – Hope on 9th options – those that have poor credit/restoration. Spectrum – from emergency-transitional to permanent housing options.
Renting 101 (Tri-Cap).
Hamp/Harp government programs (refinancing).
Tri-Cap family emergency. Friends.
Central MN Continuum of Care (14 county).
Homestretch – Central MN Housing Project.
Community Solutions Team (United Way).
American Dream Program (US Bank).
Catholic Worker House.
Catholic Charities – The village.
Lutheran Social Services
River Crest – Housing for chronic anebriants[sic] (safe for residents & community)
Tri-Cap Program – Help purchase home
(?) Agencies to help in transition for success starts
Habitat for Humanity (there are no others) -> get family together, closer, independence
St. Cloud HRA
MN Hosing finance
Community Council for Homeless (Wash DC)
Eagle’s Next (homeless vets)
Anna Marie’s (?) – emergency
Church community in Harlem – buy facility – fix it and rent it out
More affordable housing for/by families
Habit for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity
Anna Marie’s House
Catholic charities Housing
Journey Home CentraCare
Habitat for Humanity
Place of Hope
More need for transitional housing
More training for homeowners
Domus type transitional housing
Anna Marie’s and Journey working with them.
Catholic Charities – housing for homeless youth (development now).
Bridge to Cultures
FAIM – no state funding, missing federal
Place of Hope
Success stories- A friend was able to purchase a house through Tri-Cap’s FAIM program.
Land trust in Duluth
St. Cloud HRA with subsidized housing etc.
Catholic Worker Community
Money from Government a few years ago (2008)
Habitat for Humanity
Eagles Healing Nest
What is something about your cultural story that is important to the conversation about affordable housing
Recycling programs, thrift stores. Starts local works with job training skills, develop soft skills.
90% call crisis nursery don’t have support system.
American Dream: logical step, expectations – more rental vs. owning.
Affordable housing isn’t always home ownership – large family, poor.
Different time – large families common, less space.
Housing/rental (male/female ratios).
Regulations now the number of people in space – becomes barrier and how deteriorates the family structure.
How we define family – extended family. What do you do with elders – send them away vs. taking care of them.
“Cultural differences”. Disposable society – recycling now.
Criminals re-entering the world/finding housing. Discriminatory rental rates and conditions.
View on renting, cross generational.
Relatives in less than ideal circumstances.
Connect the people to the programs.
“Blind” to affordable housing issues.
Grew up in St. Cloud.
Early 90s – 2 bi-racial kids, had trouble getting housing.
Need for education (through churches, etc.) and agencies.
Don’t realize pre. Of homeless/poverty (working people, etc.)
Low income people help each other
Larger family more difficult to find housing
Language being a challenge / hard for parents to get work to afford
Cost of care for the elderly
We left our home as refugees – don’t know if we will ever return or if our children will ever go back. So now THIS is our home. We need our own home to really be settled here. In apartment if my niece comes, she can’t live with us – too many people. Home is a lace we can share with our family – welcoming to everyone. Now you have to let the landlord know if visitors come.
My grandparents came from Germany – they had access to land, 360 acres. They lived off the land. My father took over the farm. You get so connected to the land.
United South Sudan Community. I always talk about “we” – community.
Communication barrier makes it so hard to find FT work.
Father died, mother found minimum wage job. She eventually had to sell it and move to a smaller home.
Divorce can lead to homelessness or instability.
What is need? Can you live with less? Less space?
Lived on east side of town where immigrant families were moving in. difference in religious background lends itself to feeling inside or outside.
Lived in homogenous communities growing up (i.e., Scandinavian farmers)
Girls grew up in Ethiopia then Kenya, refugee camp, grass huts, Minneapolis, St. Cloud. Housing is better here, safe from animals.
Difference in definition of homelessness between Somalis and American. In Somalia, you may not own or be able to rent a home, but aren’t considered homeless if you have shelter on some land. Need food and security.
Multi-generational family units are common in non-native families.
Americans have huge homes that are sitting half-empty – other cultures are more communal.
Community – many people like to stay close to those that they know and are comfortable with.
Affordable housing for whole family, as a teenager built a house as part of school curriculum.
Contractor – lots of them – can raise awareness
“Successful” business owner – can raise awareness of others “blind” to need
Over 60 age group – can inspire others – instead of lazy retired state
Kenya – knows the slums – the chaos – knows the difference.
Somalia – business owner – credibility – both Somalia and traditional communities
Greater promotion of RSVP/United Way volunteer
International students sometimes homeless, cost of school
Sudanese families are large – apartment doesn’t work
Farming background – kids took over house – not starting over.
Sudan – you don’t leave home unless married – don’t leave at 18. When married – stay for 2 years, train her to move out.
Grandmother raised kids – took care of grandkids and nieces – only 5th grade. Paid bills but did teach kids – didn’t know how to save.
Somali people usually have large families and most organization does not have housing for large families, in such cases the families have to be divided into two households. Some families cannot even afford to pay their rent. The need is so much for just one organization to do the work such as Lutheran social services. We need more hands to help out.
Apartments for little money. Government provides subsidized housing to a citizen – Singapore
Law enforcement with the black community is sometimes unjust.
Resources of family & friends to help support.
Giving time & energy to help those in need.
Language barriers have kept them in the poverty/lower income
After getting a hand up- their family has continued to thrive (Catholic Charities and then Habitat).
Teen parent / poverty cycle
Veterans (1% of population) – should have a place to sleep
Cultural clash – our cities family’s numbers have decreased; new families moving in have larger families.
Low income housing – requirements regarding size, gender
Greed vs. compassion
What is something that you are willing to do personally to help solve the problem of affordable housing
Continue connection financially to Habitat for Humanity.
Trying to figure out a way to rally others in the community.
Financial literacy to give tools for life (where should it be).
Engage students to be teachers. Empower youth-college to high school students.
Point in time – to get accurate numbers.
Networking – more services exist – share with parents, resources & hope (non-judgmental).
Community housing assessment, encourage participation – accurate study so others can utilize knowledge is power.
Volunteer time and skills.
Spreading word about Habitat’s ability to help.
Grants for affordable housing
Meet people affected – volunteer at agencies, etc.
Educate more people
United Way Day of Caring – work in community
Get others involved in learning/meeting activities.
Get on sight to help build
Be more involved in Re-Store
Donating to Re-Store. Easy, good experience
Systems change – collaborative effort
Lucy Stephen is willing to serve on Habitat
Dee R. is going to advocate for language services (teaching people English).
Stay on the family selection committee
Take the conversation to St. Cloud State.
Take the conversation to the greater community.
Continue to support Habitat and other organizations in the community.
Become educated – learn more about what our neighbors did with.
Expect to donate furniture and moved into smaller house.
Volunteer for Habitat
Volunteer to help people find apartments – HRA
Volunteer with Habitat; pray
Help with family selection
Organize a fundraiser
Work as volunteer at Habitat
Continue volunteering on sights
Voice issues to Mayor, SCSU about international study
Talk to people about it
Majoli & Patrick – Board of Habitat – Casa Guad & Habitat relationship
Angelina – work with low income – get into housing.
Get educated myself
Talk to the right people
Help build houses for people
Continue to serve on Habitat for Humanity board
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
Contribute to Anne Marie’s Alliance
Being more aware of what is going on.
Working with Habitat, building
Families moving forward
Working with the local agencies
Helping people get in the position that they can make the right choices – not do it for them.
Go to property managers and talk about peoples’ stories
Try to bring human services and the business community to work together
See the need and fill the need – work for people like me who have been cast aside.
Finding additional businesses to partner with.
City can be supportive of programs, Habitat partnership to break down barriers.
Credit restoration – beyond just financial (legal, give 2nd chance).
Advocacy – who do you go to advocate/change – city council) to let them know about these obstacles that create barriers.
Who do we talk to/go to to influence.
Housing for people with criminal backgrounds – how can they find housing, who will give them a chance.
Knowledge! Both ways – our community’s awareness & immigrant community’s knowledge.
Focus on renting now vs. owning? Seems to e more rentals available.
Issue: Why does Habitat allow only 2 persons per room?
Further observation: Help families in area increase income so they can afford to pay for Habitat homes.
Complex issue, must start with understanding.
Ask faith-based organizations to set up language mentors to work with new immigrants and refugees – learn English and develop relationships.
People are tending to flock to conversations where they feel comfortable and that are polarized – instead of people hearing one another. Opposing new points and being comfortable with that. This kind of forum is really needed – especially in political arenas – no matter the topic.
Senior population – empower, inspire & encourage, incentivize
We are one step closer each time that we meet to have these conversations.
Advocate for people without voice.
Addressing issues in St. Joe, including housing