Text Box:  Text Box: Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness

Annual Report

Fiscal Year 2013


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Text Box: GOALS
•	Inspire: Call people to take action based on religious values.
•	Educate: Strengthen awareness of the issues of homelessness and appropriate solutions.
•	Advocate: Build the public will for policy change.
•	Serve: Coordinate delivery of services among congregations. 

To engage our congregants and community in the work to end homelessness.
Text Box: VISION
Everyone has access to safe, decent and affordable housing in Minneapolis.




















Text Box: The Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH) is an interfaith collaboration of 14 downtown Minneapolis synagogues, mosques, and churches working together to end homelessness in Minneapolis. DCEH focuses on shifting from an immediate needs approach to long term solutions through engaging our congregants and community in education, advocacy, and action. Through inspiration, learning and volunteer opportunities for congregants, community partnerships, and advocacy of effective policies and programs, the DCEH is committed to impacting the community around us to decrease homelessness.

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    Vision and Mission of the DCEH








Letter from Steering Committee Chair and DCEH Director



Text Box: Dear Advocates and Friends,

We are often asked the question: “Is homelessness ending?” The mission of Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness is to engage the members of our congregation in this work, so for us the answer is “not yet, the will of the public to bring an end to homelessness in our region is growing, and our voices are being heard. “Have our congregants become more aware of the reasons homelessness exists? Yes. Have we taken action to work for ending homelessness?” Do we have a greater awareness of state and local policies and politics that either contribute to or curb homelessness? We believe we do.

DCEH makes a difference in keeping this issue right out there in front of us. What ends homelessness is systemic change, which takes an engaged citizenry. The DCEH is one of many partners working together and moving forward to educate people of faith, and engage us in the type of advocacy that will reduce and end homelessness in our community.  
With the creation of the DCEH strategic direction, the collaboration of these downtown area congregations has become laser focused in our mission to address the tragic circumstances of homelessness in Minneapolis. 

This year saw exciting changes and achievements in the DCEH: 
•	The Unite to End Homelessness Event brought out 170 people, both new to the topic and previous advocates and included education and a lot of good networking. The event generated 80 contacts to MN Legislators and 20 contacts to the Governor. 
•	We rebuilt individual Congregational Teams to organize within their congregation strategically. 
•	We received the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition Interfaith Justice award at the Day on the Hill, of which 65 DCEH congregations participated.
•	We grew our Direct Service trainings to four times a year with 30 to 50 participants. 

The DCEH continues to strengthen our engagement and be a partner both locally and statewide in a variety of sectors. Our work is moving us forward so that we WILL see the day when homelessness is ended! 

Rabbi Sim Glaser 				Heidi Johnson McAllister
Chair of the Steering Committee		Director
Temple Israel				Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness







































Text Box:     In 2013, the DCEH…       


Hosted The Unite to End Homelessness

Text Box:  Not having the basic necessities of life such as a place to live is a harsh reality for far too many people throughout Minnesota.  A high point of DCEH activity in 2013 was the first annual Unite to End Homelessness event held on the afternoon of September 22nd.  This was an absolutely phenomenal and vitally important event for so many reasons. 

Continued Advocacy Efforts

Text Box: State Legislative Advocacy
In the 2013 Legislative Session, we continued our partnership with the Homes for All Coalition.  Our advocacy efforts of the Homes for All Coalition turned toward a focus on housing stability, with an ask to increase funding at the state level for effective programs that address homelessness and provide housing stability. 

Building on the success of the previous years, DCEH members played a role in the grassroots advocacy efforts to contact their Legislators by postcards, in person visits, phone calls or emails about addressing homelessness. The coalition asked for an increase of $50 million for housing and homeless services. We received an increase of $33 million, which included: 
•	$4 million for Homeless Youth Services
•	$2 million for Long Term Homeless Supportive 
•	$500,000 for Emergency Services Program 
•	$500,000 for Transitional Housing
•	$26 million for housing, which is distributed 
among the following programs: Rental Housing, 
Family Homeless Prevention, Housing Trust Fund, Housing Rehab, Homebuyer Education and Homeowner Assistance. 

                                                                        During the legislative session, DCEH brought 7                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                        people from First Unitarian Society, Gethsemane
                                                                        Episcopal Church, St. Olaf Catholic Church, and
                                                                        Westminster Presbyterian Church to participate in
                                                                        speed lobbying with legislators.  We spent a morning
                                                                        talking with our legislators by pulling them off the 
                                                                        floor or out of their committee meetings to discuss the Homes for All ask of $50 million for 
housing and homeless services. 

Local City Advocacy
Since it’s inception in 2003 at the city of 
Minneapolis, the Affordable Housing
Trust Fund has never been fully funded 
at its $10 million goal. In 2013, 17 
congregants from DCEH member 
congregations participated in meeting 
with Mayor R.T. Rybek asking for fully
 funding the affordable housing trust 
fund. The mayor included $6 million in his budget.

A meeting with City Councilmember Betsy Hodges, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, discussed the need to increase the affordable housing trust fund. We contacted our city council members at our Faith Action Reflection and Advocacy event as well as sending out an action alert for congregants to contact their council member. Advocating with the city council saw an increase of $1.5 million.









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Text Box: Speed lobbying at the capitol was an enlivening reminder that we are blessed to be part of a democratic system that allows intimate access to those who represent us. By taking the opportunity to convey to our legislators our deeply rooted values, I believe we nudged policy and policymakers toward supporting housing stability in our state. 

- Andrew Granias, Gethsemane Episcopal Church (Pictured on far right)















Attended Day on the Hill

Text Box:  For the fifth year in a row, our DCEH advocates attended the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) Day on the Hill on February 21, 2013, to advocate for people experiencing homelessness and living in poverty.

Š       Over 65 people from DCEH congregations attended to meet and raise their voice with their legislators about policies to provide housing stability, including the Homes for All ask of $50 million for housing and homeless programs and an increase to minimum wage.

Š       Twenty-five people from DCEH congregations carpooled together to the Day on the Hill.

Š       DCEH received the honor of the Interfaith Social Justice Community Award from JRLC for our organizing and advocacy efforts. The Award recognizes work done in an interfaith context that moves members of a community to effective public action.


Organized Faith Action Reflection Advocacy Event

Text Box: Throughout my first experience volunteering at Westminster, I was repeatedly impacted by a sense of genuine community established by everyone present at the event throughout the evening. I left with a strong desire to reach out to our greater community, as well as learn more about accessibility.

   -Emily Lewis, First Unitarian Society

This fall, we piloted a new program, which brings people across faiths together to participate in a service project, reflect on how the service is an act of faith, and lastly, to advocate together for systems change. Our first event was held on October 27th at Westminster Presbyterian Church. The participants assisted with the Sunday evening community meal held on the fourth Sunday of the month at Westminster.

Š       The evening began with faith sharing by each participant.

Š       The volunteers served the meal to over 300 people, a record number, with 19 DCEH participants delivering plates of food and providing hospitality.

Š       Following the meal, the group sat down and discussed their experience with each other, the service, and how their faith intertwines with service.

Š       The event ended by sharing their story with people in power and advocating for increasing funds for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund with Minneapolis City Councilmembers as well as calling the Governor asking for $100 Million for Housing.





Hosted Journey Home: Legislative KickOff evenT

"10 people can make a movement!" – Frank Hornstein

Text Box:  To prepare for the 2013 legislative session, advocates came together for inspiration, to learn about the 2013 Legislative agenda for the session, and equip advocates with skills needed to speak with their public officials about housing and homelessness.

Š       Rep. Hornstein provided amazing inspiration about the importance and accessibility of citizen involvement in the political process.

Š       Over 70 people gathered together from DCEH congregations.

Š       Text Box:  To build skills, Liz Kuoppala from Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless trained DCEH advocates on the 2013 Legislative Agenda to increase housing and homeless services, Marcia Avner of Avner Consulting trained about building a relationship with your legislators, and Janice Andersen from the Basilica of Saint Mary provided training on crafting your message and sharing your story with people in power.



co-sponsored Mayoral debate

Text Box:  With a new slate of mayoral candidates all vying for the open seat of Mayor of Minneapolis, we saw an opportunity to engage the candidates in conversation about the future of Minneapolis with affordable housing and economic development. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Metropolitan Consortium for Community Developers, and Catholic Charities, the DCEH hosted a spirited forum on the candidate’s visions for housing affordability in the city of Minneapolis. Over 100 people attended to hear from the eight top candidates, which included Councilmember Betsy Hodges, Jackie Cherryhomes, Bob Fine, Councilmember Don Samuels, Mark Andrew, Dan Cohen, Stephanie Woodruff, and Cam Winton.  


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Hosted Four Cross-Congregational Direct Service VoLunteer Trainings

Text Box:  The cross-congregational trainings continued based on the popularity and interest of the volunteers of the direct services in four DCEH congregations. Volunteers gathered together four times last year for training on a variety of topics.

Š       Text Box:  The trainings continued to grow in attendance from 30 to over 50 people attending.

Š       Relationships were built across congregations between volunteers.

Š       Attendees gained knowledge and understanding in the following areas: Negotiating Boundaries, Managing Clients Exhibiting Challenging Behaviors, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, and Managing Health. 



HELD Sabbath to End Homelessness

Over the course of November 8-17, DCEH congregations reflected and focused on homelessness and housing. Each congregation organizes and implements their own plans for their Sabbath events, which include speakers, poetry, liturgy, songs, music, ministry fairs, panel discussions, sermons on the topic, art, and more! This year 10 of the 14 DCEH congregations hosted a Sabbath event.  See each congregational engagement description on page 9 and 10 for their Sabbath to End Homeless activities.



Gave away bikes

Text Box: Brenda’s Story
Brenda has been working hard to get on a positive path in life after challenges and struggles. She decided that as a first step on this positive path she would enroll at MCTC and begin post-secondary school. However, she soon realized the many expenses associated with school – and not just the tuition. Transportation was a major issue for Brenda. At The Basilica’s St. Vincent de Paul Outreach program, Brenda approached Outreach Coordinator Julia and asked if she could have a bike so she could get to school in a reliable and inexpensive way. Thanks to the DCEH bike program, a bike was available along with a helmet and lock. Now Brenda can attend school and not worry about the expense of transportation – she is on her way to the next, exciting phase of her life!
In partnership with Mr. Michaels Recycles Bicycles, the Direct Service Providers of the DCEH gave away 15 bikes along with a helmet and a lock to participants of our programs in 2013. Each recipient was interviewed and assessed as to how this program would assist in their ongoing need for transportation to work, medical appointments or for education. The recipient also attended a class where they learned rules of the road, how to change a tire, and were fitted for the bike to ensure a proper fit for the person. A bike can have a major impact on a person’s life if they have no access to transportation.


surveyed Direct service participants

Text Box:  The Direct Service Providers (DSP) of the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness, which include the Dignity Center of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist, Restoration Center of Central Lutheran Church, the Social Outreach Program of St. Olaf Catholic Church’s, and St. Vincent de Paul Ministry of the Basilica of Saint Mary, surveyed their program participants for the month of July. The purpose of the survey was to find out what resources participants receiving and programs they were attending as well as what gaps or areas the DCEH can explore for a DCEH collaborative program. With over 125 people surveyed, we had beneficial information and data about where people were connecting and what they desired for programs in which to participate. The DSP is in the works of taking this data and creating a DSP collaborative program. 



Working with the Community

From the beginning, DCEH has worked in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, as we believe ending homeless in Minneapolis and Hennepin County takes all of us working together. We support the work of the Heading Home Hennepin plan to ensure the Legislative Agenda of the DCEH is in line with the needs and policy changes addressed by the plan. Additionally, at the local level, the DCEH is a partner in the Downtown 2025 plan and work to End Street Homelessness in Minneapolis. Specifically, the DCEH is part of the Ending Homelessness Committee, engaged in Education and Public Relations sub-committee and the Daytime Activities sub-committee.


At the state level, the DCEH is engaged with the Homes for All Coalition that advances shared policy initiatives that lead to housing stability for all Minnesotans.



Congregational Engagement

Basilica of Saint Mary

The Basilica celebrated its 2013 Sabbath to End Homelessness with a spirited and fruitful parish-wide discussion on panhandling. A relevant question for most people who attend services at The Basilica, we considered appropriate responses to people panhandling on our corners. There was a panel discussion that included people who have formerly panhandled, Outreach staff from St. Stephens Human Services, Minneapolis Police, Church leaders, and Basilica youth. Many hearts and minds were opened to the need for not only charity and personal responses to panhandling, but also the need for more affordable housing, changes in laws and policies, and systemic work for justice. Building on this experience, DCEH messages to advocate for funding for affordable housing made it easy to bring new people into the work of advocacy.



Central Lutheran Church

In 2013 Central Lutheran Church continued the good work of advocating so that all our brothers and sisters can have a place to call home. Our Heading Home Central Ministry Team gathers monthly to strategize how we can raise awareness in the congregation about homelessness and poverty, so that they are empowered and organized to use their prophetic voices to speak out for justice.  One of the ways we did this was to host an adult forum for the Sabbath to end Homelessness on November 10th. We screened the film “There but the Grace of God: Responding to the Revelation.” Written and directed by Brenda Bell Brown, it revealed a day in the life of a woman who was experiencing homelessness. Brenda Bell Brown joined us for the screening and led a very engaging question and answer session following the viewing.


The Heading Home Central Ministry Team also thanked Rolf Lowenburg DeBoer for his many years of leadership with their team and DCEH as he took a new position at the beginning of 2013. They also welcomed Rev. Melissa Pohlman to their work as she began at Central Lutheran in May of 2013.


First Christian Church

In October, 2013, First Christian Church recruited a church member to be the representative to the Interfaith Team. This is in addition to the continued participation of Pastor Laurie Pound-Feille on the Steering Committee of DCEH.  2013 was spent receiving training from the DCEH Director and working with the Mission Team at First Christian to design activities within the church that focus on the issue of homelessness.  Pastor Feille wrote articles for the church newsletter, included the topic in her sermons and attended Day on the Hill.  Additionally, she and the Interfaith Team member used the worship time on November 17 as FCC’s first Sabbath to End Homelessness, which included scripture readings, hymns, and both Pastor Laurie and the Interfaith Team member gave the sermon.  Many comments were received from the congregation that this was the first time they had heard such specific information about homelessness; there were questions about what they could do to help.  The Mission Team, comprised of Pastor Laurie and 4 church members, collected needed personal items requested by Avenues for Homeless Youth and Harriet Tubman Shelter during the Christmas season.  Additionally, an attempt was made to have the Puppets n’ People installation come to the church on a Sunday but the person in charge was not able to come on the day for which it was arranged.  The Mission Team decided to make all mission activities in 2014 focused on the issue of homelessness and what our congregation can do to help mitigate the issue.



First Covenant Church

During the Sabbath to End Homelessness in November 2013, Deena McKinney from Avenue’s for Homeless Youth was interviewed during our morning service and Shanice, a former client of YouthLink's gave a spoken word presentation.  Then we had reps from YouthLink, The Bridge, and Avenues speak at a forum after the service.  There were approximately 300 people during the service and 20 people at the forum afterwards.  


First Unitarian Society

Text Box:  Over the course of the year, First Unitarian Society (FUS) supported current partnerships with the Dignity Center and Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) through basic necessities donations, service projects, and fundraising:

Š       For the Dignity Center, 20 volunteers from the congregation made 400 sandwiches and 10 volunteers made 100 toiletry kits as well as 6 volunteers helped clean the Dignity Center kitchen and files.

Š       For MCTC, 30 people donated school supplies and 1,300 snack bags and sandwiches were assembled, delivered and distributed at the MCTC Resource Center by 15 adult FUS volunteers, the high school group, and the 2nd/3rd grade Religious Education class.

Š       Thirty FUS members donated hats and gloves for People Serving People shelter

Š       FUS collected 20 bags of food for YouthLink.

Š       In various instances, FUS raised over $10,750 for MCTC, DCEH, Avenues for Homeless Youth, and YouthLink.


FUS hosted both DCEH and the Dignity Center at an “Eat and Meet” education program. FUS also educates and invites 230 people to take action who receive a newsletter published twice a month that highlights events, action alerts, and news related to housing and homelessness. Additionally, FUS hosted a Take Five Table once a month during the Legislative Session from January until May.



Gethsemane Episcopal Church

During this year, Gethsemane reorganized their DCEH efforts, adding new leaders, and added four people in their newly added advocacy network. Awareness building was continued through regular congregational announcements during worship. In their renewed efforts, Andrew Granias and Doug Krueger joined the Interfaith Action Team. Three people attended JRLC Day on the Hill.  Rev. Theo Park observed the Sabbath with an impressive sermon emphasizing the need to advocate for legislative changes to support ending homelessness.



Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

During the first half of 2013, the Ending Homelessness Education and Advocacy Team (EHEAT) engaged in a pilot Advocacy Training program, which was designed and led by a Hennepin Avenue member, Bill Gjetson. The program enables participants to formulate their own ‘ending homelessness pitch’ and makes the prospect of talking to legislators less daunting.  It formed part of the campaign to garner congregational support for the ending homelessness agenda, which also included Sunday educational forums, Take 5 Tables, and resulted in 18 persons participating in the Day on The Hill.


EHEAT had a summer barbeque with members of the homeless community.  The resulting dialogue provided much insight and helped members to better understand the complexities of homeless.


Text Box: It was Bill’s first time on the Hill in support of the ‘ending homelessness’ campaign.  He and Ann Carlson ran into a legislator in the corridor who was unaware of the issues surrounding homelessness in MN.  He spent 15 minutes in good conversation with Ann and Bill, the result of which left Bill impacted and motivated to continue advocating on behalf of those experiencing homelessness. 

The fall saw EHEAT participating in DCEH’s Unite to End Homelessness at Temple Israel; 19 members attended wearing church t-shirts.  EHEAT also took part in Hennepin’s Ministry Fair by inviting congregants to briefly immerse themselves in the homeless context by crawling into a freezer box, and signing up to be a part of EHEAT’s Advocacy Network, which had 13 people sign up and growing to 52 by the end of 2013.


Sabbath to End Homelessness was observed over 2 Sundays, involving 10 outreach ministries that touch the lives of persons experiencing poverty. On the first Sunday, Mikkel Beckmen, Director of Hennepin County’s office to End Homelessness preached a dialogue sermon with Pastor Leah Rosso, facilitated an in-worship symbolic construction of a model home, and led a post worship educational forum attended by 60 persons. The second Sunday saw an appeal for more engagement in direct ministries through an in-worship homelessness ministries video and liturgy, and a post worship discussion among 4 outreach ministries about each other’s work, and possible areas of collaboration.


2013 was characterized by organization, new energy, greater involvement of the congregation and conversation and collaboration between outreach ministries.



Masjid Al-Iman

This year, Masjid hosted a Friday prayer service dedicated to homelessness and the will to end it. Over 30 congregants attended the service and listened to a sermon by Dr. Hamdy El-Sawaf discuss homelessness, build awareness of homelessness, and describe the need for changing the system to eradicate homelessness.



Plymouth Congregational Church

At the beginning of 2013, Plymouth reorganized and rebuilt their advocacy efforts. A new team called Plymouth Homelessness Advocacy Team (PHAT) was instituted as part of the Board of Outreach.


With this rebuilding, PHAT organized 14 people from Plymouth to attend JRLC Day on the Hill in 2013. Additionally, the team grew their Plymouth Homelessness Advocacy Team advocate list to over 400 people receiving actions to work for housing stability.

For the 2013, Sabbath to End Homelessness we organized a photo advocacy campaign which engaged about 100 Plymouth members and friends, including youth, families and adults. People were asked to write down three words to describe home and take a picture with the words. The photos were made into an advocacy video and have been used this session in advocacy postcards and posters. We also incorporated a message about housing and homelessness into the First Service. The photo advocacy coupled with the emphasis in First Service seemed to engage more families and youth than had previously been involved.

Other events PHAT organized included: Potluck in collaboration with our Deacons to showcase the work being done by Willie Baptist and the Poverty Scholars at Union Theological Seminary (50-60 attendees; advocacy table and postcards) and a Social Justice Prayer Service (70 attendees; youth choirs, group education activity and advocacy table and postcards).



Saint Olaf Catholic

The Commission on Social Justice continued to engage the congregants of St. Olaf to work for housing justice. With the Legislative Session of 2013, St. Olaf participated in the

Š       DCEH Legislative Kickoff with 6 attendees

Š       The JRLC Day on the Hill with 3 people from St. Olaf attending

Š       One member attending the DCEH Speed Lobbying day.

Within the Sunday morning rhythm of St. Olaf, the Commission held Take Five tables for other members to send communications to their Legislators about Housing and Homelessness, as well as Take Five Tables with Exodus Residence next door that is a Supportive Housing program.


In the fall, St. Olaf began another push to build awareness and advocate for justice in housing.

Š       The DCEH Unite to End Homelessness event educated and organized people, including 6 St. Olaf members.

Š       At the end of September, a DCEH table was displayed at a parish wide Shared Ministry event where congregants were invited to participate in social action ministries, including Legislative Advocacy.

Š       On November 10th, St. Olaf hosted the Sabbath to End Homelessness, with 2 panel presentations from people who had or were experiencing homelessness. Marie Ellis from Catholic Charities spoke about the upcoming bonding bill. The total attendance was 50 persons.  For two weeks prior, 2 posters were displayed for 2 weeks, giving facts about persons impacted by homelessness from the Wilder Report of 2012. During this time, St. Olaf signed up 25 people to support the work of ending homelessness, including 14 people willing to advocate at the Legislature.

Š       Five St. Olaf Congregants attended the December Homeless Memorial March to memorialize and commemorate the lives of those who died while homeless or had experienced homelessness.



Temple Israel

The Temple Israel Committee to End Homelessness (TICEH) began this year by gathering over 40 temple members together to get organized.  With this, three workgroups were formed, which were dedicated to educating on homelessness, advocating with the legislature, and finding ways to work with direct service providers.


To educate our congregants, TICEH conducted several Shabbat “take 5” tables, we provided information about homelessness in the Temple eNews, we had a number of congregants take tours of homeless shelters, and a formerly homeless congregant delivered a “Views From the Pews” sermon on what it was like to live at the Jewish Sheltering Home (now Avenues for Youth).   On November 22nd, we held our first Shabbat to End Homelessness which aside from educating congregants on issues around homelessness, included the Secret Struggle art exhibit from The Bridge for Youth and Mikkel Beckman delivering an educational talk to the congregation on issues around homelessness; these activities led to many volunteers signing up to participate in one of our three workgroups.


In the area of direct service, TICEH met with The Bridge for Youth and YouthLink to explore ways that TICEH could help support the efforts of those organizations.  The result of that activity set the course for what TICEH will do in the area of direct service in 2014. In the area of advocacy, 8 TICEH members attended the Mayoral candidate debate to learn about the candidate’s opinions on issues related to homelessness. 

Also, members of Temple joined Rabbi Glaser to honor the lives of homeless or formerly homeless who passed away in 2013 at the 29th Annual Minnesota Homeless Memorial March and Service. Additionally, Temple helped plan and hosted the first annual Unite to End Homelessness event.



Westminster Presbyterian Church

There are about 150 people in the Advocacy Network that includes responding to DCEH Action Alerts.  (It also acts on other social justice issues).  There are 20 new participants this year.


20 people attended DOH.  Several people told me this was the best JRLC DOH they have attended.  The Keynote speaker was excellent and the more focused Issue Briefing and ask for legislators were helpful.


Westminster celebrated its Sabbath to End Homelessness on October 20, 2013.  Mikkel Beckman, the Director of the Minneapolis/Hennepin County Office to End Homelessness, led the Social Justice Forum between services (60 present).  He presented an update on Heading Home Hennepin (HHH) and talked about the reasons some populations of homeless people are increasing. There was a good Q&A session after his presentation.  I preached on “The Memory of Home” at the 8:30 and 10:30 services (Isaiah 58: 1-9  James 2:14-17).  I reminded the congregation what DCEH is and what it does, talked about the reasons for homelessness and how, directed by scripture, people of faith should respond to people in need in their community.  “God makes it clear,” I said, “that we cannot live a faithful life while continuing to serve and protect our own interests at the expense of others.” I emphasized how people can get involved.   At 10:30 Mikkel Beckman shared the sermon with me.  He talked about what HHH has accomplished, what they have left to do and the importance of the faith community to the successes of HHH.


There were three additional Social Justice Forums on affordable housing, led by Liz Kuoppala from the MN Coalition for the Homeless, Lee Blons from the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, and Gina Ciganik from Aeon.  There were between 40-60 people at the forums.

Westminster is currently working to develop 35-50 units of affordable supportive housing for people with high rental barriers including criminal histories with Beacon, and 150 units of affordable housing with Aeon.  

Members and Leaders


Members of the Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness

The Basilica of Saint Mary, Central Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, First Covenant Church, First Unitarian Society, Gethsemane Episcopal Church, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Masjid An-Nur, Masjid Al-Iman, Plymouth Congregational Church, St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, St. Olaf Catholic Church, Temple Israel, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Steering Committee Members

Janice Andersen, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Rev. Melissa Pohlman, Central Lutheran Church

Rev. Dennis Sanders/Rev. Laurie Pound-Feille, First Christian Church

Shannon Williams, First Unitarian Society

Lou Schoen, Gethsemane Episcopal Church

Ann Carlson/John Cole, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Jeff Sartain, Plymouth Congregational Church

Joan Miltenberger, St. Olaf Catholic Church

Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel

Rev. Doug Mitchell, Westminster Presbyterian Church


Executive Team Officers of the Steering Committee

Rabbi Sim Glaser, Chair, Temple Israel

Rev. Melissa Pohlman, Co-Chair, Central Lutheran Church

Rev. Dennis Sanders, Treasurer, First Christian Church

Shannon Williams, Secretary, First Unitarian Society


Community Partner

Heading Home Hennepin


Interfaith Team Members

Kathy Andrus, The Basilica of Saint Mary

David Bayless, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Gayle Dustrud, Central Lutheran Church

Jessica Kasper, First Covenant Church

Terrell Brown, First Unitarian Society

Debra Magnuson, First Unitarian Society

Andrew Granias, Gethsemane Episcopal Church

Bill Gjetson, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Yudi Rusman, Masjid Al-Iman

Sarah Lehman, Plymouth Congregational Church

Kate Loe, Plymouth Congregational Church

Jessica Frehse, Plymouth Congregational Church

Ann Pannier, St. Olaf Catholic Church

Diane Erickson, St. Olaf Catholic Church

Marcy Frost, Temple Israel

Alan Ellison, Temple Israel

Paul Rasmusson, Westminster Presbyterian Church


Advocacy Team

Robert Tennessen, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Terrell Brown, First Unitarian Society

Mary Ann Lundquist, First Unitarian Society

Dee Long, Plymouth Congregational Church

Rev. Doug Mitchell, Westminster Presbyterian Church


Direct Service Provider Team

Janice Andersen, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Julia Freeman, The Basilica of Saint Mary

Rev. Melissa Pohlman, Central Lutheran Church

Ann Carlson, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Mary Martin, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

Joan Miltenberger, St. Olaf Catholic Church

Jean Thoreson, St. Olaf Catholic Church


Unite to End Homelessness Working Group

Dean Goldberg, Temple Israel

Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel

Lisa Visser, Temple Israel

Shannon Williams, First Unitarian Society


Staff Member

Heidi Johnson McAllister, Director




The DCEH began the year with $42,986.88 in resources. Two thirds of the funding of DCEH comes from the member downtown congregations. A portion of the carried over funds are from a $15,000 grant from Otto Bremer Foundation to support the DCEH Advocacy work. The grant began in October 2013 and runs until September 2014, which was paid in 2013 and leaves three-fourths of the grant for 2014. The DCEH ended 2013 with $41,938.86.

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Support and Revenue


$42,802.05             Downtown Congregation

$16,000.00 Private Foundations

  $3,518.00 Religious Sources

  $1,314.25  Individuals and Other Sources

$68,289.28 Total Revenue


Operating Expenses

$55,986.32 Staff Salaries and Benefits

   $1,125.00            Administration and Fiscal              


   $1,299.14            Organizational Development

  $1,206.59 Technology, Printing, Postage

      $728.27 Bike Program Expenses

     $500.00  Interfaith Action Team


 $2,937.84  Training, Workshops, and


 $1,446.89  Professional and Volunteer


$69,337.30 Total Expenses























333 12th Street South

Minneapolis, MN 55404


Phone 612.242.4670

Fax 612.870.0417