Where we live impacts EVERYTHING

March 25, 2019

The importance of home became very evident during the recent Homes for All Legislative Kickoff event in Bemidji on January 12, 2019. Community members, including people with lived experience of housing insecurity, gathered together to talk about the impact that home has on us all.

The most powerful part of the day was created by people sharing their stories of love, frustration, loss, and resiliency. The stories we heard connect the past and present to their future. Through the tears we learned that telling stories about very personal life situations is not easy, but that it gets to the heart of what’s important to us: our family and their safety and future.

It also became very clear that we all need to tell our story and that we all need someone to listen to us tell our story. We heard stories of people who continually got knocked down—either by loss of job, addiction, childhood poverty, mental illness or things that were out of their control—but got back up. Stories like the mother who lost her six children and her home: “I have to live with the fact that I will never see those kids again, but this is my year and I’m determined to make a better way for the two kids I have now.” Stories of people who lost their home and job but now are using their experience, by working in nonprofits, in the very place that helped them, to help others find and sustain housing. Stories of passionate people who go to work every day to make a difference but the needs in our community often outpace available resources and it is overwhelming. One thing that these stories taught us all is that where we live impacts everything and that the community of Bemidji knows that by working together we can start to find homes for all.

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