Why is your organization a partner of Homes for All?
Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota (LA-MN) is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and advocates for policies that promote justice in the areas of hunger, poverty and care for God's creation. Our mission is driven by Biblical themes of concern for the poor and marginalized, and by our belief, as noted in the ELCA’s social statement on economic life, that “poverty is a problem of the whole human community, not only of those who are poor or vulnerable.” We believe that God mandates us to work for justice within the broken systems of our society, including securing and protecting our public investment in safe, stable and affordable housing for all of God’s children.
The Homes for All Coalition reminds us that where we live impacts nearly every aspect of our lives – the groceries we buy, where we send our kids to school, how we thrive in our community. It is a foundation for our health, education, safety, and economic well-being at every stage of life. As a statewide organization, we partner with Homes for All to increase and protect state investment in housing and related services across the housing continuum, for all Minnesotans.
How has your organization been involved with Homes for All this session and/or in the past?
LA-MN has been an endorser of Homes for All for many years and has played much more active role with the coalition over the last few years. Our staff members are actively involved with the Policy, Community Engagement, and Communications teams, and LA-MN hosts weekly Homes for All policy meetings during the legislative session at our office at Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill, directly across from the Capitol.
We share Homes for All materials with our Lutheran churches and networks, speak at events and lead workshops throughout Minnesota on affordable housing-related issues, and encourage our networks to learn about and promote Homes for All’s legislative priorities. Most importantly, we engage Lutherans and Lutheran churches in legislative advocacy with their own state senators and representatives – writing personal notes or emails to legislators, organizing group meetings with them, and other actions. We also work with the six Minnesota bishops to help them engage legislators in Homes for All’s priorities.
What does your organization hope to do moving forward with the Homes for All coalition?
Many churches are engaged in various activities addressing housing and homelessness in their communities. They recognize the current crisis in Minnesota with high housing costs and the lack of decent affordable housing. However, not all of those congregations are engaged in our advocacy networks yet, and some are still learning the value of addressing issues on a policy level, in addition to meeting the immediate needs they see locally. We have been especially focused in engaging churches within specific legislative districts that are important for moving Homes for All legislation forward and will continue those district-level efforts, in addition to broadening and deepening engagement across the state on housing-related legislative advocacy.