Our community’s need
Too many families and individuals in our community are struggling with housing insecurity and poverty, or are experiencing the crisis of homelessness.
- Poverty is increasing everywhere, and it’s growing fastest in the suburbs. Fourteen percent (14%) of people in our service area live in poverty, earning scarcely enough to cover housing and other basic needs. The poverty level for a family of four is an annual income of $26,200 or less. (Wilder Research)
- Last year, 1,950 families turned to Interfaith Outreach for help. One out of every seven of those families was experiencing homelessness. Almost half had children; almost half were staying temporarily with family and friends. Nineteen percent (19%) were living in domestic abuse shelters, while others were sleeping in motels, their cars or outdoors.
- All 1,950 families were housing “cost-burdened,” meaning they spent 30% or more of their household income on housing; for many, that percentage was as high as 65%.
The housing instability and economic uncertainty that our neighbors experience has only intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- While additional emergency sources of support—such as unemployment insurance and a federal eviction moratorium—have been made available, no one knows how long the support will last, adding to the already high levels of emotional stress that come with poverty and housing insecurity.
- Communities of color and people living in poverty have been disproportionately impacted by increased economic hardship and the resulting food and housing insecurity. (National Bureau of Economic Research)
- In the midst of the pandemic, Minnesota is experiencing an ongoing affordable housing crisis, with an ever-widening gap between rising rents (+13%) and falling incomes (-5%). (Minnesota Housing Partnership)
When our neighbors struggle with homelessness or housing insecurity, it impacts all of us.
- Affordable and adequate housing is essential to positive health outcomes.
- Affordable and adequate housing is key to family stability and essential to kids’ success in school.
- Affordable and adequate housing is critical for local jobs and strong economies.
The power of collective compassion
Twenty-five years of Sleep Outs have shown that there is power in collective compassion and that we have the heart and resources in our community to help each other thrive. And that begins with helping families and individuals stabilize and strengthen in times of crisis. If there ever were a time to do so, this is it.
- Each year, the money raised by the Sleep Out helps nearly 2,000 local families stabilize, strengthen and thrive (that’s more than 6,000 individuals) by meeting their emergency needs of food, housing, employment services, child care and more.
- Since the first Sleep Out, Interfaith Outreach has prevented homelessness more than 34,000 times via direct rental assistance.
- Last year alone:
- We contributed $1.1 million to keep people in their homes, preventing homelessness 1,009 times.
- We distributed nearly 1 million pounds of food and household goods to 1,324 families who made 11,990 visits to our food shelf.
- We provided case management services to 1,200 families, linking them with resources that resolved an immediate need and provided a plan for moving forward.
How your contribution can make a difference
- $3,061 provides services to stabilize and strengthen a family for a year
- $1,964 provides employment services for a parent to land a “career job”
- $1,337 provides a child one month of care in a quality early childhood center
- $917 prevents homelessness with rent assistance that keeps a family of four in their housing for a month
- $410 puts tires on a car so a family can get to work and school
- $264 offers utility payment assistance that keeps the lights and other utilities on