Poverty / Housing
"Poverty is a problem of the whole human community, not only those who are poor or vulnerable."
-Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All, a social statement of the ELCA
Poverty affects one in eleven Minnesotans and one in nine children in Minnesota, which is about 561,000 people. In 2019, the poverty line was $25,926 for a family of four. Use this interactive map to see poverty by county in Minnesota, including child poverty.
Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota works on change underlying factors and public policies related to poverty. Issues that we work on include affordable housing, homelessness (especially youth homelessness), and predatory lending/payday loans.
Where we live impacts every aspect of our lives. Where we call home affects the groceries we buy, where we send our kids to school, and how we thrive in our community. At every stage of life, where we live is the foundation for our health, education, safety, and economic well-being.
But in communities across the state, there isn’t enough affordable housing. This leaves few options for Minnesotans struggling to make ends meet.
Housing instability threatens individuals, families and students. More than 1 in 4 households in Minnesota are housing cost-burdened including 44% of renter households, an increase of more than 70% since 2000. Minnesota contains the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters in the Upper Midwest, outpacing Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas. 57% of senior renters and over 25% of senior homeowners pay more than they can afford for housing.
Lutheran Advocacy-MN works with the Homes for All Coalition to advocate for public policy that advances the preservation of existing homes, building new affordable homes, and wealth building. You can learn more about Homes for All on their website.
Sacred Settlements (or Sacred Tiny Home Communities) are holistic tiny home communities developed in cooperation with faith communities to address the needs of those experiencing long-term homelessness.
Each resident has their own tiny home for which they pay nominal rent. The land is managed by a church or religious organization, and specially-trained “Intentional Neighbors” live in the settlement and work with all the members to ensure that the settlement is healthy and thriving. A team of “Supportive Friends” wrap around each inhabitant coming off the streets to build trusted relationships.
Lutheran Advocacy-MN (with the help of our advocates across the state) worked with the non-profit, Settled, and long-term partner Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) to pass Sacred Settlements legislation in the 2023 legislative session. It goes into effect in January 2024. Learn more about Sacred Settlements and how your congregation can be engaged as a host or in helping with settlements hosted by other faith communities.