Homeless Day on the Hill
Mile in My Shoes Run Mentors Heidi joined our Board Chair Jana Huffman and two Higher Ground Resident Members in representing MiMS at the March 6, 2018 Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless' Day on the Hill. Together, they joined 600+ people advocating to our legislators to improve the wellbeing of those without a home. This is Heidi's reflection on the day.
‘Work from home’ your boss said. ‘Leave early and go home’ your friends said. ‘Stay home, it’s a snow day’ your weatherman said. But for too many Minnesotans, that wasn’t an option. Yesterday and last night’s blizzard was their living room and their bedroom.
This morning I joined almost 850 Minnesotans to learn about current homelessness in Minnesota, and advocate for ending homelessness at various meetings throughout the day at the State Capitol. These meetings were with Senate and House representatives, and gave community members a chance to bring up concerns, and discuss relevant bills and funding initiatives.
They gave a platform for Minnesotans to share their personal stories of homelessness. It was humbling to witness individuals sharing these intimate pieces of their live’s with a room full of strangers. I felt like I was back at a Mile in My Shoes morning run, watching a Resident Member run their first mile, then second mile, and then first 5k—so much pride and respect.
Community members who work for housing and shelter organizations were also there, reminding our Senator what their missions and visions are for our state. It was beautiful to see people from all different channels working towards a common goal. (Just to name a few: Homes for All, MN Coalition for the Homeless, People Serving People, Heading Home Together. Look ‘em up, check ‘em out!)
I haven’t been to the Capitol to advocate before. I’ve only just started marching and protesting in the last year. I am still new to this. And while I don’t know a lot about the process, I do know I am a better person, a much more involved person, and a more aware person because of the initial commitment I made three years ago—to show up at a 6:00am run with Mile in My Shoes.
So, in the spirit of advocating at the Capitol, I have two asks: 1. Please check out @mileinmyshoes to learn about their mission and see if you’d like to get involved. And 2. Find a cause that you’re passionate about and learn how you can push yourself to be a little more involved than you are right now.
Run Mentor Heidi Ylvisaker