We need your help. Every dollar you donate to Agate has deep impact in our community. The work we do can seem daunting and the stories of the people we serve are rarely linear. But sharing these stories is powerful.
The people we serve are worth more than anyone can give in dollars. But, if you are able to give, we hope you do. Thousands more like Shawn, who you will read about below, still need the programs and advocacy offered by Agate.
Shawn came to our 510 shelter in September of 2021. He had several jobs while he stayed at Agate, mostly temporary positions that he hoped would lead to permanent work.
Last September, Shawn started a great medical supply job. When his employer learned of a pending court case, they fired him from a job he had really enjoyed and worked hard for.
Even though Shawn’s case was a minor misdemeanor, pending cases are often a barrier to finding employment and housing. Landlords are not forgiving when there are renters available without a criminal record.
Shawn’s advocate at Agate went with him to see his public defender. The defender agreed that his long-pending case and racial factors contributed to Shawn’s lengthy stretch of homelessness. The defender was understanding and worked to reduce his probation time.
While waiting for a decision, Shawn spent his small savings to get a used truck and made money scrapping and doing other odd jobs. It was difficult to afford the insurance but having a place to stay and meals at Agate helped. He pressed on.
Finally, his advocate was able to find him a small apartment through Minneapolis Public Housing. Until Shawn could get regular work, the rent would be $75 per month. The problem was, due to no general assistance or regular income, MPH wanted a full year’s rent up front: $900.
This seemed impossible.
Fortunately, Shawn’s advocate was aware of a local church with an emergency fund for just such circumstances. He was overjoyed to be able to apply for and receive the $900 he needed from St. Joan of Arc.
Thanks to Shawn’s determination and the support of Agate and the community, Shawn is now happily housed and stable enough to seek permanent work. Once he finds a job and his court case wraps up, he’ll be able to look for an apartment of his own.
It was a long road for Shawn, and it’s not over, but he persevered and is proud of overcoming what he did. He also inspired many other clients at Agate during his long stay at our shelter, and we are so proud of him.
Your support helps people like Shawn make it through countless barriers by supporting the continuum of housing, shelter, and outreach programs as well as the fierce advocacy provided by Agate Housing and Services.
Will you donate today so more people have access to the support they need to reach their housing goals and find stability?