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Residents of Itasca County have been instrumental in rallying support for affordable housing developments like Beacon Hill. Some of these residents are those who have lived or currently live in supportive housing themselves and have decided to take action on behalf of others looking for a place to call home.

Jeff, pictured bottom left, is one of these champions for affordable housing. He has been a strong voice to local legislators on the importance of affordable housing and has advocated for the Homes For All campaign. Nikki, bottom right, was a former guest at Grace House in Grand Rapids, Minn. who now regularly volunteers there. She is pictured working in the Grace House garden. Other residents have been involved with the MN Coalition of the Homeless and many volunteer at local shelters.

Jeff shows Audrey Moen a piece in his glass vase collection.Nikki holds up an onion from the Grace House garden.

Below, you’ll find excerpts from a few people who share what home means to them and why projects like Beacon Hill matter.

Photos by Patrick Photography, 2014.