The people behind development – an Itasca County housing team makes Beacon Hill a reality

When reporting on affordable housing development, traditional media outlets often miss the opportunity to report the “story behind the story”— the narrative of the people who make development possible. MHP’s Impact Spotlight looks beyond the likely narrative of “units created” and “statistics show” to the stories of collaboration that make affordable housing happen.

MHP’s newest Impact Spotlight, released this week, features a team in Grand Rapids, Minn. and the collaborative inspiration behind Beacon Hill, a supportive housing development set to break ground in spring 2015. This development will fill a large regional gap in meeting the needs of those barred from traditional housing due to criminal records, substance abuse histories, or struggles with mental health issues.

The team, composed of representatives from five local agencies, faced many challenges along the way: how to balance individual and shared visions for the project, how to court and partner with developers, and how to navigate a complicated process of funding. With the support of training through the Housing Institute and the backing of key partners, the team was able to make the dream of Beacon Hill a reality.

For many on the team, Beacon Hill represents one of the most rewarding projects of their careers and one of the most effective collaborations of their professional experience.

“The Itasca County Institute Team has been the best example of a true collaborative that I have experienced in my career. The commitment, the respect, and dedication has been a remarkable experience,” said Lorna Mix, Community Support Program Director at Northland Counseling Center.

Read the Spotlight to learn more about the team’s journey and to find out how they hope to inspire others with their story.