Bold Hope in the North

“Home is a birthright.” —Kaaha Kaahiye, spoken word teen artist

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey kicked off a celebratory and moving Bold Hope in the North interfaith gathering at Westminster on January 28 to benefit the Emergency Rental Assistance Program of Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness (DCEH).

Senior clergy from downtown congregations and two former NFL Vikings stars, punter Greg Coleman and defensive end Mark Mullaney, were on hand to help emcee the event.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee made Bold Hope one of its official events to welcome the world to Minnesota and set a tone of unity and acceptance for the week of the celebration. Bold Hope in the North aims to raise $250,000 for families at risk of becoming homeless. To date, nearly $160,000 has been donated.

All of the free-will donations at the event were designated to the highly effective Emergency Rental Assistance Program; 80% of families who received this assistance have remained housed after six months.

“The event exceeded our expectations, in terms of response from the community,” says Tim Hart-Andersen, senior pastor at Westminster. “It’s clear that Minneapolis was looking for some way to harness the Super Bowl energy in town this week to do some lasting good for the community. There’s a lot we don’t agree on, but when it comes to preventing homelessness, we’re all on the same team.”

The program featured:

• J.D. and Fred Steele
• Amwaaj Middle Eastern Ensemble
• MacPhail Community Youth Choir
• Mill City Singers
• StreetSong MN
• Spoken word teen artist Kaaha Kaahiye
• Klezmer Cabaret Orchestra

After the musical portion of the event, attendees enjoyed delicious food from Holy Land and Eat for Equity and packed dignity bags containing hygiene products, socks, hand warmers, and food to distribute to people who are experiencing homelessness.

I was especially pleased about the cooperative spirit among the many interfaith partners,” says Hart-Andersen. “When Temple Israel’s rented busses began pulling up, delivering scores of volunteers from our Jewish neighbor down the street, it really struck me that we can do so much more together than on our own.”

DCEH will continue to collect donations over the course of the pre-Super Bowl week in hopes of making is $250,000 goal.

To donate, text #DCEH to 612-999-2874 or donate online at dceh.org/give.

Read more about the Bold Hope in the North event in the Star Tribune front page story by reporter Jean Hopfensperger.