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Community Sketchbook

Helping the homeless: What it costs all of us

Don’t think for a minute it costs less for people to sleep outside than to shelter or house them. Here’s a real-life example of helping others and saving money.

Searching for the homeless: Who are they?

Paul Dunavin has shy eyes in a sad face and he beds outside at night in the shelter of bushes. He is one of our community’s easily overlooked “unsheltered people.”

Tax-return check off to help the poor revived in Senate

Set aside the funeral garb. The tax-return check off to benefit the homeless and hungry has been resuscitated and restored to the Senate’s omnibus tax bill, which is headed to the Senate floor.

Can poverty be eliminated in Minnesota?

Nancy Maeker, a Lutheran pastor, has a vision: End poverty in Minnesota by 2020. I talked with her about the goal and what’s being done.

Making the case for hiring teachers of color

A conversation with Magaly Miralles, a teacher in Eagan who had just been recognized for her work with children from a rainbow of backgrounds, got me wondering: How many teachers of color are there in Minnesota schools?

East African Women’s Center scrambles to survive

For years the East African Women’s Center in Minneapolis has been teaching women from East Africa English and the skills to deal with the challenges of life in America. Now the center faces a major challenge of its own.

HIV awareness campaign focuses on black women

Fresh figures reporting HIV cases among black women in Minnesota are prompting efforts to increase awareness and teach prevention to the black community.