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Running for 16A House seat to create access to affordable housing

To the editor:

Rural Minnesota has a significant lack of available and affordable housing, which leaves many people in the area homeless. Housing costs take approximately 30% of total household income in Minnesota, not including the rising cost of utilities. When a person, or family, becomes homeless in southwest Minnesota, it is almost impossible for them to become financially stable enough to gain access to housing. Almost half of homeless people in Minnesota say they are homeless because of lack of access to affordable housing.

Marshall has no formal homeless shelter, even with one of the largest populations in the area. Greater Minnesota alone has over 3,400 homeless, with over 1,000 being children. Homelessness has become an “invisible” issue in our region because of the small-town mentality that everyone knows everyone. Homeless may be able to find shelter in surrounding areas on the off-chance that another shelter has an opening, but the lack of public transportation presents another barrier just in finding a bed for the night.

I am running for the District 16A House seat because I want to create avenues in Greater Minnesota for people to gain access to affordable housing, as well as expanding networks of public transportation to help grow our communities. This includes creating shelters, passing legislation that promotes housing security, and adding transportation networks throughout Greater Minnesota. I hope to earn your vote this November.

Doria Drost

Marshall

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