On January 28 nearly 1,000 people gathered at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis to support the Emergency Rental Assistance Program of Downtown Congregations To End Homelessness (DCEH).
The gathering was emceed by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and joined by senior clergy from the downtown congregations (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) and two former NFL Vikings stars: punter Greg Coleman and defensive end Mark Mullaney. Testimony was offered by two individuals who had been helped by the DCEH.
Music was provided by local artists J.D. and Fred Steele, who are members of the popular singing group The Steele Family; Amwaaj Middle Eastern Ensemble; MacPhail Community Youth Choir; Mill City Singers; Street Song MN; and Klezmer Cabaret Orchestra. Teen artist Kaaha Kaahiye shared her spoken words. Below is a photograph of J.D. Steele and Becky Bratton with the Mill City Singers:
Attendees enjoyed delicious food from Holy Land Market and assembled dignity bags for people who are homeless (consisting of hygiene products, socks, hand warmers, food, etc.).
The event showcased Minnesota interfaith cooperation one week before the Super Bowl football game just several miles from this church and was co-sponsored by the Super Bowl Host Committee. An amusing promotional video for the event had Greg Coleman coaching clergy getting ready for a fictitious football game with the cheer “One Hope, One Mind, One Spirit.”
 Hopfensperger, Faith and football combine at unusual Super Bowl event, StarTribune (Jan. 28, 2018).
3 thoughts on “Minneapolis Interfaith Gathering To End Homelessness ”
Editorial Commending Interfaith Gathering
The StarTribune, the Twin Cities leading newspaper, has added its editorial voice to commend the recent interfaith gathering at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
It said the interfaith work had “much to commend, including [the] proven effectiveness” of its program to end homelessness. The gathering also ” was an example of Minnesotans creatively tapping the civic spirit that a major event generates and channeling it to meet community needs. ”
The editorial added that one of its favorite Super bowl moments was the gathering’s promotional video depicting “a rabbi throwing a Hail Mary pass into the waiting arms of an imam receiver.”
Editorial, A worthy fundraiser adds purpose to the NFL’s party, StarTribune (Jan. 31, 2018), http://www.startribune.com/a-worthy-fundraiser-adds-purpose-to-the-nfl-s-party/471838193/
Westminster Presbyterian Church Aiding Homeless
Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis and right next to the crowds on Nicollet Mall’s Super Bowl Live events has opened up space to give the homeless a place to escape the crowds and bitter temperatures during the day. Church volunteers have welcomed the homeless with bag lunches, coffee and a place to sit.
Other organizations, including St. Stephen’s Human Services, provide beds for the homeless. In addition, the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District ambassadors have a seven-member team working extra hours during the 10-day Super Bowl Live events on Nicollet Mall to connect the homeless to resources.
Smith, Where did the homeless go in Minneapolis during Super Bowl week? StarTribune (Feb. 1, 2018), http://www.startribune.com/where-did-the-homeless-go-in-minneapolis-during-super-bowl-week/472256503/