© Shawn Carr. Used with permission.

Joel Kilgour sighs.

Maybe the plan was "overly ambitious," he says.

Joel has spent the better part of the last 20 years with the Loaves and Fishes Community, working on behalf of people struggling with poverty, homelessness and "housing insecurity."

In 2007, St. Louis County launched A Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  In 2017, the crisis of homelessness has not abated, but all is far from lost.

With Duluth's housing vacancy rate hovering around 3%, it's hard enough to find a place to live.  It would be bad enough if you were trying to find housing when no one wanted to hire you ... but where would you go and what would you do if no one wanted to rent to you, either?

Low-income Duluthians took center stage at a unique candidate forum in October.  They shared their experiences and struggles with candidates for state and county offices and then asked the candidates - pointedly - for specific commitments and actions on several critical policy measures.


When is a lawn "offstreet parking"?  When  your lease promises it?

When is parking on your lawn illegal?  Some UMD students say only in areas near campus.

©CHUM/Courtney Cochran

Landlords in the Twin Ports can pretty much write their own tickets.  With a 3% vacancy rate, filling empty properties doesn't require much effort.

But as the community saw last week, some local landlords are interested in a pilot program called the Landlord Incentives Program, an effort to make it easier for folks with criminal pasts to secure a place to live and for landlords to rent to them.