The cycle of housing instability and incarceration is well-documented in the affordable housing field. Ex-offenders face many systemic barriers to getting back on their feet, and navigating the challenges of obtaining stable housing can bring the risk of reoffending. In addition, a criminal background can make finding and keeping a job nearly impossible.
As a Twin Cities leader in affordable housing and career training, we understand how a criminal background can become a life-long barrier. But it shouldn't be. That is why PPL has taken an advocacy role around issues that impact communities consistently affected by social and systemic injustice, including people with criminal backgrounds.
One champion of this work is PPL's Public Policy Committee. Run by staff, the committee works to elevate participant voice by understanding, analyzing, and advocating for policies that impact our communities and help participants engage at the legislative level.
On February 7, PPL and the Public Policy Committee joined 60 other organizations at the Minnesota State Capitol for Second Chance Day on the Hill. The event gives Minnesota residents the platform to advocate directly for the rights and needs of people with criminal records and provides a great opportunity to take action, meet with legislators, and help make a change.
PPL residents joined staff for this eventful day that included conversations with Majority Leader Ryan Winkler to lobby for criminal background policy reform.