Homes for All MN collects and shares housing stories to to show lawmakers the challenges Minnesotans are facing when it comes to having a safe, stable and affordable home. By sharing your story, you play a key part in gaining the support and understanding of elected officials and furthering Homes for All's mission to advance housing stability for all Minnesotans. Glennie's story is part of that effort. Join Glennie in sharing your story, and thanks for supporting Homes for All!
For Glennie, community is one of the most important things in life. She’s spent her entire life helping others, a practice she internalized as a child. Growing up the eldest of seven kids, her mom always kept an eye out for their neighbors and shared what grew in their garden. In the winter, her dad took ashes from their furnace and spread them on the steep, icy hill outside their house to provide traction for travelers.
Throughout her career as a teacher and occupational therapist, it pained Glennie to see that many of the children and families with whom she worked faced major barriers to enjoying the stability she had known as a child. She witnessed a deep need for affordable housing. Now she understands that need on a personal level. When she moved to Rochester, she struggled to find an available apartment that fit her budget. Glennie signed her lease at Ashland Place, a 49-unit complex serving households earning below 60% of area median income, in August 2017.
“When I worked up in the Twin Cities, I met with a few parents who said, ‘I have to go meet my kids at school and tell them we don’t have a home anymore,’” Glennie explained. “That’s just heartbreaking — to say your kids went to school in the morning and now they don’t have a place to go home to at night. That was really hard to hear. I know that parents are really concerned about their kids and want to ensure that they have a sense of security. I was able to grow up with that sense of security.”
When Glennie moved to Rochester, she began working with children and families through St. Vincent de Paul.
“I’ve worked with families from all four quadrants of Rochester,” Glennie said. “What they have in common is parents really want the very best for their children. And sometimes, that means they have to work two jobs to be able to afford housing. I wish that we could make changes so that moms who work really hard are able to benefit from the money their earning for their children.”
To Glennie, a stable home is key to ensuring families can thrive.
Nearly 50 individuals and families call Ashland Place in Rochester, MN home.
“A lot of people today are rootless,” Glennie said. “They don’t have a stable base from which to operate, and I really feel the need for stability for people. If they’ve got a home they know they can go to, and they don’t have to be worried about it, that gives them what it takes to be able to grow up and grow out. Once you’ve got your roots, you can go ahead and grow. I want to see families be able to do that.”
For Glennie, being able to continue to serve her community now starts at home.
“I love the people in this building,” she says. “I keep meeting new ones all the time. I think I’m just naturally tuned in to watching out for little kids and making sure they’re doing OK. I often meet them in the elevator where the whole family is gathered together, and they are just as happy as can be. It’s so refreshing to see them.”