Your Vision, Our Mission:
A Twin Cities where
everybody thrives.
Let's • Build • Ladders


That's where PPL shines — getting the job done.

Paul Williams,
PPL President and CEO

If you have read the headlines, there’s no doubt that the Twin Cities are at a major crossroads.

Rising rents and declining wages mean that apartments once affordable at market-rate are now out of reach.

At the same time, people who want to work are missing the specialized skills required by Twin Cities employers and many employers are struggling to fill open positions with qualified applicants.

Add to that the economic and racial disparities showing us that the barriers to economic success are far higher for some of us than others.

At Project for Pride in Living (PPL), we’re equipped to roll up our sleeves and get something done. That’s where PPL shines—getting the job done.

Today, we are asking the community to fund three critical priorities that will allow us to meet tomorrow’s challenges:

  • $9 million to create a new and expanded Employment and Training Center.

  • $2 million that will help us create 800 new units of housing.

  • $1.4 million to support program innovation and technology upgrades.

At PPL, we build ladders. Participants use those ladders to build new lives. It’s simple, but not easy. We’ve gotten the job done all these years because of your partnership. We’re all in this together.

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Paul Williams
President & CEO, Project for Pride in Living


A Three part Plan

Our mission is to build the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and employment readiness services. The purpose of this campaign is to help us do more, and better. To do that we seek investment in: Employment, Housing, and Innovation.





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Employment & Training Center

Investment Needed: $9 million

The Need

With this investment, we hope to accommodate growth, better protect the privacy of participants, and provide integrated onsite services.

Chronically low wages

  • Wages in the Twin Cities in 2017 are lower than in 2000, adjusted for inflation. 
  • Both parents in a family of three must earn $17.76 hourly to afford a market-rate, two-bedroom apartment. 

Shortage of trained workers

  • The Twin Cities region will need to fill more than 110,000 jobs by 2020. 

Persistent racial disparities

  • Unemployment among Hispanics and African-Americans is double and triple the rate of unemployment among whites.

  • The poverty rate for white Minnesotans is 7% and for people of color, 23%.

The Impact


The Vision

PPL’s new Employment & Training Center will provide visitors a bright, warm welcome and offer multiple ways to engage with PPL services.

PPL’s renovation of the 1916 Franklin Theater building, adjacent to our existing administrative offices, will allow us to consolidate our employment offerings into a single, flexible space that anticipates the workplace environments PPL participants will enter as graduates.

The Employment and Training Center will include a spacious welcome area, classrooms equipped with the latest technology, office space for visiting trainers, one-on-one counseling spaces, and an atrium connecting the new facility to our administrative offices.


We were living in a shelter before PPL. Now I have my degree and my dream job, and we just bought our first home.

Mai Xiong


Housing Opportunity Fund

Investment Needed: $2 million

The Need

Rising rents and falling wages

  • Over the past 15 years, average rent has risen 9% while incomes have fallen 11%.
  • People who earn the minimum wage cannot afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment in any county in the state.
  • More than 1 in 4 Minnesota households have unaffordable rents (exceeding 30% of their income).
  • Within the next decade, Minnesota will need 51,000 more units of affordable housing.

Racial gap in housing opportunity

  • African Americans comprise 39% of homeless adults, but only 5% of the overall population.

  • American Indians comprise 8% of homeless adults, but only 1% of the overall population.

The Impact


95% of residents maintain their housing for 12 months. The average stay is 4 years.


77% of households maintain or increase their income.


91% youth increase their literacy skills.

The Vision

  • Provide critical pre-development funds for approximately four properties at a time. Over ten years, this fund will create 800 new units of housing.
  • Prevent the permanent loss of lower-priced units by providing PPL the funds to purchase properties and preserve their affordability.
  • Reduce costs and speed up development by enabling PPL to purchase a site immediately.
  • Reduce organizational risk via a revolving capital pool to avoid borrowing from operations to invest in development. This will protect funds needed for critical staffing and programming.
  • Support innovative housing models, such as housing designed to lower health care costs and new options for small single-family homes.


Investment Needed: $1.4 million

PPL will make program and infrastructure investments totaling $1 million to help the organization manage recent growth and create innovative models that strengthen program outcomes. This flexible funding will allow PPL to launch new models, sustain critical programs amid funding shifts, and adapt programming to changing community needs.

And because you can't change the world without the right tools, PPL will also invest $400,000 to implement strategic and unified upgrades of our technology infrastructure for the 370 staff and participants who access our technology daily.

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I got help when I needed it most and now I’m ready to give back!  - Melisa Sobota

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I came searching for a better future. I found a great deal more than
that.  -  Tonya Moses

Carolyn Roby, Campaign Chair

Carolyn Roby, Campaign Chair

Message from the Campaign Chair

I have attended many PPL Achievement Award dinners over the last 20 years and I am always moved by the drive, talent and accomplishments of PPL participants in the face of incredible challenges.

We have extraordinary talent and abilities waiting to be uncovered right here in our community.

As community employers face workforce shortages and the housing affordability gap widens, the expansion of PPL’s employment and housing programs is more critical than ever.

Project for Pride in Living has been providing evidence for 45 years that it can respond to challenges and community issues with effective solutions.

This capital campaign will enable PPL to expand in two areas—employment and housing—where the community is in desperate need and where PPL has demonstrated tremendous success.

To me, the pride on participants’ faces as they describe their achievements says it all. PPL knows how to bring out the best in all of us. Thank you for considering a financial contribution to this critical campaign.

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Carolyn Roby
Building Ladders Campaign Chair


Financial Summary

New Employment
and Training Center

$9 million


$2 million

Housing Opportunity

$1.4 million

Program innovation
and technology

$12.4 million


Our Mission

PPL builds the hope, assets, and self-reliance of individuals and families who have lower incomes by providing transformative affordable housing and employment readiness services.


Take the Next Step

Do you envision a Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro where everybody thrives? Join us. Let's build ladders for low-income individuals and families to transformative affordable housing and employment readiness services.

To discuss your ideas, and any questions you may have about this exciting vision for the Twin Cities metro area, please contact Joanne Kosciolek, Vice President of Development & External Affairs. You may reach Joanne at 612.455.5224 or

We look forward to connecting with you about this profound opportunity to create a more just and equitable Minneapolis-St. Paul community for generations to come.

Joanne Kosciolek, Vice President of Development & External Affairs 

Joanne Kosciolek, Vice President of Development & External Affairs