Making Ends Meet: How will you invest your resources?


For many Minnesotans, homelessness is just one bad stroke of luck away. It has recently been reported by the Federal Reserve that nearly 40 percent of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected expense of $400, and a quarter of Americans skipped necessary medical care because they couldn’t afford the cost. For those of us who are lucky enough to have a support system, we may turn to a friend or family member in tough times to make ends meet, but for many of our clients that support system is a luxury they simply don’t have. Even what may seem like a strict, but manageable budget can fall apart with one unexpected medical emergency or the sudden loss of a job.


To show just how quickly all of us can fall into poverty and homelessness, we created the Making Ends Meet Challenge. Using a pack of just 15 smarties, players must budget food, housing, healthcare, transportation, technology, utilities and spending money for a family of four. When life’s little surprises pop up, players must adjust their budget to accommodate the expenses. When you’re done with the challenge, players should discuss how they feel facing tough decisions and what they might do in the same situation. This tool can be used in schools, parishes, book clubs or at the dinner table with your family to spark conversations about the challenges so many of our neighbors face.


If you’d like Catholic Charities to lead you or your group through the Making Ends Meet Challenge, please contact If you’re interested in taking action so that fewer Minnesotans experience crises like this, sign up to receive action alerts and be the first to know when your voice will make a difference at the Capitol. Sign up at

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