Saint Peter, Minn.-- Senator Tina Smith returned to Saint Peter check on a project she first visited last year.

Solace Housing Apartments was built in effort to help people who have gone through the court system.
"I think we need to do so much more of this." said Senator Smith, "There are so many people who would benefit from being able to have housing that they can afford. There just isn't enough of that kind of housing and that affects their health. It affects the health of their kids."

Seeing the positive change in the residents' lives, the senator plans to take these stories to Washington.

She has joined the Senate Banking Housing and Urban Affair committee to help further tackle the problem.

"People that are living in Solace have a ton of potential." Smith said, "They just need to have a place where they can realize that."

The "Housing First" model provides people with affordable living as they reintegrate from the court system back to everyday life.

The housing crisis is not the only problem in the state.

"It's still a really tough time for agriculture in Minnesota and around the country." said Smith, "Prices are still low. The most important thing I think we need to do is to figure out how to end this trade war."

Earlier in the day, the senator talked climate change at Gustavus Adolphus College. She believes in increasing the use of renewable energy.

"I think that's the direction we have to go." Smith said, "It's going to be good for our economy and jobs, good for our climate and good for our health."

Despite the number of issues on the agenda, she remains optimistic about fixing the problems.

"It is definitely possible if we all put our minds to it and put our shoulder into it." said Smith.

However, she was not happy with the halt in progress suffered in January.

"The federal shutdown that we had earlier this month was a terrible waste. It hurt people." Smith said, "We have to make sure we don't go down that path again. I'm optimistic we'll be able to avoid that so that the happy kids you can hear in the background have everything they need to thrive and do well."

--KEYC News 12