“We made it!” came a cheer from a new guest at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish temporary shelters.

Thanks to the kindness of two congregations and funding from the Richard Schulze Foundation, the shelters have been opened since Valentine’s Day, which means a week of successful meals, showers, new socks and nights of sleep, thanks to a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. We have 3 months of funding for a safe placeContinue reading ““We made it!” came a cheer from a new guest at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish temporary shelters.”

We open the shelter doors and in walks a friend

Tonight we opened the doors at Elim Strong Tower Shelters. The first person through the door was Michael. We met Michael last month at the Mall of America transit station while we were doing the annual Point in Time count of people experiencing homelessness with Governor Walz. (The picture at right is from that night.)Continue reading “We open the shelter doors and in walks a friend”

48 hours to shelter opening: a moment of hope, planning and asking

We are a mere 48 hours from opening. So much has happened in the last week. Staff has been hired. Mats have been acquired. Volunteers have signed up. But there’s more to do. It feels like the day before Christmas Eve. We’re tired but we can’t stop; we can’t sleep until we know we’re readyContinue reading “48 hours to shelter opening: a moment of hope, planning and asking”

The gift of time at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish Shelters

Gift givers It would have been easy for Ken McCraley and his team from KMS, a black and locally owned small business, to tell me that he didn’t have the capacity to load or unload dozens of mats donated from Abbott Northwestern Hospital or that he only had manpower but no way to deliver. Instead,Continue reading “The gift of time at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish Shelters”

A blank slate and open hearts create shelters

Some people walk into a fixer-upper and know immediately how to make it shine. Monica Nilsson and the pastors from from Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish have that unique vision – multiplied. Today we did a walk through of the spaces to assess what’s there and what needs to happen to best meet theContinue reading “A blank slate and open hearts create shelters”

The birth of a homeless shelter partnership in Northeast Minneapolis

On December 19, 2019, Governor Walz announced a special $5 million Minnesota Homeless Fund to address unsheltered homelessness. That spurred a partnership between neighboring churches Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish, Monica Nilsson, who has led shelter and street outreach programs for over 25 years and Tasks Unlimited, a 50-year-old non-profit serving people with mentalContinue reading “The birth of a homeless shelter partnership in Northeast Minneapolis”