Uptown Coffee Festival

For over two decades, Kitchen Window’s Uptown Coffee Festival has been an extremely popular event, drawing more than 1,000 Twin Cities residents to the Uptown area each year. House of Charity is pleased to announce that for the third year in a row, we have been named as the charity partner and will receive a portion of the event’s proceeds!

This year, the 24th Annual Uptown Coffee Festival will take place on November 23, from 10 am to 3 pm, at Calhoun Square.

For only $10, coffee aficionados receive a limited edition 24th Annual Uptown Coffee Festival mug and access to vendors—samples include a large variety of coffee and teas, breads and desserts, plus a number of other tasty surprises! Admission also gives attendees access to the day’s educational seminars as well as some fun entertainment.

NEW THIS YEAR: House of Charity will be raffling off a Nespresso Citiz with Milk Prize Package valued at $500! Raffle tickets may be purchased for $5 each.

A great event for gathering with family and friends, the Uptown Coffee Festival is an annual tradition with something for everyone. Find out more on the Calhoun Square website.

Instilling Hope One to Another

A Compilation of Stories & Experiences from Food Centre Guests

CJ: When CJ first came to the Food Centre she was homeless and looking for community resources. CJ knew that she needed to do something positive to get out of the lifestyle she was in, so she started school at MCTC and began volunteering at the Food Centre. CJ does anything and everything at the Food Centre, from greeting people to cleaning up, but she especially enjoys talking with others, “I just want to make the people who come here feel welcome and have hope in their lives.” CJ also makes sure that children and the disabled get their meals. Now, CJ is still in school, majoring in Addiction Counseling, has her own apartment, and volunteers and eats at the Food Centre on a regular basis. She is very appreciative of the support she has received from the Food Centre staff and hopes to further her involvement with House of Charity, perhaps as a Day by Day treatment program intern.

Daisy Rose: “Sounds like Love,” Daisy Rose says about the Food Centre. Sometimes the meal at the Food Centre is her only meal that day. “I’m comfortable with the amount of food and very thankful.” Daisy Rose was a nurse for 19 years, but her MS symptoms worsened and she could no longer work. When she lost her job in 2011, Daisy Rose spent her 401K on living and medical expenses. In addition to dining with us, she volunteers her time at the Food Centre; she likes everyone, knows people, and says it’s consistent with her upbringing: “we all work together.” She’s one of the regulars who helps Walter, a paraplegic guest, to eat lunch and notes that she is very grateful for House of Charity.

The Tiger Family- Julie, Nate, Daniel, & Baby: When Nate lost his job last spring in Duluth, the family was devastated financially and they quickly lost their apartment. They came to Burnsville to stay with family, but that was an alcoholic and abusive place where people directed their anger towards four year old Daniel. So, the family camped out this summer, in their van and area parks. They’ve had to resort to Nate staying at a men’s shelter while Julie and the kids live at a family shelter to save money and find jobs. Daniel likes the meat and cheeses at the Food Centre and most of all he loves meeting his friend Claire at the weekend brunch. Julie commented, “It’s great to be with other people who’ve been humbled by the world.” Julie is hopeful that by winter, both she and Nate will have jobs and a place to call home.

Two Minutes With…Michael Bennett, Director of Volunteer & Outreach Services

 

Mike has worked at House of Charity for over 10 years. His current title is Outreach and Volunteer Director, but he started as the Food Service Manager. Over the course of a decade, faces and programs have changed, but the need for assistance, sadly, is stronger than ever. “Ultimately, the goal of any agency which provides basic needs is to hang a sign that reads ‘closed, due to lack of customers’” Mike states.“If that sign were to be hung here, that would mean we don’t have people who need food, housing, or treatment. Sadly, we haven’t hung that sign in the ten years I have been here, nor the sixty years we have been an agency.”

When looking at ten years with one agency, the question of what keeps you coming back isn’t uncommon. “For me, it’s the tangibility.” Mike answered. “Take the Food Centre for example, you can look at the meal count and see that 422 people ate lunch today because of House of Charity. That food was made here and served here. For all we know, that was the only meal that someone will eat all day. And the same concept applies to Housing and Treatment too.”

While he has run the Food Centre in the past, Mike’s primary job function now is to be a voice in the community as to how House of Charity provides assistance to those in need. “I do a lot of presentations at businesses, civic groups, churches, and to our volunteers. I do my best to present realism to our stakeholders, and explain that the issues of homelessness, hunger, and need are as strong here in Minnesota as they are in Chicago or New York. The majority of us don’t want to acknowledge how close we are to needing assistance. But, it is hard for me to ignore reality when someone explains that they have only $80 for the month to buy food and personal items. They aren’t a composite story on the news. That person is here, in front of us as staff, and I try my best to relay that story to the groups I meet.”

At the end of his presentations, Mike uses a common closing; “I suggest, if nothing else, to say hello to people. By acknowledging someone’s humanity, simply saying hello, you may time stamp their week. For many of the people we serve, today feels a lot like last Tuesday. It may not seem like much, but the fact that a person didn’t walk past them as if they were a parking meter or a trash can might make their day, week or even longer. It’s really quite simple to do.”

Mike finishes by mentioning a meeting he was at a few months back. “We were asked what our legacy would be. As in, if we never came back to our position, what would we be remembered for? I hope mine would be that everyone matters. I give as much effort in getting to know someone in the meal line as I would to a CEO of a major corporation. I encourage everyone I meet to do the same. When a long-time volunteer asks ‘what happened to Bill, Eric, or Jane’ I know we are doing something right at HOC. One of our guests or our clients mattered enough for that volunteer to remember them, and ask about them. A connection was made. Often in our lives, we forget that we can positively impact people with our actions. It is pretty rewarding to see those positive interactions take place here every day.”

Cities 97 Basilica Block Party—Enter to Win 2 Tickets for Saturday Night!

Win two tickets to Saturday Night at The Basilica Block Party, compliments of House of Charity.

What do the Basilica Block Party and House of Charity have in common?

Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty!

In 2010, Rob Thomas and his wife Marisol, through their Sidewalk Angels Foundation, made a gift to support the work of House of Charity.  While on tour to raise funds for the Foundation, Rob gave a shout out to House of Charity during his solo concert at Grand Casino Hinckley:

We are grateful for the Foundation’s support and recognition.  Now that Rob is back in town with Matchbox Twenty, we want to share the love.

We are giving away two general admission tickets to night 2 of the Basilica Block Party to be held July 13, 2013!

All you have to do to be entered into the free drawing is to fill out the form below.

BONUS: Be entered TWICE if you submit the form AND tell us why you support House of Charity on Facebook or Twitter!

Tweet us @HouseofCharity on Twitter!

Mention us in a status update or post on our wall on Facebook!

All entries must be received by midnight on July 10th.  One name will be drawn at random from all entries.  The winner will be notified on July 11th.

Night 2 entertainment:

Sun Country Stage:  Matchbox Twenty, Goo Goo Dolls, Kate Earl

Church Stage:  Rafael Saadiq, Walk the Moon, Cloud Cult

VitaMn Stage: On An On, Van Zee, Bomba De Luz

You do not want to miss this opportunity!!

Already going to be there or have other plans for the 13th?  Share this with your family/friends/colleagues and give them a chance!

 

Helping Others Navigate out of Homelessness: Denise’s Story

Denise found herself homeless in 2006 when she was evicted for not paying the rent—she had used her money for drugs and alcohol, instead.  Over the course of the next six years, Denise struggled.  She lived in friends’ homes, emergency shelters, treatment centers, and sober housing. Unfortunately, she did not maintain her sobriety and was taken to detox on more than one occasion.  Again, she lost her housing.

Denise went to the Salvation Army, determined to get back on her feet. She got a full-time job as a telemarketer. Every day she would bring all of her belongings to work in bags and stick them under her desk. So as not to appear homeless, she pretended that she was planning to work out in the evenings and had brought her gear.  She would go back to the Salvation Army night after night.  This daily routine became stressful and Denise began drinking again.

Denise came to House of Charity on November 1, 2012.  She is moving into her own apartment at the end of March through our Housing First program.  Denise credits her case manager for helping her find housing.  She feared that her past would prevent anyone from renting to her.  In 2001, Denise was charged with a felony for driving under the influence, and was sentenced to house arrest and work release.  Although the felony was reduced to a misdemeanor three years later, Denise was afraid that landlords would not accept her once they did a background check. Denise’s case manager, Erin, made her feel that her obstacles were not insurmountable.  Denise was upfront with the landlords about what they would find in her background report and explained the circumstances.  Denise believes Erin did an amazing job as her case manager, but she stresses that you have to be proactive as a client, as well.

Denise completed treatment through House of Charity’s Day by Day program.  She trusted her counselor, Sarah, and found her very caring.  She provided the guidance Denise needed.  Now, Denise feels that she has put together a strong support system and a solid plan to help keep herself from relapsing.

Denise believes that her faith is the only reason she is here today.  In addition to staff at House of Charity, her support system includes three spiritual mentors, a group of friends she made through a drop-in women’s group at Central Lutheran Church, and a Christian Twelve Step program.

Her plan includes staying busy.  She currently sits on the Catholic Charities Opportunity Center Advisory Council and volunteers there twice a week as a “system navigator.”  When she was first homeless, Denise did not know where to turn.  Now, she has a passion for wanting to help people who are in the same situation.  She knows the value of taking one step at a time and identifying small attainable goals that can get you where you want to go.  One of Denise’s goals is to write and produce her own plays for a faith-based recovery theater.  To cope with growing up in a challenging home environment, Denise became the funny girl.  She defaulted to humor and she always wanted to act.

Denise attended William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, and holds a BFA in Fine Arts. She spent her senior year in New York City studying and working for a talent agency. Following school, she acted in improvisational theater, including a murder mystery dinner theater for 10 years. She eventually became its director of operations. Denise feels like she is becoming de-mummified – unraveling to uncover the woman God intended her to be. She is firm in knowing that, now, she needs to take care of herself. She needs to forgive herself and not dwell on her past. Her advice to others is to recognize that life is full of choices and sometimes we make choices out of fear. She has learned that you have to face the fear. To conquer it, perhaps you have to believe in something bigger than yourself. At the end of the day, it’s not how you fall down that defines you, it’s how you get up. One of the best compliments Denise has received is when someone told her, “No matter what happens to you, you get up and dust yourself off!”

Thank You, In-Pulse CPR!

 

In-Pulse CPR donated CPR, First Aid, and Blood Borne Pathogen training to all of our staff!  We are so grateful to be able to continue to provide a safe and respectful environment here at House of Charity for our employees, clients, and guests.

Thank you, In-Pulse CPR!

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Second Chances: Bethany’s Story

Don’t be afraid to ask for second chances. You may be afraid, but you may be surprised at what you can accomplish.”

On September 6th, House of Charity participated in Operation Recovery 2012: Erasing Stigmas, an event held on the campus of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and sponsored by their student-led Addiction Counseling Club.

We were delighted to take part, especially since the invitation came from one of our former residents!

Bethany had lived at House of Charity for several months in 2010.  She regards House of Charity and her time here as a nice stepping stone.  Having housing and food allowed Bethany to stabilize her life, “I looked for work. I didn’t have to look for a safe place to live. I was fed here.”

As an undergraduate at Bethel University studying on a vocal scholarship, Bethany was viciously attacked while running on campus.  Soon afterward, she left the school. “I lost my faith,” Bethany stated simply.

Bethany began using drugs.  She was in a long-term relationship with a man who also used.  Together, they had four children, including one set of twins.  Because she was found to be using in the home, Bethany’s children were taken away.  To allow her children to move out of the foster care system, Bethany voluntarily gave custody to the children’s paternal grandmother, but kept her parental rights.  Bethany expected the grandmother to maintain communication between her and her children, but Bethany has not seen nor heard from them in nearly four years.  All of the cards and letters she has written to them have been returned.  Bethany is pursuing legal assistance, but it takes time and resources.  In the meantime, her children are growing older – now 11, 10, and 9 (the twins).

While she was using, Bethany broke the law for money.  As a result, Bethany was imprisoned in 2009.  She had a year of sobriety in prison.  Soon after she was released, she came to House of Charity.  Now, two years later, Bethany is taking classes at MCTC to become a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, with an emphasis on art therapy.  An artist herself, Bethany sells her work and has exhibited at the Fine Line Music Café.  Bethany knows firsthand how art can lead to healing. “Some of my worst moments in life have come through to make great paintings; I am a rape survivor and my piece ‘Holy Trinity’ came from that experience.”

She hopes to help others escape the pain and consequences of addiction.  When asked what advice she would give to current House of Charity residents, Bethany quickly responded, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Utilize your resources.  The more education you can get, the better, even if it’s one computer class.  Don’t be afraid to ask for second chances.  You may be afraid, but you may be surprised at what you can accomplish.”

Two Minutes With…Board Member, Dustin Chapman

Board Member Dustin Chapman

 

This November, at their annual meeting, the Board of Directors recognized outgoing Board member Dustin Chapman’s six years of service to House of Charity.  Dustin, who is currently Behavioral Services Liaison with Fairview, was recruited to the Board because of his knowledge and experience in chemical dependency treatment programs.  Dustin started out with Fairview twenty-eight years ago as clinical supervisor of an inpatient chemical dependency unit.  His current role involves community outreach, licensing and regulatory compliance, and public policy. Dustin monitors legislation to keep Fairview informed of laws that may affect how they deliver services.  He is working with other community groups to monitor the impact of health care reform on chemical dependency programs.  In addition to his commitment to House of Charity, Dustin chairs the Board of Directors of Minnesota Recovery Connection, which advocates on behalf of the recovery community and provides recovery coaching.  He also serves on the board of Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Health.

Because of his expertise, Dustin has been an invaluable resource for House of Charity’s Day by Day program.  At the beginning of his tenure, Dustin suggested we move in the direction of changing our Day by Day program from a halfway house for recovery to an outpatient chemical dependency treatment program.  In the past year, he has provided insight into the timing and anticipated results of funding changes for our expanded chemical dependency and mental health treatment program.  House of Charity’s Board of Directors and staff are grateful for Dustin’s passion for the program and his significant contributions to the growth of the agency.

Give to the Max

Give to the Max Day—11/15/2012

Support House of Charity during the Great Minnesota GIVE Together!

November 15th is Give to the Max Day!

As you know, House of Charity is making a difference every day by providing food, housing, and a way forward to struggling individuals in the Minneapolis community.  Your generous support is greatly appreciated by the increasing numbers of people we serve every day of the year.

Join us on November 15 for Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day, and help us win a $1,000 Golden Ticket.  Give to the Max Day is an initiative of GiveMN, an online giving website for Minnesota nonprofits.  Every hour on this day, one donation will be selected at random and the associated nonprofit will receive an extra $1,000!

 By making a donation on Give to the Max Day, you increase our chances of winning.

At the end of Give to the Max Day, one donation from across Minnesota will be randomly selected for a $10,000 SUPERSIZED Golden Ticket!  Help us maximize our odds by making your gift on November 15th at:

Links no longer active.

Help Us Win a 
$1,000 or $10,000
GOLDEN TICKET!

Each hour on 11/15, a donation will be selected at random for one nonprofit to receive an extra $1,000!

 By donating on Give to the Max Day, you increase our chances of winning.  At the end of the day, one donation from Minnesota will be randomly selected for a $10,000 SUPERSIZED Golden Ticket!

   
Schedule Your Donation
NOW 
for
   Give to the Max Day!

  Visit

www.GiveMN.org/HouseofCharityMN

RIGHT NOW! 

Schedule a donation to

House of Charity to be processed  on November 15th!

 

DOUBLE 
Your Impact!
A matching grant
from the
Buuck Family Foundation
to House of Charity
doubles new gifts made through December,
up to $5,000!
Your “Give to the Max Day” gift
just keeps on giving!

Recovery Leads to Reunion: Lon’s Story

 

No one has ever helped me like this before.  No one has ever helped me like the people at House of Charity.”

House of Charity’s mission statement is: Feed those in need, house those experiencing homelessness, and empower individuals to achieve independence. Staff, volunteers, and donors play an important role in helping us carry out our mission on a daily basis.  The following story illustrates how the work we do has a meaningful and lasting impact on the people we serve.  Let’s start at the end:
Lon is living in his own apartment.
He has been awarded custody of his 15-month-old son.
He has been reconciled with his mother.
He has plans to go back to school.

Lon’s struggles with drugs and alcohol led him to prison. His two sons were taken from their mothers and placed in foster care while he was incarcerated. Lon and his mother stopped speaking because she was upset with his drug use and behavior.
When Lon was released from prison, he first went to another treatment program and then came to House of Charity. He lived in our transitional housing and participated in our Day by Day treatment program. He went to group sessions every day and established a particularly trusting relationship with his counselor, Maren. Maren was very supportive and worked with Lon’s parole officer as well as the child protection workers.

Lon graduated from the Day by Day program after 90 days. Through House of Charity’s Housing First program, Lon was able to move into his apartment. He is still going to support groups and meeting up with friends from House of Charity. He is now off parole. Lon appreciated his stay at House of Charity; he felt he had the support of all the counselors and his case manager. 

Lon’s oldest son (15) is now living with his mother in Wisconsin and Lon sees him regularly. Lon’s youngest son came to live with him in December. Lon’s mother will help Lon with child care when he goes back to school to learn small engine repair.

Lon says that if it weren’t for House of Charity, his sons still would be in foster care and he probably would be on the street. 
We are grateful to everyone who is interested in and supports our work with Lon and others in need.  
You have a large impact on our ability to feed, house, and empower.