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community 


 Our mission...Our stories Building stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities since 1971

O’Sheena Dorsey

Erika & Ayan

A leap of faith . . .

Buddies for life . . .

O’Sheena grew up in Chicago, got married, and had three beautiful children. In 2003, her husband died of leukemia. Their family was devastated. Thankfully her own father was willing to let them move in with him. Working for minimum wage, there were times money was tight, but she was able to make ends meet.

Erika Lory became a CommonBond volunteer because of a requirement for a college course she was taking. Her decision to be a Study Buddy was fulfilling a more personal desire. “When I was reading about the different organizations, CommonBond was the only organization that had a volunteer opportunity that was longer than just the semester,” said Erika. “I wanted to make an impact and that, in my mind, takes longer than one semester.”

O’Sheena wanted a better life for her family, so she took a leap of faith and moved to Minneapolis. As her father aged, a big portion of O’Sheena’s income started going toward a house that needed serious major repairs. There was no way she could even begin to afford what needed to be done. When the ceiling in her daughter’s bedroom started falling down, she made a decision. O’Sheena wanted a better life for her family, so she took a leap of faith and moved to Minneapolis. Initially things didn’t go the way she hoped. They had no place to live and spent three weeks sharing one room in a shelter. O’Sheena described it as “a real rough patch.” But on July 27, 2004 - which just happens to be her birthday - O’Sheena found a part-time job as a receptionist. Because the job happened to be at CommonBond, she learned about CommonBond housing options for families like hers. They were able to move into Torre De San Miguel. It changed their lives.

Despite what they’ve been through, her two older kids have always done really well in school, but her younger daughter Kachina struggled. “We are so grateful for the homework help and reading support from Advantage Services,” said O’Sheena. “They worked so hard with Kachina to improve her reading skills.” Now, the family is thriving. O’Sheena has continued to advance in her career. She is now a Compliance Leasing Specialist for CommonBond. Her older daughter is studying to be an EMT and her son plans to go to the Naval Academy after high school. And, after all of the work done in Advantage Services, Kachina wants to be a writer! O’Sheena smiled when she said, “She couldn’t be a great writer without first becoming a great reader!” Just like many of us, O’Sheena is thinking about her next steps grateful for all the help she received from living in a CommonBond community. She is at a point where she can think about buying her own place! What she wants for her children is what she wants for herself.

Lori & Ron Hume

Making an emotional investment . . . Lori Hume grew up in a small town and her parents were very involved in the community. Because of their example it came very naturally for her to give back her time, talent, and support. Lori leads WIPFLi LLP’s Private Client Services practice which manages individual, trust, estate, and foundation tax in the Twin Cities. According to Lori, “I see themes for philanthropy in my work with clients whether it’s supporting the arts, religious affiliations, education, or causes related to personal experience. People often give differently depending upon variables such as family timeline and career.” That mirrors Lori’s own experience. She and husband Ron support their church and

Ever since Erika met her Study Buddy, Ayan, she was hooked. What started as an opportunity to make an educational impact on a young person’s life for a school year is now in its ninth year! Erika’s journey began when Ayan was just in first grade and at the time, Erika actually had two Study Buddies - the other being a seventh grader. But now, after many years of working with Ayan, their relationship has naturally grown into a caring friendship. As Erika says, “Now that she is older I really feel like we are more than mentor/mentee. We have a great bond. I cherish that. ”

“Ayan is still trying to figure out a career she can be passionate about. Once she does, watch out world, Ayan is coming!” Erika is really impressed with CommonBond staff and the support she receives. “Ayan and I are usually working on homework for the majority of the time and I wouldn’t keep coming back if we didn’t have tremendous support,” said Erika. “CommonBond staff are always coming up with new and innovative activites to keep the students involved.” According to Erika, having programs like Study Buddies and the Homework Center for youth is great. “The world is changing and so are schools, homework, and how students are learning. Having programs so readily available to these kids is setting them up for success in their future!” As far as future plans, Ayan wants to go to the University of Minnesota not only for the opportunities that a college like the University provides, but also because you can get as much ice cream in the cafeteria as you want! According to Erika, “Ayan is still trying to figure out a career she can be passionate about. Once she does, watch out world, Ayan is coming!”

The Humes believe CommonBond Communities can provide a safety net and the structure struggling families need to stabilize. expand community investments at their respective firms. As a veteran municipal bond manager at Stonebridge Capital Advisors, Ron’s background in financing for seniors, assisted living, and affordable housing meshes with his personal commitments. Ron and Lori appreciate that both WIPFLi and Stonebridge support and encourage philanthropy in the workplace.

their children’s education and activities. Initially they gave more of their time, but their personal giving has evolved into leadership roles influencing decisions to

Lori serves on CommonBond’s Board of Directors and chairs the Resource Development Committee. WIPFLi is a sponsor at CommonBond’s GrandeGala and Birdies for Hope. Ron says that “Lori has the heart for personal giving and an emotional investment for doing what feels right. It was her leadership at WIPFLi and her

commitment to CommonBond that ignited my desire to put CommonBond forward at Stonebridge and we also sponsor Birdies for Hope.” The Humes believe CommonBond Communities can provide a safety net and the structure struggling families need to stabilize. Lori has a heart for single moms, education, and seniors who have worked very hard, but have outlived their money. They both like CommonBond’s integrated model of housing combined with supportive services. Ron pointed out that he especially likes the 91% graduation rate for kids who participate in after school programs. According to Ron, “We are providing for the next generation.”


Najma & Nawal

The Stories You Make Possible

Learning to lead . . .

Thank you for your continuing generosity

in 2014.

As you consider your year-end giving you may find it beneficial to give appreciated stock or mutual funds. If you have held an appreciated stock or mutual fund for more than one year, you can donate those securities and receive a tax deduction for the fair market value. In addition, you can eliminate any capital gains assessments on the future sale of the securities. Also, please remember that in order to secure a charitable deduction for your contribution, all gifts must be postmarked by December 31st. Your support of our affordable housing, our programs and most importantly, our residents, creates stories of success and inspiration. Thank you again for your partnership in helping CommonBond provide stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities. On behalf of our staff and residents, best wishes for the holiday season and 2015! Questions: 651.312.3341 FOLLOW US:

Twitter: @commonbondcomm Facebook: CommonBond Communities

Najma and Nawal are sisters who live with their family at CommonBond’s Yorkdale Townhomes. Their parents came to Minnesota from Kenya for a better future and for the educational opportunities that would have been unlikely for women in their country.

“I got the help I needed and now I want to give back. I know that I can really help someone and I love the kids!”

from her sister’s experience with a Study Buddies tutor that she could get the help she needed- so she joined the program as well. Najma said that working with a mentor “was more than helpful with homework, it was part of her support system.” Now, because of her positive experience, Najma decided to become a Study Buddy herself. Najma explained, “I got the help

I needed and now I want to give back. I know that I can really help someone and I love the kids!” Najma appreciates that she has a close family with a deep commitment to education, which is reflected in their Study Buddies experience. Najma is an emerging leader in her community, and if things go as she plans, she will be a leader in the greater community as well.

Both young women are in high school, and Nawal, the younger of the two, started going to Study Buddies about three years ago. She knew she could benefit from the help and appreciated that it was convenient for her. Her goal is to work in forensics. Like her parents, Nawal is committed to her education. Najma, the oldest daughter, is in the honors program and taking Advanced Placement classes at her high school. Her goal is to become a pediatric nurse. Najma always had math homework, and realized she would have to have a solid grasp of calculus to pursue her dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse. She knew

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 671 Twin Cities, MN

A Corporate Commitment

3M employees making a difference . . .

Pat Schuler runs a division at 3M. But just as important as his job is the rich legacy that 3M has of giving back to the community through employee volunteer opportunities. As Pat stated, “I've worked with CommonBond for the past five years through my division and have enjoyed it very much. It's always nice to leave work for half a day to volunteer, but when you arrive at the facility and see how excited and appreciative the residents are it really feels good.”

How did 3M get involved with CommonBond?

“The division I work in had been involved with CommonBond for a number of years when I started. So, I volunteered with a group of employees at Garden Terrace and really enjoyed it. After volunteering for two years, I decided to add a second employee opportunity to volunteer with CommonBond at Red Rock Manor.”

What type of volunteer activities do the employees do for CommonBond?

There are many ways to support CommonBond as we strive to advance our mission to build stable homes, strong futures, and vibrant communities. Whether you donate, participate, or advocate, we ask that you continue to lend your support and help spread the word! Learn more at

 Tis the season!


An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization 1080 Montreal Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55116 651.291.1750

“It’s all about the residents living in a CommonBond community. Before we arrive to volunteer our time, the residents are given a sheet of paper which lists a number of different house cleaning and furniture moving activities. They range from washing behind stoves and refrigerators, to flipping mattresses and cleaning ceiling light fixtures. We simply work in teams to complete the tasks the residents requested. It is extremely gratifying to help seniors who have the stability that a CommonBond community provides, but just need some help with activites they can’t do anymore.”

Do 3M employees choose where they would like to volunteer or is this a corporate decision?

“This is primarily an employee decision. Each year there is a United Way campaign, so it is a corporate initiative to get people to volunteer. The type of volunteer experience depends largely on the division. The volunteer committee within each 3M division works with various organizations around the Twin Cities to set up volunteer opportunities. I can tell you that working with the residents at CommonBond is a popular option.”


Bond. CommonBond. The 2015 GrandeGala APRIL 10, 2015

CommonBond 2014 winter newsletter  

Special storytelling edition

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