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summer 2010

on the

home front news from simpson housing services

Bright Spaces for Simpson families Rooms at Bell House, Passage Community and Elliot Park are revamped to brighten the lives of children and teens


his past winter, staff and volunteers from Bright Horizons Family Solutions child care centers, Walman Optical, and Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, raised money and created four Bright Space Rooms for Children. Included in the new spaces are listening stations for children to use when parents are participating in intake appointments and computers with child sized keyboards. Backpacks filled with activities and play stations are also in the spaces. The Bright Spaces were created in honor of Minneapolis native and early childhood education pioneer Jim Greenman, who was devoted to creating these spaces in Bright Horizons centers and in places serving children in need around the world. Go to for the full story.

Kids celebrate a great school year with a day at Nickelodeon Universe


chool aged children in the Family Housing programs who achieved 95% attendance during the 2009-2010 term celebrated the end of the school year with a day at Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. PHOTO ABOVE: Tija receives her attendance award from her Education Support Advocate Rachel. Rachel reports: “Tija has made huge academic improvements this year. She finished the year with excellent attendance and her mother, Tracy, continuously encourages her to always do her best.�

Lamar enjoys the Soar Rollerskating Party in April.

PHOTO LEFT: Kamaria and Maxine enjoy deco-

rating cookies at the Bright Spaces Ribbon Cutting Celebration. Spaces were remodeled at Passage Community Housing, Elliot Park Apartments and Bell House. The new spaces include durable play centers such as kitchens and dress-up clothes closets and a comfortable space with a Wii and educational games for the Family Housing teen group.

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Executive Director’s Notes Dear Friends of Simpson Housing, “JOY!” It may not be the first word that pops into your mind when you think of Simpson Housing Services and our efforts to end homelessness. Yet, as you read this newsletter, I hope that you will evidence a sense of joy.

ABOVE: Pastor John

Darlington, Simpson UMC and Joyce UMC; Julie Manworren, Simpson Executive Director; Kevin Schill, Field Director for the Metro West Builders. Proceeds from the Metro West Builders Spring Call of over $12,000 will go toward paving the parking lot behind the overnight shelter. The Metro West Builders is an affiliate organization of the Minnesota United Methodist Conference.

There is joy in the faces of children enjoying time with their parents and in receiving recognition for school success. It is in the faces of people moving from shelter into housing, and in the faces of volunteers building new relationships. There is joy in providing resources for a new shelter for women. I don’t pretend that each day is full of joy, but it is present every day and we recognize and celebrate it. It fuels and sustains our passion to house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. Thank you for your contribution and partnership in our work. I hope that you enjoy it! Sincerely,

Julie Manworren, Executive Director 612.455.0841 |

New Overnight Shelter Open House We will be holding an open house for our new overnight shelter later this summer. Look to your email inbox and www.simpsonhousing. org for details or call 612.874.8683.

LOOKING AHEAD: Knitting hats for people who are experiencing homelessness OUR MISSION To house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. 2100 Pillsbury Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55404 612.874.8683 info@


nce again, the Hats for the Homeless project of First Universalist Church will be collecting hand-knit hats for the guests of the Simpson Overnight Shelter. Last winter, nearly 300 hats were collected. All knitters are invited to participate this year. The general guidelines to follow include: creating with wool for warmth and using dark colored yarn. Hats need to fit a large sized adult head and cover the ears. The deadline is December 6. For details and patterns, contact Barb Melom at 612.925.3459 or Information can also be found at

ABOVE: Wendy Wiegmann, Simpson Director of

Programs; Paul Gates, architect for the shelter remodeling project; and Brian Bozeman, Shelter Manager.

New Overnight Shelter will increase services to guests Men’s and women’s shelters will share resources at Simpson UMC while maintaining separate living spaces


e received communication in 2008 from the city of Minneapolis that our women’s shelter located in south Minneapolis was no longer in compliance with the zoning code, as the building it was housed in was no longer a church. We were informed that we would need to either close or move our shelter. After much discussion, we decided that the best course of action was to move our women’s shelter to the same location as our men’s shelter at Simpson United Methodist Church. We recently completed the necessary remodeling and move. After consultation with meal coordinators, we decided to have one meal at 7 p.m. for both men and women. There will continue to be an overnight staff presence for the women, and the work of our legion of overnight volunteers will continue. We are excited that this move will allow for some operational efficiencies and improved services for the men and women utilizing the shelters. If you have any questions about the shelter move, please feel free to contact either Brian Bozeman, Shelter Manager at 612.455.0857 or Wendy Wiegmann, Director of Programs at 612.455.0847.


Currie Avenue Partnership Simpson Housing Services participates in initiative to house 150 homeless adults with disabilities


LEFT: Armani and

his past April, the Currie Avenue Partnership was formed with funding from the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness and individual contributions. The project works at finding permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness who also have disabilities, often involving mental health or chemical dependency, which qualify them for the state’s Group Residential Housing program. Once enrolled, state and federal funds will provide continued support to ensure housing.

Jaylen. The School Readiness Workshop is the highlight of the new school year. All the school aged children in our Family Housing program receive a new backpack and the required school supplies for their grade level. See the volun-

teer opportunity below to find out how you can help.



ilder Research has reported that the number of homeless families has increased 27% in the last three years. Share your resources and compassion with schoolaged students in our Family Housing programs by putting together a backpack with school supplies for the upcoming school year.

ABOVE: Jenna and Chantel have helped house 11 people since joining the partnership.

Two Simpson employees, Jenna Moon and Chantel Prestegaard, are Case Managers with the partnership. Jenna and Chantel work as part of a team comprised of staff from three different agency partners. The team utilizes a Harm Reduction/Housing First Model (house people quickly, then provide services as needed) to assist long-term homeless individuals in finding and maintaining housing. Team members respond to each participant’s unique needs and goals by providing on-going support, advocacy and assistance in accessing community services to ensure stability in housing and integration in the community. The partnership Case Managers are able to respond effectively to the complexities of participants’ lives and the co-occurring challenges and conditions associated with long-term homelessness.

To get started, decide the number of students you would like to be matched with (we anticipate the supplies will cost about $30 per student). We will match you with a family or families with the number of students you request. Families range in size from one school aged student to several. Students are in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Search for our Simpson Housing Services page at the newly launched site. 100% of your donation will go towards our work with people experiencing homelessness.

You may request a specific grade and we’ll do our best to meet your request. We will send you the name, age, gender, and school supply list for each student . The lists will include a backpack and school supplies which will differ based on grade. Most students need notebooks and folders. Younger students will need markers and crayons. Older students will need calculators and binders. Email Christina at or call 612.455.0859. Go to for all of our volunteer opportunities.

Simpson Housing Services has met all standards and is qualified to display the Charities Review Council Seal, which demonstrates accountability to donors and funders.

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Board of Directors President Kim Mueller Tapemark Vice-President John Mattes Taylor Corporation Secretary Ben Reed Children’s Hospital and Clinics Treasurer Diane Fisher CPA Past-President Dan Poorman Dan’s Nicollet Car Wash Rev. John C. Darlington Simpson United Methodist Church Joyce United Methodist Church David Dines Cargill

summer 2010

on the

home front

news from simpson housing services Simpson Housing Services 2100 Pillsbury Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404

Visit www.simpson and sign-up for our e-news

Bishop Sally Dyck Bishop of the Minn. Conference of the UMC Gary and Karen Kirt Bell Mortgage Mark Laliberte Target Corporation Gary Larson Hennepin County District Court Judge Sandy Long Andersen Windows Renee McGivern Spark Plug Consulting

HIT A HOME RUN and Help to End Homelessness

Ken Middlebrooks Community Volunteer Michael Moten-Bogan Deluxe Corporation Rev. Larry Nielsen Retired UMC Minister Bob Odman Minnesota Housing Finance Agency - Retired Karen Rye Community Volunteer Diane Sprague Lifetime Home Project Helen Thompson Community Volunteer

Board Emeritus

Sunday, September 5 at 1:10 pm Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers at Target Field

Join us on the Budweiser Rooftop Deck

Mirja Hanson Millennial International Consulting Burnie Smith Retired - Federal Government Karl Vollstedt Retired - 3M Patrick Wood Longtime for To thehouse, homeless community Ouradvocate mission. support

and advocate for people experiencing homelessness.

Tickets $100 | $70 tax-deductible Call Julia at 612.455.0865 Proceeds support people currently experiencing homelessness and the programs of Simpson Housing Services

Simpson Housing Services Newsletter Summer 2010  

Simpson Housing Services Newsletter Summer 2010

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