November 2017 ENews
Changing the World for Homeless Youth ...
During Homeless Youth Awareness Month, we reflect on the many young people who have walked through our doors throughout the past four years and how HOPE 4 Youth has changed many of their life trajectories for the better. But until we are able to change the life trajectories of all homeless youth, eliminating youth homelessness, our work to change the world for homeless youth will continue.

This past Summer, HOPE 4 Youth was named one of two recipients of Next Day Animation's 2017 Animations to Change the World Grant. More than 100 organizations nationwide applied for the Grant and we were beyond excited that we were chosen to receive the newest, coolest and modern way of bringing awareness to the need for HOPE 4 Youth. The whiteboard animation shows how we are working to "change the world" for the homeless young people who walk through our doors.

Some of you may have already seen the whiteboard animation, and whether you have already seen it or are seeing it for the first time, we are thrilled to share it with you.
In This Issue

  • Changing the World for Homeless Youth
  • Letter from the Executive Director
  • Are You Willing to Spend One-Hour Out in the Cold 4 Youth?
  • Drop-In Center Update
  • HOPE Place Update
  • Program Partner Spotlight: Next Day Animation
  • Volunteer Spotlight: Pam Harer
  • Recap: The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K
  • Recap: Carnival 4 HOPE Gala
  • Upcoming Events
  • HOPE 4 Youth in the News
  • How HOPE 4 Youth Helps
  • HOPE 4 Youth Needs
  • Community Partners: Carnival 4 HOPE Gala Festival Sponsors
  • Staff
  • Board of Directors
Letter From the Executive Director
One Tree, Many Branches. This is a theme that you will hear throughout the remainder of 2017, as we work hard to end the year financially strong for our youth and for our future. The image of the tree evokes strength and growth, attributes that describe HOPE 4 Youth. Our programs—the Drop-In Center, HOPE Place, HOPE Clinic, HOPE TreeHouse, Opening Doors Program, HOPE 4 New Moms, Street Outreach, as well as new initiative coming soon, Pathways 4 Youth and hope's closet —are the branches, stretching, growing and reaching new heights.

One Tree, Many Branches easily illustrates the symbiotic relationship among programs within HOPE 4 Youth and people seem to understand the important role that HOPE 4 Youth has grown to serve in our community. There is so much that goes into mindfully living our mission every day and creating success within those programs:

• Our committed Board of Directors, who work hard to serve as the governing body over our strategic direction and be the stewards of our fundraising needs.

• Our dedicated staff, pushes themselves to bring new ideas into practice, to approach each day with feeling and purpose because they believe in what we are doing and the change we are leading.

• Our volunteers and committees, whether sorting clothing, mentoring youth, planning an event or working at HOPE Place, are motivated because they realize they are making a life-changing difference in the lives of young and vulnerable people right here in their own community.

• Our youth, who come to us for comfort and help and are grateful for what we have to offer. Once they are on their feet, some have come back to talk about their experiences, to share how vital that help was to them when they needed it most.

• Our community of supporters, elected officials and collaborators, who provide us with the resources and support to remain planted here, again and again, rising to the challenge of the needs of the homeless youth in the north metro suburbs.

Because of your support of our work, we have an impact in so many areas, but especially on a personal level, a human level. For nearly five years, the roots of HOPE 4 Youth have reached deep, establishing a solid foundation of service and community connection.

We have sprouted growth when new opportunities are presented to us. Likewise, we have swayed with the wind, bending when necessary, but never breaking. At our core, we are a family of programs where our homeless youth remain. Each and every day. Thank you for the part YOU play.

Are You Willing to Spend One-Hour "Out in the Cold 4 Youth"?
Tonight more than 6,000 homeless young people in Minnesota, many of them in the north metro suburbs, will sleep outside in the cold. This year we have already helped 900 youth in our Drop-In Center alone, and we need your help so we can continue branching out to provide them with the tools they need to thrive!

To help us finish 2017 financially strong, we need to raise $200,000 – that’s 4,000 people giving $50 – and are inviting you to participate in “Out in the Cold 4 Youth” . This December 14-17, you can experience many of the same things as the youth by “living” in our “tree house” while you raise funds from your own network through social media posts and phone calls to get out of the cold “4” our youth. If you are willing to experience the cold, you can sign-up for a one-hour spot and start raising funds. Let's fill the spots quickly and show our youth how important they are.

You can also nominate someone to go “Out in the Cold” by donating $50; they can donate $50 to get out of the cold. Donations will be matched (up to $6,000) thanks to Abra Auto Body. You can donate to or nominate a supporter (by making a $50 donation) on the form to the right.

What • Out in the Cold 4 Youth
When • December 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2017; 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. each day
Where • HOPE 4 Youth, 2665 4th Ave N, Anoka; Corner of 4th and Pleasant

Questions?  Contact Lisa Jacobson, Executive Director, at or 763.323.2066, ext. 107.

P.S. If you raise $1,000 or more then you will be able to get out of the cold before your one-hour is complete, if you wish.
Drop-In Center Update
  • We continue to help the youth move from homeless to housed by securing housing. "L" moved into housing in September because she is now able to afford rent thanks to her new full-time position at Pentair. "L" is a recent high school graduate who found herself homeless after graduation. She slept on friends' couches for several months before finding HOPE 4 Youth and finally securing into her own place. At HOPE 4 Youth, she has been working on independent living skills including budgeting, saving money, grocery shopping, etc.; all things her family never taught her. "L" hopes to attend college this Spring. "D" moved into a shared rental house in September. Before walking through HOPE 4 Youth's doors, he was living in the back of his car. During this time, he worked two part-time jobs, but hunger and sleepless nights made his life extremely difficult. He kept faith that change would come his way. "D" has since secured a full-time job in food service, not his forever job, but a job that can help him get to the next step.

  • Employment and education are integral to moving a young person from homeless to housed. Many youth have been finding employment and furthering their employment thanks to business such as Pentair. In September, Pentair partnered with us to hire five of the youth. Pentair is located in Anoka and has many full-time opportunities for the youth who want to utilize them. Unfortunately, many homeless young people are unable to focus on their education. When homeless youth have to choose between finishing their education, including their GED or High School Diploma, or employment, they must choose employment so they can pay their rent. We have been focusing on helping the youth who visit the Drop-In Center formulate a plan so they can work to pay their rent and necessities as well as attend school. There are a few schools including Paladin High School that allow the youth to take classes during either the day or evening so that they can complete their diploma.

  • Case managers continue outreach in the community and schools. The word is spreading in the community that we are able to help homeless youth, especially with finding housing, and the number of new youth visiting the Drop-In Center is higher than we've ever seen. 
HOPE Place Update
  • HOPE Place exterior improvements are complete! Thanks to the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), HOPE 4 Youth was granted $100,000 to use towards HOPE Place improvements and transportation for the youth who call it home. The exterior improvements, which cost about $70,000 included parking lot repairs, landscaping, a picnic pavilion and a sports court. You can view the before and after photos here.

  • The additional $30,000 was used to purchase a van to transport youth to work and medical appointments, as well as important outings with staff, such as to the food shelf and the Drop-In Center on HOPE Clinic and haircut days. The van removes a huge barrier that homeless youth face - transportation - in becoming independent, self-sustained adults.
Partner Spotlight: Next Day Animations
Next Day Animations recently named HOPE 4 Youth one of their 2017 Animations to Change the World grant recipients. We were one of two winners selected from a pool of over 100 nonprofits and received an animation free of cost that includes custom illustration, professional voiceover, and original scripting, valued at $5,250!

Next Day Animations was thrilled to partner with HOPE 4 Youth to help us share our innovative work with a wider audience. HOPE 4 Youth was one of two groups that stood out for their innovative approache to youth homelessness. The grant was open to any 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Winners were decided on a basis of mission, need, and strength of application.

About Next Day Animations: Founded in 2012, award-winning Next Day Animations specializes in whiteboard animations and explainer videos for businesses, government and nonprofits.
Volunteer Spotlight: Pam Harer
Recently one of our volunteers, Pam Harer, was recognized for the work that she does at HOPE 4 Youth by being named a WCCO Good Neighbor.

Pam joined HOPE 4 Youth in 2015 and has been changing lives of homeless young people ever since. Pam serves as a mentor at the Drop-In Center, Chair of the Community Impact Committee, and all around champion who hosts fundraisers, donations drives and much more.

Thank you Pam for your commitment to HOPE 4 Youth! You can listen to Pam's award here.
Recap: The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K
On September 23, 2017, close to 700 people came together to experience many of the same things that homeless young people in our community experience when they are forced to sleep on the streets – darkness, loneliness, quiet – by participating in the 2nd annual The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K. Not only did they raise awareness of youth homelessness, but they also helped raise nearly $50,000.

The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K is an annual fundraiser for HOPE Place. Mark your calendar now for the 3rd Annual 4K on Friday, May 4, 2018 (a new month). For more information about the 4K or to view this year's photos, visit .    
Recap: Carnival 4 HOPE Gala
Thank you to everyone who joined us at this year’s Carnival 4 HOPE Gala, on October 7, 2017, to support the young people who walk through HOPE 4 Youth’s doors, both at the Drop-In Center and HOPE Place. We are pleased to announce that with their generosity as well as the generosity of others, we raised over $143,000.

The Gala is an annual fundraiser for HOPE 4 Youth. For more information about next year's Gala or to view this year's photos, visit . Mark your calendar now for Saturday, October 6, 2018!
Upcoming Events
Out in the Cold 4 Youth
December 14, 15, 16, 17; 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily
HOPE 4 Youth, 2665 4th Ave N, Anoka; Corner of 4th and Pleasant
To help us finish 2017 financially strong, we need to raise $200,000 – that’s 4,000 people giving $50 – and are inviting you to participate in “Out in the Cold 4 Youth”. This December 14-17, you can experience many of the same things as the youth by “living” in our “tree house” while you raise funds from your own network through social media posts and phone calls to get out of the cold “4” our youth. If you are willing to experience the cold, you can sign-up for a one-hour spot and start raising funds. Learn more at .

Zion Lutheran Church Pancake Breakfast
Sunday, December 17; 9-11:30 a.m.
Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 S 4th Ave, Anoka, MN 55303
Join Zion Lutheran Church for a FREE pancake breakfast to support HOPE 4 Youth!

To learn more about upcoming events, click  here .
HOPE 4 Youth in the News
Human trafficking reaches far beyond the Super Bowl   – Quad Community Press, Nov. 14, 2017
Crafting marathon to support HOPE 4 Youth  – ABC Newspapers, Nov. 11, 2017
4K to raise awareness, funds for homeless youth  – ABC Newspapers, Sept. 16, 2017
Heartland Tire Raises Money for Youth Shelter   – Tire Business, Sept. 11, 2017
Home host program helps homeless teens in the suburbs  – Star Tribune, Sept. 9, 2017

Read more HOPE 4 Youth in the News ...
How HOPE 4 Youth Helps
Here at HOPE 4 Youth we work hard to address both the immediate and long-term issues that homeless young people face every day. In 2016, 732 young people walked through our  Drop-In Center   doors. 

We helped these young people by meeting their most basic needs such as a nutritious meal, food from our food pantry, basic hygiene products, clothes from our clothing closet, a hot shower and laundry facilities.Then we put them on a path towards their future by helping them secure housing, find jobs, finish school and access on-site health and wellness services.

When the doors of the Drop-In Center close, many of the youth find themselves couch-hopping or back on the streets. We knew that we had to do something to address this and in December 2016 we opened the doors to  HOPE Place , the first transitional housing for youth in the north metro suburbs. Twelve young people call HOPE Place home while they develop the skills they need to become independent, self-sufficient adults.
HOPE 4 Youth Needs
Without the support of the community, we would not be able to meet the needs of the homeless young people who walk through our doors each day.

You can find our current needs on our  Amazon Wish List . Don’t forget to use Amazon Smile when you checkout - a percentage of your purchase will be donated back to HOPE 4 Youth. We also appreciate receiving office and event supplies including copy paper, labels, name tags, manila folders, etc., which provide budget relief for our operations.

While you're at it, why not consider getting your network involved by holding a donation drive? You could ask for items on our Amazon Wish List, cash and gift cards. To learn more about drives, email our Donations Drives Lead, Marina, at .

P.S. Our greatest need continues to be monetary donations so that we can keep the doors of both the Drop-In Center and HOPE Place open. Instead of purchasing items, please consider directly donating money at
Community Partners:
Thank you Carnival 4 HOPE Gala Festival Sponsors ($5,000+)
Lisa Jacobson Executive Director

Joyce Finch Development Associate

Cheri Halek  Community Engagement Manager

Sara Kemp Director of Programs & Properties

Jane Schipper Finance & HR Manager

Kristin VanHeel Marketing & Comm. Director

Kellie J. Case Manager

Eddie R. Case Manager

Ruth E. HOPE Place Case Manager

Linda Burt HOPE Place Admin. Support

Brooke Limanen HOPE Place Admin. Support
Board of Directors
Susan Van Voorhis Chair
Assoc. V.P. & Univ. Reg., University of Minnesota

Sue Woodard Vice Chair

Sarah Nohner Treasurer
Principal Financial Analyst, Medtronic 

Paul Ekstrom
President, The Paul Ekstrom Realty Team 

Sean Haag
Vice President, Global Strategic Marketing, Restorative Therapies Group, Medtronic

Paula Rak
Senior V.P., Wells Fargo

John Sitarz
Sr. Financial Services Representative
Principal Financial Group

Jennifer Stone
Global Talent Management, Medtronic

Jerry Streich
Fire Chief & Emergency Management Dir.
City of Andover

James Stuart
Anoka County Sheriff

Brian Swanson Past Chair
V.P. of Quality & Enterprise Excellence
NACS, Inc.
2665 4th Avenue North | Suite 40 
Anoka, Minnesota 55303