HOPE 4 Youth ENews
Mikayla's Story: A Home to Move Forward
Mikayla never really had a place to call home until HOPE Place. Before moving in, she had been in the foster care system, moving from home to home and never finding that one she could call home. In November of this past year, having found her home, Mikayla was able to find her pathway forward. She is attending high school during the day, taking PSEO courses, and enrolled in a CNA course at night - her clinicals start in February. Mikayla's future goal is to become an Emergency Room Physician.

Mikayla says, "Without HOPE 4 Youth and HOPE Place, I would not be in school and would either be in a shelter or on the streets. Being in these programs has given me a positive outlook on what being an adult can be like and how to achieve things I couldn’t achieve on my own.”

Mikayla is able to achieve her goals because there are people like you behind the scenes supporting HOPE 4 Youth and we thank you for that!
Letter From the President and CEO, Lisa Jacobson
No one ever said this job would be glamorous. Try telling people at a party that you work on behalf of homeless youth and right away they think I have the saddest job ever. But I actually have the greatest job in the world! All of us at HOPE 4 Youth have our rewards, and now, at the close of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, we’re able to take a step back, look at the year in review, and assess what we did, how we did it and who was along for the journey. And while we’re admittedly biased on this subject, it was a pretty good year.

We continued to meet the needs of homeless youth because of partners like you. We also began to build and report on smarter and more innovative ways to deliver services to the youth who need our help. In 2018, 887 youth began to receive the tools they needed to leave their status of homeless in the past. These youth were able to:

  • Visit HOPE 4 Youth’s Drop-In Center and Pathways 4 Youth’s Youth Opportunity Center 4,468 times and we provided them with hot meals, showers, warm clothing, food and hygiene products, laundry facilities, computer and internet access, locked storage for personal items and case management.
  • Access our on-site clinic, HOPE Clinic, to meet their healthcare needs; including the needs of new parents and their children.
  • Secure housing through our Housing Navigation program and at HOPE Place, our transitional housing program, as well as in short-term housing through our local shelter partners.
  • Receive assistance with employment and educational opportunities, including interview skills, looking and applying for jobs, finishing high school or obtaining their GED, and enrolling in and attending college through our Opening Doors Program.
  • Explore their faith via HOPE TreeHouse, a Christian-based program for those who are looking for one.
  • Access basic resources and referrals through outreach in the community including HOPE 4 Youth on Wheels and schools.

In February, we opened the doors to our new resale boutique, hope’s closet, and right out of the gate everyone who walked through the doors fell in love with the place. We count on your donations of high-quality women’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, purses and home décor and the amazing volunteers who continue to put in their time to raise close to $150,000 in 2018 alone. Keep it coming please!

In March we celebrated five years since opening our doors to homeless youth through our Drop-In Center in Anoka at our annual Spaghetti Dinner and over 500 people came out to show your support. Our event in 2019 is coming up on Sunday, March 3 rd . We hope to see you there - tickets can be purchased here .

A few days later, we were chosen as the 2018 TPC Rose beneficiary - an amazing honor that only happens for an organization once in a lifetime. The amazing women of the TPC Rose went on to raise $140,000 for our new prevention programs. WOW!

In May, we opened the doors to Pathways 4 Youth , a Youth Opportunity Center in partnership with the St. Cloud area Rotary Clubs and Catholic Charities in St. Cloud. We had 80 youth walk through our doors in less than seven months and it was incredible!

Due to the growth of our programs, we were running out of office space in Anoka, so in August, with the blessing of our Board of Directors and our partnership with Financial One Credit Union , we purchased our headquarters office building at 2191 Northdale Blvd NW in Coon Rapids - our second building in Coon Rapids.

The last day of September I received an email from the Pohlad Family Foundation informing us that we were awarded a two-year grant through their Homelessness Prevention Program. There were 134 letters of inquiry which was narrowed down to 54 invited applicants and then only 28 approved grants, we are grateful for their belief in our work. This money is supporting our pilot of our Permanent Connections Program, aimed at helping homeless youth end their couch-hopping by landing on one couch with one stable family, at least through high school graduation.

In October we went on to hold the largest Gala 4 HOPE yet with over 400 people attending, raising over $175,000, including a matching grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for our new innovative prevention work. Later that month we went mobile with the expansion of HOPE 4 Youth On Wheels. Program staff now take the van we received from Anoka County CDBG filled with resources to Community United Methodist Church of Columbia Heights and meet with homeless youth right where they are.

Anything else? There always is at HOPE 4 Youth. In December we finalized plans to begin The HOPE Movement at Excell Academy in Brooklyn Park. We are now in the classrooms to help identify the leading indicators of youth homelessness and do something about them, in real time at a school that is 92% free and reduced lunch but blowing away every test score the State of Minnesota can throw its way.

Now, at the end of the year, we think, we did all that? We did, and it was like building the Taj Mahal – one brick at a time. And in 2019, we have even bigger plans. HOPE 4 Youth will continue changing lives through our current programs as well as our new innovative work on The HOPE Movement - programming that addresses the leading indicators of youth homelessness to prevent a young person from ever having to walk through our doors as an unaccompanied, homeless youth in the future. HOPE 4 Youth is not just an organization working to end youth homelessness on its own and we intend to engage even more individuals, families, businesses, faith partners, civic groups and foundations to join the many fine people who are reading this letter today. If you want to keep up with us and you haven’t liked our Facebook pages yet, please do, and share with others.

Please know that all of us at HOPE 4 Youth are grateful for you, not just today, but every single day. Moving our work forward is a group effort, and we’re happy to have so many people and organizations partnering with us. Some lead the way, others come behind, and most walk alongside us, bringing their contributions to a better life for homeless youth. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
HOPE 4 Youth Night at the Timberwolves Game!
Join HOPE 4 Youth at the Minnesota Timberwolves game as we receive recognition for the work we do with homeless youth in our community. Arrive early to show your support – wear your green t-shirt to bring attention to our section. As an added bonus, our President and CEO, Lisa Jacobson, who is a Timberwolves Senior Dancer, will be performing between the first and second quarter!

What •  HOPE 4 Youth Timberwolves Night
When •  Friday, April 5, 2019; 6 p.m. HOPE 4 Youth Recognition/ 7 p.m. Game Start
Where •  Target Center
Cost •  Tickets $30/Tickets + HOPE 4 Youth Shirt $40; Tickets can be purchased online.

Additional Information found here .

Questions?  Cheri Sutch, Director of Community Engagement & Giving, at  csutch@hope4youthmn.org  or 763.323.2066, ext. 102.
Drop-In Center:
Help for Megan

Megan came into the Drop in Center a little over a year ago needing help as she was sleeping outside and had nowhere else to turn. Since then,Megan has taken steps forwards, as well as backwards, since walking through our doors, but has continued to work with Case Managers to move forward.

A few months ago Megan came in with tear-filled eyes because her and her boyfriend were asked to leave their current housing. To make matters even worse they had also recently lost their vehicle - their only way to and from work. Case Managers worked with Megan and encouraged her to continue forward.

We are pleased to share that Megan is now gainfully employed with two jobs, has a vehicle and lives in her own apartment. This year - 2019 - is going to be a great year for Megan! Thank you for your support so we can help Megan get there.
Housing Navigation:
Housing for Our Youth

Homeless youth face many barriers when it comes to housing. Our Housing Navigation Program guides youth through five necessary steps they need to obtain housing and then the steps they need to keep it.

HOPE 4 Youth has built and maintains relationships with six housing partners that currently house many of our youth - who we continue to work with through case management. The best part of these partnerships is that the property managers are able to call us anytime with concerns such as late rent, too many guests, etc. and our program staff discuss the problems with the youth and together they fix them.

One of the youth housed through the program, Alex, said, "Having help made it easy to find and keep a home." Alex has been housed for almost one year at one of the partner properties and is on a path to success.  
HOPE Place: Two Years A Home
Last year, HOPE Place celebrated its doors being open for two years. During the past two years, 22 youth have lived at HOPE Place, and many of them have celebrated successes.

  • Seven youth graduated with their high school diploma
  • Four youth are attending college
  • One youth completed a trade school program in machinery
  • Many have completed work experience programs through the Anoka County Workforce as well as found jobs and their career pathways
  • Eight have moved from HOPE Place into their own independent, stable housing

With help from our case manager, Mica, the youth who call HOPE Place home also learn skills that they'll need to thrive as independent, self-sustaining adults. This includes carrying their own keys with them, shopping for food and personal hygiene products, keeping up a household (cooking, cleaning, etc.), scheduling and attending appointments for mental and physical healthcare, building relationships with fellow residents and our volunteers who work in the Paul Ekstrom Team Welcome Center, and more. 

As we begin the third year of our doors being open, we say goodbye to some of the first youth to call HOPE Place home and move in new youth who begin their journey of becoming an independent, self-sustained, and housed young adult.
HOPE 4 Youth On Wheels

We know that many homeless youth are not able to find transportation to the Drop-In Center - think about the distance between the cities of Anoka and Columbia Heights, although both in Anoka County. On October 24, 2018, we launched HOPE 4 Youth On Wheels - our mobile outreach program meeting young people where they are in the community.

Before starting HOPE 4 Youth On Wheels, our President and CEO reached out to the Columbia Heights Police Department. They led our program team to Pastor Linda at Community Methodist Church of Columbia Heights to discuss the needs of the community. The first day staff walked along University Avenue. It was a windy day and they visited the library and other businesses to connect and let them know we are in their community to help homeless youth.

Case manager Eddie is now in Columbia Heights every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. He carries outreach bags that contain information on services, as well as snacks, socks, hand and foot warmers, and hygiene items. Eddie has been meeting new homeless youth each week.

Our case manager Tina also does outreach - school-based outreach at Paladin Career and Technical High School in Coon Rapids every Thursday during their lunch hour. She connects with students via school social workers. Social workers are able to transport students to our Drop-In Center for services and supplies. We love our community partners!
Opening Doors 4 Youth

Everyday our case managers listen to the youth to learn more about the circumstances that led to them becoming homeless. After hearing their stories, our case managers are able to better understand the youth and they then focus on strengths-based practices, meaning they try to have the youth share what their strengths are that can help them achieve their goals - especially educational and employment goals. 

Opening Doors 4 Youth opens youth to the employment and educational options that can help them move forward. We partner with the Anoka County Workforce Center who visit the Drop-In Center and HOPE Place weekly to meet with clients one-on-one about employment and educational opportunities including interview skills, looking and applying for jobs, finishing high school or obtaining their GED, and enrolling in and attending college.  Many of our youth have become employed or bettered their employment thanks to this partnership.

One of our youth, Alley, recently completed the nursing assistant course (CNA) and is now working in a residential group home making a livable wage. Before this, Alley had only worked fast food jobs which did not allow her to pay for housing. With this new career pathways, she is now able to afford housing for her family - her and her 2-years-old daughter. Alley said, “I appreciate all the programs that HOPE 4 Youth has to offer."
hope's closet resale boutique: 100% of profits go to
HOPE 4 Youth
hope’s closet   is a trendy resale boutique filled with quality, gently-used donated women’s clothing, purses, jewelry, accessories and shoes, small-household decor and gift items with 100% of the profits going to HOPE 4 Youth programs!

Resale Boutique Hours:
Monday – Friday  • Noon – 7 PM,
Saturday  • 10 AM – 2 PM
Sunday  • Closed

Located: 11350 Aquila Drive North, Suite 905, Champlin, Minnesota 55316

Questions?  Call 612.395.4479 or email  hopescloset@hope4youthmn.org .
Partner 4 Youth: Abra Auto Body and Glass
Abra Auto Body and Glass has been a HOPE 4 Youth supporter for several years now. " Since Abra opened in 1984, we’ve been committed to caring for our communities,” says Tim Adelmann, Abra Chief Business Development Officer, and one of Abra’s founders. “We’re honored to partner with HOPE 4 Youth and provide a hand up to get our youth back on their feet.”

Abra was the title sponsor of our inaugural Out in the Cold 4 Youth in 2017. That year, Abra gave $5,000 as a match for the fundraiser. In 2018, Abra was once again the title sponsor for Out in the Cold 4 Youth.

Just being the title sponsor of an event wasn't enough for Abra. The entire region wanted to be involved in supporting HOPE 4 Youth, so they decided to hold a competition between the three districts. The manager from the district that raised the most money would then be jumping into a frozen lake.

After all their AMAZING efforts, Abra raised $21,189 for HOPE 4 Youth and became one of our first Partners 4 Youth ! They did this through their $5,000 Title Sponsorship of Out in the Cold 4 Youth, $6,189 raised from the employees of the three districts, $5,000 match from Abra and a personal match from Tim Adelmann of $5,000.

Abra is ready for their next opportunity to support HOPE 4 Youth by sponsoring The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K in May - and hopefully, vying for the largest team.
Community Partners Spotlight
We have many partners in the community who support the work that we do. This quarter we want to thank Director Sheila Wall and all of the wonderful residents of Presbyterian Homes - Summer House of Bloomington. These amazing people hosted their 3rd annual craft show in December benefiting HOPE 4 Youth.

“When they told me their goal was to surpass the $2,166 raised last year, I had high hopes that they would do just that!" said Shelia. And that they did - HOPE 4 Youth received a donation for $3,448.50.

Thank you also to all community partners supported HOPE 4 Youth, especially:

  • Medtronic for sponsoring our twelve youth at HOPE Place with Christmas gifts.
  • Zion Lutheran Church for hosting a pancake breakfast.
  • Cub Foods Riverdale for allowing us to bag groceries and take donations on December 22 – the busiest shopping day!
  • Andover High School for hosting their "Homeless for a Night" sleep out.
HOPE 4 Youth Volunteer in the Spotlight
Tish, one of our Data Divas, first started volunteering at HOPE 4 Youth in 2014. She was referred to through a friend who currently volunteers at hope’s closet – they are in a neighborhood book club together and got to talking about HOPE 4 Youth. Tish knew that she needed to learn more about how she could use her skills to help the youth.

Tish used to teach computer education and when she found out there was an opportunity to utilize them at HOPE 4 Youth she knew she had to join the team. Tish loves using her skills to further the mission of HOPE 4 Youth. Her knowledge about our youth data combined with her passion for youth make it a perfect fit.

Tish says h er meticulous and accurate data entry has direct impact on budget and grants. It’s rewarding knowing that her work impacts our funding.
HOPE 4 Youth Needs
Without the support of the community, we would not be able to meet the needs of the homeless young people. You can find a list of our current needs on our  Top Needs List.  You can drop-off any of the needs on Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon at our Donations Center.

Also shop our  Amazon Wish List for items that provide budget-relief which allows us to focus our funds on programming - an easy way to donate items that ship directly to HOPE 4 Youth. Don’t forget to use Amazon Smile when you checkout - a percentage of your purchase will be donated back to HOPE 4 Youth.

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/or gift cards. To learn more about drives email  donationdrives@hope4youthmn.org .
Upcoming Events
Spaghetti Dinner
Sunday, March 3rd
3-6 p.m.
Coon Rapids VFW
Purchase Tickets here .

HOPE 4 Youth at the Timberwolves
Friday, April 5th
6 p.m. HOPE 4 Youth Recognition
7 p.m. Game Start
Target Center
Purchase tickets here .

The Darkest Night of Your Life 4K
Friday, May 3rd
Waves Begin at 8 p.m.
Bunker Hills Golf Course

Inspiring HOPE Luncheon
Tuesday, June 11th
11:30 a.m. Registration
Noon-1 p.m. Luncheon
Edinburgh USA

Heartland Tire Golf Tournament
August 19th
Edinburgh USA

Hunt 4 HOPE
September 27th
Wild Wings of Oneka

Gala 4 HOPE
Saturday, October 5th
Minneapolis Marriott Northwest

Out in the Cold 4 Youth

Questions? Visit HOPE4YouthMN.org for more information.
HOPE 4 Youth in the News

Warming Centers Open Amid Extreme Cold   - WCCO, Jan. 27, 2019

Warming stations open for homeless youth   KARE 11, Jan. 27, 2019

WCCO Good Neighbor - WCCO Radio, Jan. 22, 2019

Quad Community Press, Dec. 25, 2018

ABC Newspapers, Dec. 24, 2018

ABC Newspapers, Dec. 17, 2018

CTN, Dec. 14, 2018

CTN, Dec. 7, 2018

WCCO Radio, Dec. 5, 2018

KARE 11, Dec. 4, 2018

ABC Newspapers, Dec. 3, 2018

Read more HOPE 4 Youth in the News ...
Lisa Jacobson President and CEO

Karen McKenna Senior Director of Finance, Operations and HR

Sara Kemp Director of Programs

Kristin VanHeel Marketing & Comm. Director

Cheri Sutch Director of Community Engagement and Giving

Jane Schipper Finance Manager

Kate Ziegler Community Engagement Coordinator

Brooke Limanen Program and Donor Associate

Laura Berg Administrative Assistant

Eddie R. Case Manager

Tina G-W. Case Manager

Mica Z. HOPE Place Case Manager

Audra Cowin Pathways 4 Youth Interim Program & Community Engagement Manager

Linda Burt HOPE Place Admin. Support

Rob Zimmer HOPE Place Admin. Support

Bev Pedersen hope's closet Staff
Board of Directors
Sue Woodard Chair
Chief Customer Officer, Total Expert

Jerry Streich Vice Chair, Fire Chief & Emergency Management Director, City of Andover

Chris Warner Secretary, Agile Coach, Allianz Life

Sarah Nohner Treasurer, Principal Financial Analyst, RTG Quality Finance, Medtronic

Marina Bressler Senior Business Project Manager – Client Reporting & Online Workstream, Next Paradigm Program, Wells Fargo

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

Leanne Matchen Associate General Counsel, UnitedHealth Group

Stephen Nash Special Assistant Anoka County Attorney, Anoka County Attorney’s Office

Mark Nolen Sr. Accountant, Graves Hospitality

John Sitarz Senior Financial Services Rep., Principal Financial Group

Stephen Spears Senior Vice President,
Fee Based Businesses, Klein Bank

Jennifer Stone
Global Talent Management, Medtronic

James Stuart Sheriff, Anoka County

Jim Weinzetl Retired Healthcare Executive
2191 Northdale Blvd. NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433