Apr 18, 2023 | Grants

Open Your Heart is excited to announce our Spring grantees! Thanks to our generous supporters, Open Your Heart awarded nearly $200,000 in funding this quarter to Minnesota crisis service agencies in need! None of this would be possible without you. Thank you!

180 Degrees Inc.
$3,500 | St. Paul
Toward the purchase of beds and mattresses at the St. Cloud Youth Shelter which provides 155 youth (ages 10-18) annually with a safe, dignified space to access emergency shelter, case management, and mental health services. The existing bedframes are from the 1980s and are “institutional” in appearance. With a newly renovated space (new heating, air conditioning, workable plumbing, new sheetrock, paint, tiles), it’s important we add new furniture to create a welcoming atmosphere for youth.  Renovations will reduce the number of youth turned away due to lack of single rooms in our current shelter layout while building capacity for Mobile Case Management and mental health services to expand and reach more youth in St. Cloud and surrounding communities.

Advocates for Family Peace (AFFP)
$2,484 | Grand Rapids
Toward two new refrigerators for AFFP’s emergency safe housing apartment unit. AFFP provides community advocacy which includes safe housing options for intimate partner violence survivor/victims and their children. For those entering their domestic violence safe housing program, it’s often a time of mixed emotions, high anxiety, and fear of the unknown. It is incredibly important to provide the safest, most comfortable home setting possible. The goal is for survivor/victims to feel valued, respected and supported.

Advocates Against Domestic Abuse dba HOPE
$2,950 | Aitkin
Toward necessary renovations in HOPE’s safe housing unit which provides safe shelter for individuals, their children, and fur babies that are fleeing domestic violence. Funding will help give families a more comfortable shelter while experiencing a traumatic life event. This funding provides an opportunity to promote healing and safety to families in need.

Agate Housing and Services
$4,500 | Minneapolis
Toward lockable storage totes and sets of bedding to help Agate residents and clients stay warm and feel secure both in and outside of their shelters. Storage bins are important to help Agate guests feel secure as they go about their lives. Bedding and mattresses are greatly needed for people’s healthy sleep in the shelter.

Alexandra House, Inc.
$4,604 | Blaine
Toward bunk beds and mattresses, helping to ensure the safety and comfort of Alexandra House, Inc.’s clients and their children as they transition to a life free from violence. Experiencing domestic, sexual, elder violence and human trafficking is a traumatic experience. Funding will support Alexandra House, Inc.’s commitment to providing a peaceful and comfortable place to live.

Align Minneapolis
$3,500 | Minneapolis
To purchase bus tokens so that people experiencing homelessness can attend Street Voices of Change (SVoC) meetings in Minneapolis. The foundational goals of the weekly SVoC meetings are to provide a safe space where members can receive a warm, nourishing meal and where people with lived experiences can connect with resources and come together to work for meaningful change. This funding will ensure that the growth in participation will be supported, and expanding to a third weekly meeting will be possible in 2023.

Aurora Food Shelf (AFS)
$5,570 | Virginia
Toward the unexpected expense of updating and enhancing AFS’s new building’s electrical components for the walk-in freezer and refrigerator unit. Having this work completed will significantly improve AFS’s ability to effectively and efficiently operate as a food shelf to ensure customers have access to a variety of frozen foods, fresh produce, dairy, and protein always for years to come.

Basic Needs Inc. of South Washington County
$8,710 | St. Paul Park
Toward a new commercial refrigerator and freezer, helping Basic Needs Inc. to expand their food rescue efforts and provide free food, with no eligibility requirements, to 32,000 households a year.

CAER Food Shelf
$7,000 | Elk River
To help fund a two-door reach-in, standalone freezer for the Kids Weekend CAER Package program. The program provides weekly, weekend food assistance to families with school-age children. As of mid-February 2023, CAER is serving an average of 154 youth each week.

Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver, and Dakota Counties (CAP)
$3,500 | Shakopee
Toward Uber gift cards for Motel Voucher clients experiencing homelessness and barriers to transportation to easily access emergency shelter in hotels across Scott, Carver, and Dakota Counties. Support from Open Your Heart will aid CAP in providing families and individuals with transportation assistance to check in to their hotel and begin stabilizing programming immediately after CAP has made a hotel reservation on their behalf.

Community Emergency Service, Inc. (CES)
$7,000 | Minneapolis
To install a liftgate and shelving in CES’s Home Delivery van and incorporate rolling carts into their operations, creating a more efficient and safer “door-to-door” process for delivering healthy and culturally familiar groceries to low-income and homebound seniors in South and Downtown Minneapolis. In the longer term, this new equipment will allow CES to increase the number of program participants served at each site. They have a waiting list of 70+ households and increasing their operational efficiency is one step towards being able to serve more households.

Homeless Helping Homeless
$6,003 | St. Cloud
Toward 25 bed bug and fire-resistant mattresses for Homeless Helping Homeless’ new sleeping rooms in their St. Cloud low-barrier shelter for those on the streets. Prior to Homeless Helping Homeless’ opening, people were living outside in encampments, parking ramps, garages, and dumpsters without phone or mail service and out of communication with social workers. Through Homeless Helping Homeless, they are provided a warm shelter with food, clothing, beds, showers, Wi-Fi and phone service.

HOPE 4 Youth
$2,450 | Minneapolis
Toward two new clothing dryers for HOPE 4 Youth’s Drop-In Center. Laundry services are a core service of their Drop-In Center. Youth use them every day, along with their basic needs’ resources tailored to their age and experience of homelessness.  This equipment will help HOPE 4 Youth to continue serving the increasing number of homeless youth visiting their Drop-In Center for hot meals and basic needs services such as laundry.

Hunger Solutions MN
$100,000 | St. Paul
Toward the annual Summer Challenge Grant opportunity for food shelves to participate in across Minnesota. Funding through this grant will raise public awareness of hunger in Minnesota, help food shelves raise crucial funds during the summer and allow food shelves to provide food to their communities in need.

Koochiching County Food Access
$3,280 | International Falls
Toward the purchase of equipment to relocate to a larger facility, helping Koochiching County Food Access serve more people in a variety of ways. The new location will be more centered around the people served, allowing Koochiching County Food Access to serve more people and serve them with dignity and compassion.

Merrick Community Services
$6,492 | St. Paul
Toward a three-section glass door cooler. The impact of this funding will be long-lasting.  Not only does the appliance have a long life (and can be repaired), but it continues to center the participants and their experience within Merrick’s food shelf.  It also provides Food Shelf staff more storage to utilize, which is critical now in a time when they are serving more neighbors who are facing food insecurity.

Neighborhood HealthSource
$3,000 | Minneapolis
To provide transportation to people experiencing homelessness to healthcare appointments and the pharmacy. With this funding, Neighborhood HealthSource outreach workers will connect with people where they are staying, schedule their appointments, and arrange the rides. This will meet an immediate, non-emergency need for people.

Southern Valley Alliance (SVA)
$4,500 | Belle Plaine
Toward transportation assistance (Uber and Lyft cards, Greyhound and regular bus passes, gas cards) and basic needs supplies (gift cards to Target and Walmart for basic needs: toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, feminine care, diapers, baby wash, etc.). Gift cards and items for clients not only provide basic needs but provide a sense of security and empowerment for the victim-survivor.  SVA’s focus on providing holistic and comprehensive services will be enhanced by being able to provide these necessary items to their clients.

The Landing MN
$2,500 | Rochester
Funding will assist The Landing MN with transportation of guests (via Lyft, taxi, public transit, bus lines) to medical appointments, job interviews, work sites, treatment facilities and/or housing as well as for purchasing of gas cards. The Landing MN operates a day center serving the members of our community experiencing homelessness.

WoMen’s Rural Advocacy Programs, Inc. (WRAP)
$6,500 | Marshall
Toward rent for the Redwood County Safe House and Safe Housing Vouchers for WRAP clients. This funding will provide access to local, safe and immediate emergency housing options for victims of domestic violence and/or sex trafficking/exploitation within the rural counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Redwood & Yellow Medicine located in Southwest Minnesota.

YWCA Duluth
$3,500 | Duluth
Support for the Young Mothers Housing Program to upgrade their security system and provide immediate needs like identification, housing application fees, transportation, and other necessities of residents. This funding will specifically impact the stability and safety of residents of the Young Mothers Program by offering them the safety of a secure facility and other items that improve their stability and chance of success in life.