2023 WINTER GRANTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED!

Dec 6, 2023 | Grants

Open Your Heart is excited to announce our winter grantees! Thanks to our generous supporters,
Open Your Heart awarded $76,000 in funding this quarter to Minnesota crisis service agencies in
need! None of this would be possible without you. Thank you!

Two Harbors Area Food Shelf
$5,000 | Two Harbors
Funding for toiletries and household items which are some of the most client-requested items at
the Food Shelf. The community served by Two Harbors primarily consists of residents of Lake
County, mostly in Two Harbors but also in more rural locations throughout the county such as
Silver Bay, and Neighboring Counties including St. Louis, and Cook County. Many of the
households served have insufficient access to nutritious food options and report that healthy food
options are typically too expensive to fit into to an already stretched budget. Two Harbors
regularly hears from clients that that toiletry and household items are greatly desired as they are
often expensive and hard to hold in sufficient quantity.

Helping Hands 365
$3,000 | Little Falls
Partial funding for an updated refrigerator and freezer to help provide more food to the
community along with more easy shelf foods for the homeless to be able to eat and make. This
support will provide better refrigeration and freezer space, allowing Helping Hands 365 to have
more food on hand and therefore feed more people in need.

Community Pathways of Steele County
$1,116 | Owatonna
To cover the cost of setting up a temperature monitoring system for a walk-in cooler and freezer.
These two pieces of equipment allow Community Pathways to take advantage of large quantity
purchasing, maximizing budget dollars and making it possible to accept large donations would
have been turned down in the past. The temperature monitoring system will provide protection of
the frozen and refrigerated food supply in the event of an equipment failure.

The Camden Collective
$4,764 | Minneapolis
To buy hygiene supplies, coats and boots for clients. Families often ask for toothpaste,
toothbrushes, deodorant and other hygiene items and The Camden Collective is usually unable to
provide these items due to lack of funding. Newly arrived families need more than food to
maintain their dignity and The Camden Collective is one of the first and often only places that
families seek out for resources.

Mi C.A.S.A.
$4,500 | Shakopee
Funding to acquire a chest freezer, implementing efficient storage solutions, and constructing a
wheelchair-accessible ramp. By providing access to culturally relevant food and addressing the
persistent issue of food insecurity, Mi C.A.S.A. contributes to promoting healthy living and
overall well-being. This impact extends beyond the immediate and ensures that the benefits of
these enhancements will be felt in the years to come. By securing the necessary funding for these
vital enhancements, they take a significant step towards creating a more inclusive, equitable, and
culturally sensitive environment. The investment is not just in infrastructure but in the betterment
of lives, ultimately fostering a more vibrant, healthier, and equitable society for all in our
underserved BIPOC communities.

Dakota Woodlands
$5,101 | Eagan
Partial funding toward the purchase of an ice/water machine for the dining room. The current
ice/water machine is the main beverage source for families staying at the shelter. Water and ice
are accessed hundreds of times daily by residents, but as Dakota Woodland’s machine has aged,
it needs repairs and is out of order more often, causing hardship for families. A new ice/water
machine for the dining room will provide more consistent access for residents during mealtimes
and throughout the day.

Our Saviour’s Community Services
$4,149 | Minneapolis
To support the professional installation of an automatic door opener for the front entrance of Our
Saviour's Housing Emergency Shelter. Currently, Our Saviour’s guests using wheelchairs and
walkers either need to ask for help to enter and leave the building or navigate a complicated
maneuver to physically open and move through the door independently. Installing automatic
door openers for the shelter’s front entrance will greatly increase the accessibility of shelter for
guests, volunteers and staff. By increasing the accessibility of the front entrance, we create a
more dignified and independent experience for all visitors, especially people served. A more
accessible front entrance, which is already accessible by ramp, will also set the tone for a more
welcoming and inclusive shelter for all bodies.

Resources Justice & Management (RJM)
$7,500 | Columbia Heights
To provide hotel vouchers, identification assistance, bus cards, hygiene kits and naloxone
training and kits (as needed) throughout "boots on the ground" homeless and SUD intervention
outreach. Obtaining this funding will provide RJM the opportunity to reach youth who have
ventured into homelessness, helping them regain stability and restore their lives.

Native American Community Clinic (NACC)
$3,500 | Minneapolis
Funding to support Social Service and Harm Reduction outreach efforts centered on providing
winter apparel and gear for housing insecure patients and community members. A critical part of
NACC’s successful strategies carried about by the Harm Reduction and Social Services/Patient
Advocate departments is to provide basics needs to at-risk populations including winter weather
clothing, temporary shelter supplies and nutritious foods along with resources for longer term
solutions.

Centennial Community Food Shelf
$7,420 | Circle Pines
Funding toward a new air conditioner for the safety and quality of the food distributed.
Centennial Community Food Shelf clients are subjected to uncomfortable conditions during the
hot summer months due to an inadequate cooling system. Additionally, the inconsistent
temperatures jeopardize the safety and freshness of the food distributed. Every individual,
especially those in need, deserves fresh and safe food while shopping in a comfortable
environment – this funding will make that possible.

FreedomWorks, Bread of Life Food Pantry
$3,000 | Minneapolis
Partial funding to purchase new laptops to run the Pantry Saver software. FreedomWorks
provides a comprehensive faith-based reentry and recovery program for those released from
incarceration, leading to life transformation. In the spring of 2022, they opened the Bread of Life
food pantry with the goal of providing life skills training to “participants”, (those involved in
FreedomWorks programming) and strengthening the food security infrastructure in the North
Minneapolis “community,” (individuals and families that come to the food shelf). By making
systems more efficient with new laptops, participants will have a better-quality experience that
aligns with what they would find in the "real world". Additionally, the more processes replicate a
shopping experience, the more dignified it is for families.

Nameless Coalition for the Homeless
$6,601 | Bemidji
For a proper reach-in cooler and freezer for food storage and a trailer for transporting food,
ensuring the Nameless Coalition for the Homeless can serve meals safely and transport large
volumes of food between locations. The Nameless Coalition for the Homeless strongly believes
that the provision of meals at their New Day Center will invigorate and re-center the mission of
their organization (and their guests) in a constructive way going forward. By investing in the
overall health and wellbeing of guests, especially by fostering increased feelings of stability
associated with dependable physical nourishment, they can increase their efficacy in providing
additional services.

Divine Konnections Inc. (DKI)
$5,800 | Duluth
Funding toward ductless mini-split units, improving the quality of housing services that DKI
provides. Overall, this smaller quality improvement project will be cost-effective and time-
efficient in the long-run. Proper heating enhances resident safety by reducing the risk of cold-
related health issues, especially for vulnerable populations. Therefore, installing a new heating
system is imperative to surviving Duluth's harsh winters. Mini split units allow each family to
determine their own comfort levels. Ultimately, these renovations will improve resident well-
being, enhance resident living conditions, promote resident independence, and foster connection.

Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank (SHNLFB)
$7,500 | Duluth
Funding for a new reach in cooler/freezer as a key component of SHNLFB's new facility and one
of their largest programs in their on-site Food Shelf. Open Your Heart’s funding toward a new
reach in freezer/cooler will not only ensure fresh and perishable food access in a dignified way
but will support an innovative model to better support the region’s families, children and seniors
experiencing hunger.

Rivers of Hope
$7,000 | Monticello
Funding toward financial support to victims/survivors of domestic violence. Funds will be used
to provide survivors with the essentials they need to leave their abusive relationship and find
safety in their lives. Finances should not keep someone ready to leave an abusive relationship
from being able to do so. As the cost of living continues to increase, Rivers of Hope strives to
meet the needs of the survivors they serve, ensuring they have the housing, food, and resources
they need to find safety.