by Adam Kuenzel
Founded by St. Stephen’s Church in Minneapolis, St. Stephen’s Human Services provides a variety of programs and services to local citizens without homes. Instead of simply providing people with food and shelter, St. Stephen’s Human Services conducts an assortment of programs designed to empower families and individuals and impart the skills they need to enact significant change in their lives. Below are a few of the main initiatives currently supported by the organization.
Street Outreach: Working in conjunction with religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, and social service providers, the Street Outreach program actively seeks out those without homes and provides them much needed resources including food, clothing, and shelter. In many instances, the Street Outreach team works with local police to find social service assistance for those committing minor crimes as an alternative to arrest.
Alliance of the Streets: This program helps both people living without a home and those at risk of homelessness connect to important services. Through Alliance of the Streets, St. Stephen’s Human Services publishes an annual resource guide, provides free voicemail boxes to those without phones, helps people struggling to claim social security, and assists with obtaining birth certificates for those in need of state IDs.
Kateri Residence: Designed specifically for American Indian women recovering from chemical dependency, the Kateri Residence offers a focus on American Indian culture and spirituality alongside on-site healthcare, case management, parenting classes, life-skills training, and other essential recovery services. Once women leave the residence, they can continue to receive support through an off-site alumnae program.
Others: In addition, the organization promotes artistic pursuits and awareness of homelessness through the zAmya Theater Project, advocates for human rights in the local community, has multiple programs designed to end long-term homelessness, and maintains a free store which carries clothing and smaller household items for those in need of them.
To learn more about St. Stephen’s Human Services and volunteer opportunities, visit www.StStephensMpls.org.
About the Author: Adam Kuenzel has been principal flutist of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1990. In addition to his work as a musician, Kuenzel contributes to several nonprofit organizations that benefit the local and global community, including St. Stephen’s Human Services, Environment Minnesota, and the Sierra Club.