The Constellation Fund is proud to support these grantees in their poverty-fighting work.
Achieve!Minneapolis – College and Career Centers
Achieve!Minneapolis is Minneapolis Public Schools’ non-profit foundation and strategic partner in developing and delivering school-based college and career-readiness (CCR) strategies. AchieveMpls’ CCR Coordinators are embedded full-time in 11 high schools where they serve 9,000+ secondary students, acting as de facto staff and directly partnering with counselors, teachers, administrators, and families to ensure students meet graduation-ready milestones through individual and group advising, classroom lessons, and workshops. Coordinators meet with each student, on average, 3-5 times annually beginning in 9th grade and ensure at least one meeting for each senior.
Alliance Housing builds and manages affordable housing for people with very low incomes – the majority of their properties require 30 percent of area median income. Alliance’s niche is securing housing for the hardest segments of the population to house: those with criminal histories, seniors with histories of homelessness, people with serious and persistent mental illness, and those with previous evictions. Using a relational, flexible property management model, Alliance provides access to housing with minimal preconditions resulting in stable housing and very low eviction rates for low-income families and individuals.
Annex Teen Clinic
Annex Teen Clinic provides low-cost/sliding scale sexuality-related health care, education, counseling, and outreach to adolescents in Northwest Hennepin County and North Minneapolis who are at risk for unplanned pregnancies and in need of reproductive health care. Most Annex patients experience significant health disparities due to their age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, income levels, insurance access, transportation issues, or concerns about confidentiality. In addition to providing services at its Robbinsdale clinic, Annex takes sexual health services and education to youth in a variety of community settings through its Clinic in a Box program and school outreach.
Banyan Community originated as an informal block club and afterschool youth program in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1998. The organization now exists as a community hub for resources and provides youth and family programming. Services range from youth development (including an on-site preschool, afterschool programs, homework tutoring, college mentoring and summer programs), family services (home visits, parent conferences), and community strengthening (gathering events, adult education, and neighborhood engagement). Almost every young person that connects to Banyan becomes part of the Banyan “family” and stays engaged through college.
Centro Tyrone Guzman
As the oldest multi-service Latine* organization in Minneapolis, Centro Tyrone Guzman serves more than 7,000 individuals annually. Since 1971, Centro has served all ages, from infants to elders, using education, health, and wellness as the key strategies to build community strength, participation, and vitality. Its evidence-based, family- centered, and culturally-responsive services address health and education disparities and empower Latines to change systems and mindsets. Centro’s approach is unique in many ways, with its programming revolving around the model of an Intergenerational Learning Community, using a Montessori-influenced approach to educate, connect, and engage youth, adults, and elders.
Division of Indian Work
The Division of Indian Work (DIW) works to empower urban American Indians through culturally-based education, counseling, advocacy, and leadership development. As a multi-service organization, DIW provides services ranging from youth development programs, health support for pregnant women, anger management and interventions for adults, home visiting for families, supports for seniors, and a culturally-specific food program.
Dougherty Family College – Student Support Services
Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas provides an alternative pathway to college completion for students who are under-prepared academically and who face financial barriers in attending a traditional four-year college. DFC describes itself as a “lean and reliable incubator for undervalued academic talent” who have the capacity and motivation to thrive in college but who need extra financial, social, and educational supports to do so. Students at DFC enroll in an accredited, two-year associate’s degree program at the University of St. Thomas, receive substantial wrap-around services, and are counseled to continue their education at a four-year institution.
EMERGE Community Development – Career Training Program
EMERGE Community Development provides workforce services and operates three social enterprises in the Twin Cities with locations in North Minneapolis and Cedar Riverside. Its workforce programs include work readiness and foundational job skill training, job placement, financial wellness, youth employment, employment retention, and career training and certification. EMERGE operates Second Chance Recycling, Nielsen Metal Manufacturing, and Furnish Office and Home social enterprises. The Career Training Program helps people obtain a job credential that increases likelihood of employment and pays higher average wages than among workers without the credential. Currently, EMERGE helps its trainees to obtain Certified Nursing Assistant, Personal Care Assistant, Commercial Driving License, and Forklift Operation credentials. EMERGE recruits trainees, prepares them for training, and provides job placement support following the training. EMERGE pays outside schools or contractors for the cost of the training.
The Family Partnership – Mental Health Programs
The Family Partnership is a human services organization that delivers critical services to families impacted by trauma, adversity, and poverty. The Family Partnership delivers services through mental health counseling, early childhood education and therapeutic child development, parent education, and support and advocacy for survivors of sex trafficking. The organization is implementing a two-generation approach to help families disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty and adverse experiences.
Family Tree Clinic
Family Tree Clinic is a nonprofit community clinic founded in 1971 that provides sexual health medical services and sexual education. Family Tree Clinic provides medical reproductive and sexual health services, limited primary care, and services that are culturally responsive to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. Notably, this includes the only informed-consent gender affirming hormone therapy available on a sliding fee scale in Minnesota. Family Tree Clinic also provides sexual health education to Saint Paul and suburban public school students, to youth in the juvenile corrections system, to students at the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing school in Saint Paul, and to adults and youth in community and clinic settings. Finally, Family Tree Clinic operates the Minnesota Family Planning and STD Hotline.
Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) – ParentChild+ Home Visit Program
JFCS offers more than 30 programs in five major content areas: Career Services, Children and Family Services, Community Engagement, Counseling and Mental Health Services, and Senior Services. The organization also offers the ParentChild+ program — a free, intensive home visiting program for families with children ages 2-4 that supports families with school readiness, parenting skills, and child development. This program helps under-served children bridge the opportunity gap and prepare for success in school by bringing highly-trained Early Learning Specialists (ELSs) into families’ homes for twice-weekly visits over a two-year period.
The Link was founded in 1991 to address the needs of youth who were being victimized by crime and homelessness in North Minneapolis. The organization began its work in public housing projects with the goal of providing at‐risk and homeless youth within the neighborhood alternatives to getting involved in crime or being victimized by crime as well as helping them with all kinds of needs ‐ including housing. This laid the foundation for the organization to develop its current programming in the areas of juvenile justice, housing and homeless youth services and emergency shelter, housing and services for sex trafficked youth.
Lutheran Social Services – Metro Homeless Youth Services
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is one of the largest statewide private social service organizations in Minnesota. Program services are grouped into three service categories, including: Children, Youth, Families and the Center for Changing Lives; Services for Older Adults; and People with Disabilities. LSS’s Metro Homeless Youth Services program provides a continuum of supportive housing programs, with a goal of accompanying youth and youth-led families who are experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities as they establish relationships with caring adults and work toward housing stability. Service beneficiaries include youth and youth-led families from ages 16 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness.
Mental Health Resources – Health and Wellness Initiative
Mental Health Resources serves 6,000 metro-area residents each year who are recovering from serious or serious and persistent mental illness. MHR collaborates with clients and their families to facilitate learning and growth for individuals, families and the community, and to foster client empowerment and expectation of success. The Health and Wellness Initiative integrates primary care, dental care, tobacco cessation, and the pursuit of health, fitness and chronic disease management goals with MHR’s core mental care work. By building overall health and wellness, people with serious mental illness will live longer, improve their quality of life, and increase their ability to pursue recovery goals.
The Minnesota Prison Doula Project (MnPDP)
MnPDP, a project of the Ostara Initiative, provides pregnancy and parenting support for incarcerated women with the ultimate goal of ending prison birth in the United States. MnPDP provides birth support from trained doulas, as well as group-based and individual education and support to pregnant women and mothers. The staff work with women serving sentences in the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee (Minnesota’s only women’s state prison) and women held in county correctional facilities in Ramsey and Hennepin counties.
Neighborhood Development Center (NDC)
Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) conducts entrepreneur training and lending, makes working capital available to targeted businesses, and develops other innovative economic development initiatives in these same neighborhoods. NDC’s primary programs are: an entrepreneur training program that guide participants in how to own and operate their own business; a lending and profit based program provides funds to start-up and existing businesses; and a technical assistance program that offers ongoing support to businesses.
Neighborhood HealthSource (NHS)
NHS is a nonprofit Federally Qualified Health Center, providing primary and preventative health care to low-income, often uninsured women, men, and children in North and Northeast Minneapolis. NHS provides primary and preventive visits, care coordination, mental health and substance abuse services, and health education, and will also work to address the social determinants of health through bi-directional referrals to community resources that provide needed social services.
Neighborhood House offers services at the intersection of basic needs and lifelong learning. Throughout six locations in St. Paul, the organization focuses on six core programs: Family Centers; Parent and Early Childhood Education; Youth Leadership Programs; College Access and College Readiness Academy; Adult Education; and Food Support.
Oasis for Youth – Mall of America Program
Oasis for Youth supports youth ages 16 to 24 experiencing or at risk for homelessness in Bloomington, Richfield, and Edina. Oasis’ overall objective is to prevent youth homelessness. When that is not possible, the organization works to ensure that episodes of homelessness are brief, rare, and non-recurring. The organization’s goal is to keep youth connected in their home community, enabling them to finish school, remain employed, and maintain positive social connections.
PRISM – Homelessness Prevention Program
PRISM is focused on housing and hunger and serves the cities of Golden Valley, Plymouth, Crystal, Robbinsdale, and New Hope. PRISM operates four key programs areas: it’s housing program helps people obtain and maintain housing, the Marketplace Food shop provides food for than 5,500 people each year, its Shop for Change Thrift Shop supplies families with clothes for work and school, and its children’s programs offers schools supplies and a holiday toy shop.
Project for Pride in Living (PPL) – Career Pathways Program
PPL provides services to low-income individuals with the overall goal to build self-reliance. PPL implements its mission through housing with a variety of services, which includes 1,500 units of affordable, multi-family residential rental housing and comprehensive support services to create economic independence. In addition, PPL assists in the economic advancement of individuals through free employment training, workshops, and credentialed programs focused on overcoming barriers to employment and job retention.
Southside Family Nurturing Center
Southside Family Nurturing Center (SSFNC) serves children and families at-risk for abuse and neglect by providing a therapeutic center in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. SSFNC’s early childhood education program serves children ages 16 months to 5 years, with a focus on helping each child develop healthy social/emotional, motor, self-regulation, and developmental skills, as well as academic kindergarten readiness skills. All preschool students can access on-site therapies such as music, play, or occupational therapy and receive two nutritionally balanced meals a day. The organization also provides supportive early intervention and home visiting for young families with young children to interrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty and violence.
Summit Academy OIC
Summit Academy OIC trains and retrains individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, secures placement for trainees in jobs, and promotes other educational and developmental programs. Summit is accredited as a post-secondary vocational school by the Council on Occupational Education. Located in North Minneapolis, Summit Academy provides four 20-week career and technical education programs (electrician, carpentry, medical assistant, IT/service desk specialist) to students at no cost and with no loans, as well as a 10-week GED program. Summit Academy has emerging relationships with technical colleges, allowing graduates to pursue further education.
Tech Dump is a social enterprise that provides employment training through on-the-job experience for adults with barriers to employment such as criminal histories, homelessness, addiction recovery, or mental illness. Individuals and businesses donate used electronics that are then refurbished and sold. Recycling and refurbishing electronics provides paid employment, and Tech Dump’s job training program provides skills training, customized development plans, as well as ongoing coaching and support. Participants also receive one-on-one coaching sessions to improve soft skills, create resumes, and acquire job search assistance.
Ujamaa serves African American men between the ages of 17 and 28 experiencing barriers to employment, including undereducation (no high school degree or GED), criminal history, homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse. Ujamaa provides academic and employment skill development as well as life skill development, including financial management, supports for healthy relationships, and fulfilling basic needs such as transportation, food, access to health care services, and support with housing. Ujamaa focuses on five critical outcomes: stable housing, increased educational attainment, securing and retaining a job, connections to family and children, and the elimination of contact with the penal system.
Way to Grow
Way to Grow prepares children for academic success and supports families by providing holistic, culturally-appropriate educational services through home visits and in-school activities in North Minneapolis and the northern suburbs. Way to Grow works with 33 Minneapolis Public Schools, 27 charter schools, eight private schools, and dozens of community organizations. In its cornerstone program, Great by Eight, Family Educators assess each family’s unique situation and connect them with relevant services and resources. They also implement Way to Grow’s home visiting curriculum, which builds a supportive educational pipeline from birth through third grade and continuously scaffolds educational activities as children’s skills advance to the next level.
Wallin Education Partners
Wallin Education Partners enables college and career success for high-potential Minnesota students with financial need through scholarships and comprehensive advising support. Wallin scholars are four and two-year college students who receive last-dollar scholarship support from the organization, as well as scholar advising through college completion.
The YMCA’s Youth and Family Services (YFS)
YFS serves vulnerable youth ages 16 to 24 who are in foster care, homeless or unstably housed, in the juvenile justice system, experiencing violence, or disconnected from their school or community. YMCA staff work with youth and families to find and maintain safe, stable, affordable housing, and to address barriers to stability, which include support with both employment and educational goals. YFS has significant expertise in providing the holistic support needed to move youth and youth-headed households out of poverty. The depth of its programming allows YFS to meet youth needs and address barriers through employment at YMCAs across the metro, leadership opportunities, access to basic needs, and parenting supports.
30,000 Feet is focused on addressing educational disparities faced by students in St. Paul, ensuring that all students are able to achieve their full potential. Its objectives are to increase academic achievement among African American students, reveal and nurture students’ artistic skills, and use art as a way to improve literacy outcomes. 30,000 Feet works towards this goal by providing culturally-responsive academic tutoring to elementary and middle school students during the school year, enrichment activities during the summer, and a coding program targeted at high school students, including those who have had involvement with the justice system.