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Wins and Wishes: Part I
December 31, 2014

Part one: As the old year rings out, we want to share our 2014 “wins” with you, the people who made them happen.

Seeing this list makes us burst with pride at everything you helped us accomplish, dear supporters, volunteers, advocates and donors. Although the list is numbered it’s impossible to rank them in order of importance. (But you’re allowed to pick your favorites.) Here goes:

  1. The Edina vote – or rather the several city planning commission and council votes it took to get our 66 West site approved by the City of Edina. This was truly the result of our collaborative congregations and community members empowered to show up and speak up for homeless youth. Shout-out to our lead congregational partner, Edina Community Lutheran Church, and to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the Church of St. Patrick and Richfield United Methodist Church.
  2. Our selection to receive the Archibald Bush Legacy Grant of $200,000. It was an honor and it will help us build Prior Crossing.
  3. $100 million from the Minnesota Legislature for affordable housing. Our Beacon Citizens made us proud.
  4. Prior Crossing is funded!  The above-mentioned kind of doubled our reward as $8 million was awarded to Prior Crossing, our Central Corridor housing development for youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness that we’re developing with House of Hope Presbyterian Church and The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
  5. We opened Families Moving Forward-Southwest in May. This is the first shelter for families in Scott and Carver counties. We are grateful to Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church for generously providing space for our program center for the time being.
  6. 900 people attended our largest-ever Ending Homelessness Together fundraising lunch in November. It was a great crowd for a great cause.
  7. Strong volunteer leadership from more than 70 people who are serving on the board, housing taskforces, committees and in many other ways. None of these wins would be possible without them.
  8. FMF-Hennepin Program Center update. We painted, we got new family lockers, new furniture and the really important stuff like heating repair and appliances. Thanks to the City of Minneapolis Emergency Shelter Grant for the funds to serve our families in a safer, more pleasing space.
  9. $500,000 commitment from Wayzata Community Church to help us develop family housing in the western suburbs. Housing for families is among the most scarce of all affordable housing in the Twin Cities – and no community is exempt from need.
  10. Our first Angel Donor! We are inviting 39 Angel Donors to make a sustaining gift of $10,000 or more for five years, to help us fund the 39 homes that 66 West will provide to youth and young adults who experience homelessness in the western Hennepin suburbs.

Part two: Next week, our 2015 “wishes”