2016 CITY HOUSE ANNUAL REPORT

A Pivotal Year

City House Welcomes

City House offers welcome for all to find wholeness, healing, and comfort. We experience this welcome together, although we enter the experience from different places. 

Letter from the President of the Board

Dear Friends,

2016 was a pivotal year at City House.

We accomplished our long-desired goal of hiring an executive director. Rolf Lowenberg-DeBoer came on board in September. He has significant experience in serving those in deep need in our metropolitan neighborhood, has relationships with a wide range of faith communities, and a beautiful heart for the work of City House.

Under his leadership, City House initiated a new partnership with YouthLink and set the foundation for a partnership with St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. We look forward to fully establishing these relationships and welcoming new listening volunteers so that we can expand to more organizations in 2017. 

Our financial results were very positive. Our income grew 25% from 2015 thanks to the generosity and confidence of our financial supporters. 

We sincerely thank Lorilee Petrangelo for her service as program director and wish her and her family abundant blessings. We welcome Rena Turnham who joined City House as program manager at the beginning of 2017.

City House anticipates continued growth of our healing, sacred listening service to more of our brothers and sisters. Sacred presence helps our participants tap their inner resources of resilience and hope and re-establish life-giving connections in their lives. They are able to move beyond the basics

Your support and care for City House makes this holy service possible. Thank you most sincerely.

Blessings,

Colleen Maiers, President of the Board

About City House

The greatest poverty is isolation. City House listeners practice spiritual listening that fosters connection, builds resilience, gives hope, affirms dignity and leads to overall well-being. Moving from isolation to community requires a focus on presence and accompaniment that affirms human dignity. We go beyond basic needs and tend to the spirit through deep listening, all over the Twin Cities Metro. The work of City House complements what is already occurring at each of our partner organizations.

Spiritual listening is compassionate, affirming, and non-judgmental. It is an important part of moving beyond the basics of food and shelter and into community. We are a a faith-motivated, ecumenical group of highly trained volunteers and staff. City House volunteers accompany vulnerable people experiencing difficult times for a little while on their journey, contributing to their sense of hope and connecting them to their inner strength and sense of dignity. Our hope for all of us is that we can move from surviving to thriving.

Stories of Hope, Compassion & Change

Hear the voices of City House from a volunteer, a participant, and a City House partner agency.

VOLUNTEER
A Compassionate Witness

This fall I was asked if I’d be interested in visiting the newest of City House’s partners, YouthLink, a multi-faceted agency for 15-23 year old homeless youth. They were seeking a spiritual component to their programming and sought out City House. THEY sought out City House! I was surprised at how quickly I said, “Sure, I’ll visit there”.  For most of my 20’s I worked with teenss, but that was more than 40 years ago! I was curious but also a little unsure—-what could we have in common? What if I’m too shy or too old? But I trusted that God was up to something. 
Now, most Thursdays at the Drop-In center you’ll find me coloring, or learning about someone’s art or favorite music. Then there are the conversations celebrating a job, an apartment, college, a new relationship. There are also the hard conversations about unhealthy friends or family, times of violence in their lives. Last month one of the youth asked to talk to me because he saw me water some plants, and figured I must be a safe person. And another teen told me that my showing up makes a difference. I’m going to keep showing up and I’m honored to do so. Thankfully, God keeps showing up too. I get to find out what a miracle each of these young lives are, with opportunities and journeys ahead of them—unpredictable and sacred, sort of like my time at YouthLink. There are no guarantees for any of us there, but relationships are accumulating because we all show up.  I love it!   

AGENCY PARTNER
A Wellness Partner

Chris Ackerman is the Program Director of Outpatient Chemical Health at RESOURCE, Inc. City House programming has been a beneficial service to members of our mental health programs at RESOURCE for some time, which is how I came to know of the services they offer. I met with City House staff earlier this year to discuss bringing City House into our chemical health treatment program. The connection was immediate and we knew we had something that we needed to get to our clients as soon as possible. Spiritual wellness was no longer going to be a missing piece in this treatment center anymore! We started by providing Tai Chi Chih classes for clients and staff. The response was immediately positive as were the results. Clients and staff mentioned increased resilience and a sense of feeling  recharged. Clients were learning the connection between the psychological and physical components of trauma experientially. We decided to add individual spiritual listening to both staff and clients. Again, rave reviews and stories of increased emotional resilience and connecting clients to or back to their spirituality in recovery. I cannot say enough about City House, the quality of services they provide, or the genuine passion and care they bring into our program. We at RESOURCE truly value this partnership and enjoy the improved quality of care we provide to an otherwise underserved community together.

PARTICIPANT
A Peaceful Presence

“Nancy” had been a resident at a homeless shelter in downtown St. Paul for two months. She explained the only reason she came to meet was that she did not want to be alone that morning. She described the tremendous anxiety that she felt since waking up that day—with a “pit “in her stomach and a sense of unease and shakiness. She went on to share some of the challenges she faced as a single mother of a young son who is having trouble in school.

As I listened, Nancy shared some of her fears and disappointments, as well as her belief in God—a God that often felt “far” from her. As our time together came to a close, Nancy expressed heartfelt thanks and reached over to take my hand. She expressed her appreciation for the brief sense of peace she encountered in the time we shared. I, too, was grateful for the time I had spent with her in the quiet presence of the Spirit. 

Volunteers

Jymie Anderson
Althera Bergren 
Susanna Bertelsen 
Linda Berquist 
Carol Bungert 
Wendy Fernstrum 
Joy Heyenga 
Judith Leatherwood
Meg Mannix
Carol Marsyla 
Kate Maxwell 
Cathy McDonald 
 

 

Terry Robertson 
Mary Schulz 
Sarah Sutliff.
Kate Tucker 
Nancy Twidwell
Mary Weddle 
Mary Ann Zervas 
Colleen Vlaisavljevich 
Mary Nichols  
Sally Nunn 
Rae Otterstrom 
(now retired)

ACTIVE IN 2016
Partner Agencies

Basilica of St. Mary Outreach Ministries
Basilica of Basilica of St. Mary Pathways Program
Eden House/Re-entry Metro
Family Place
Harriet Tubman East & West
Resource Inc 1900 Chicago Ave.
Resource Inc Chrystal Spectrum
Resource Inc Lighthouse
Shakopee Women’s Correctional facility
Transformation House
YouthLink

Donors

We are deeply grateful for the generous support of individuals, foundations, churches, and partner agencies. We acknowledge and honor the 2015 supporters listed below. (The gifts listed were given between January 1 and December 31, 2015.)

Organizations

Resource Inc. - Treatment
Tubman  Center
Basilica of St Mary
Church of St. Joseph the Worker

 

Church of the Epiphany
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Visitation Monastery of Minneapolis
Episcopal Church in Minnesota


Clare Housing
Medtronic Foundation
Morgan Stanley

Individuals


Janice Andersen
Jymie Anderson
Kathy Andrus
Joan Bednarczyk
Althera Bergren
Jeanette Bestland
Heather Bjork
Marie Bouley
Michelle Brask
John Buzza
Helen Carlson
Carl Caskey
Yolima Chambers
Olivia Christensen
Nannie Collins
Meg Connolly
Sandy Connor
Shawn Curley
Marilyn Dodge
Julie Eckman
Joyce Finch
Marianne Gick
Pat Gilbert
Loretta Griffin
William Griffith
Karen Grosscup
Bradley Holt
John Horton

 


Ann Jensen
Anne Johnson
Brent Johnson
Edith Kadlec
Charles & Barbara Keffer
Terry Koller
Bryan Kuzel
Matt Langhout
John Leddy
Kathryn Lee
Mary Lee
Katherine Leighton
Lois Lindbloom
LeAnn Linder-Scholer
Kristin Loven
Rolf Lowenberg-DeBoer
Shelley Lowenberg-DeBoer
Phil Lund
Jeff Maciej
Colleen Maiers
Richard Mann
Margaret Mannix
Judith Martin
Catherine McDonald
Joyce McFarland
Erik Miles
Diane Millis
Brian Mogren
Laura Mulliken
Sandy Nelson
Mary Nichols



Sally Nunn
Rae Otterstrom
Roger Patterson
Jennifer Pedalty
Michelle Grabanski Pohlad
Mary Rick
Terry Robertson
Pam Santerre
Michael Sarafolean
Erik Schlesselman
Lisa Schlingerman
John Schwarz
Joe Selvaggio
Elena Brito Sifferlin
Mary A Smith
Susan Stabile
Bonnie Strand
Rena Turnham
Joan Velde
Karen Viskochil
Mary Weddle
Charlotte Wilson
Peter Wittig
Marilyn and Alan Youel
Mary Ann Zervas

We apologize for any errors or omissions in this list. Please contact Wanda Davies, 612.750.8987, wanda@city-house.org, with any questions or concerns.

 

Board of Directors

Director and President Colleen Maiers  Principal, Loring Professional Group
Director and Secretary Anne Johnson  Director of Human Resources, Union Gospel Mission
Director and Treasurer Patricia A. Gilbert  Independent Consultant, Bethel University MBA Coach
Director Janice Andersen  Director of Christian Life, Basilica of St. Mary
Director Susan Stabile  Director, Office for Spirituality, St. Thomas University
Director David Bateson  President, Bateson Consulting LLC
Director Matthew Langhout  Art Director, ADX Labs
Director Margaret Mannix   Spiritual Director, National Program Director, Retired, Ignatian Volunteer Corps

Staff

Rolf Lowenberg-Deboer - Executive Director   
Meg Mannix
 - Interim Program Director    
Wanda Davies - Administrative Manager