By Eric Jayne
Our recent, first-ever, “Dinner with the Board” event was delightfully fun. The board members had a chance to talk with several supporters while enjoying delicious drinks and food. A couple of the guests I spoke with wanted to learn more about the philanthropic endeavors of Minnesota Atheists. We talked about our ongoing work with the Family Place shelter, Emergency Foodshelf Network, and Children’s Hospital of Minnesota. We also talked about other local, secular nonprofits that provide helpful services to the community without the proselytizing that often comes with faith-based agencies. We concluded that it might be helpful to have a list of some of these secular nonprofits to refer to when considering places to volunteer and donate money - after, of course, you've made your donation to Minnesota Atheists..
I’ve included a small list of local nonprofits that provide help without a faith-based agenda. So instead of dropping coins into the buckets of the clanging Salvation Army bell ringers, you can save them for secular alternatives. I have included a list of twenty local secular nonprofits that I have had professional experience working with. (I work for Keystone Community Services which is listed below.) This is not meant to be a complete list of secular nonprofits in Minnesota but just a brief introduction to some of the wonderful community organizations that provide valuable resources to local people every day.
For more information about programs and other community organizations in your area, visit the local United Way 2-1-1 website at www.211unitedway.org.
Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN). 8501 54th Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55428, 763- 450-3860. Food bank serving most metro area food shelves.
Second Harvest Heartland. 1140 Gervais Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55109, 651-484-5117. Food bank serving most metro and greater Minnesota food shelves.
Ralph Reeder Foodshelf. 2101 14th Street Northwest, New Brighton, MN 55112, 651-621-7450. Food shelf and emergency services for Mounds View, New Brighton, and Shoreview.
Tubman Center. 3111 1st Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55408, 612-825-3333. Domestic Violence services including housing, basic needs, and legal aid.
Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP). 7051 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center, MN 55429, 763-783-4930. Food shelf and emergency services for the northwest suburbs.
Project for Pride and Living (PPL). 1035 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55404, 612-455-5100. Housing programs and emergency services for individuals and families in Minneapolis.
White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. 1884 Whitaker Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110, 651-407-5310. Food shelf and emergency services for the White Bear Lake area.
Merrick Food Shelf. 1740 Van Dyke Street, Saint Paul, MN 55109, 651-287- 2088. Food shelf and emergency services for Maplewood and parts of Saint Paul. They use space from Woodland Hills church but they are completely secular.
Keystone Community Services. 2000 Saint Anthony Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104, 651-645-0349. Food shelf and crisis assistance for individuals and familis in St. Paul and suburban Ramsey County. Active seniors programming. youth programming, case management, Meals on Wheels.
360 Communities. 501 Highway 13, #102, Burnsville, MN 55337, 952-985-5300. Food shelf, emergency services, housing programs, and domestic violence services for Dakota County.
Face 2 Face—Safe Zone. 1165 Arcade Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106, 651-772- 5555. Housing for homeless youth and mental health services in Ramsey County.
The Bridge for Youth. 1111 West 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405, 612-377- 8800. Housing for homeless youth and other emergency services.
Neighborhood House. 179 Robie Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55107, 651-789- 2500. Food shelf, emergency services, youth programming, and bicultural services.
CLUES. 720 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407, 612-746-3500. Mental health, chemical health, and bicultural family services.
Lifetrack Resources. 709 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55104, 651-227-8471. Services for the deaf, employment services, and family services.
Family Place. 244 10th Street East, Saint Paul, MN 55101, 651-225-9354. Emergency shelter for families without permanent housing in Ramsey county.
People Serving People. 614 Third Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55415, 612- 332-4500. Supportive housing, employment services, education programming, and emergency services for families in Minneapolis.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. 2550 University Avenue West, Suite 410N, Saint Paul, MN 55114, 651-789-2400. Mentoring program for Twin Cities children and youth ages 6-18.
People Incorporated. 2060 Centre Pointe Blvd, Suite 3, Saint Paul, MN 55120, 651-774-0011. Direct mental health programming for individuals and families in the Twin Cities metro area.
Minnesota Community Action Partnership. There are twenty-eight Community Action Partnership agencies throughout the state. They administer and operate several programs including Head Start, Energy Assistance, Weatherization, Emergency Shelter, and much more. Visit mncaa.org to find your local Community Action Partnership agency.