My name is Martha Brannon, Founder and Executive Director of His House Foundation (HHF), a 501(c )(3) organization that provides direct services to families in need and acts as a catalyst for increased sharing within our community. HHF has a focus on assisting families that are homeless or recently homeless, and people experiencing crisis. We are proud of our commitment to do all this without boundaries, limits, or service areas. We serve based on dignity and need.
The His House Foundation team believe food and shelter are considered core essentials for human life and should be accessible without barriers.
We are writing to thank everyone for supporting our organization in 2020 and assisting in our response to the crisis of Covid-19. HHF immediately responded to emergency requests of food and basic needs. We expanded our Abundance Food Share for the Carver County hotel program serving local homeless.
ABUNDANCE FOOD SHARE
Abundance is collecting and redistributing approximately 10,000 pounds of food each month in partnership with Carver County Environmental Services and their program of diverting food from the waste stream. Some of our food partners are Buddy Boy’s Barbecue, Little Caesars Pizza, Star Bucks, KFC and Chick-Fil-A. We also pick-up perishables from several food shelves and deliver those items immediately to the hotels with homeless programs and people in crisis. The Abundance team delivers food and basic needs daily to all 4 hotels that participate in the county homeless program, and several other hotels where people are living after being excluded from traditional rental options.
CARES AND CHAP RENTAL ASSISTANCE
His House coordinated 8 workshops for the government emergency rental assistance programs due to COVID-19: CARES and CHAP funding. We partnered with Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior United Methodist, and the West Interfaith Community Engagement team. The workshops focused on removing barriers such as technology, language and qualifications. Our process resulted in over $100,000 in emergency back rent paid out to landlords.
Each month the wonderful His House volunteers assist approximately 8 households move out of homelessness and into sustainable housing. This transition includes new pillows, bedding, towels, dishes, pot and pans, detergent and dish soap. We also have taken on the need in a coordinated effort of delivering mattresses for all family members. This can be as many as 6 mattresses in a household. Collecting and moving used mattresses so people will have a bed to sleep in their first night in their new home. We estimate 288 mattresses have been collected and redistributed in 2020.
COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER
The Community Resource Center is in the basement of the Chaska Moravian Church with access on Walnut St. We serve families in crisis with basic needs including clothing, winter gear, personal care products, and food. Every day people request access or see the door open and stop by. We made modifications during the COVID-19 crisis by following CDC guidelines and limiting the number of visitors. Even though the Resource Center is open by appointment only, we served over 2,000 clients in 2020.
EMERGENCY HOUSING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
His House Foundation provided emergency housing financial assistance of $9,275 to people that were homeless or near homeless and did not qualify for other programs. Most of the funding was requested for people excluded from any housing options, literally homeless because of behaviors that put their housing at risk, or hotel stays for people waiting to enter the county’s homeless programs. Approximately 7% was used for prevention.
We are ready for 2021! His House and our food share program Abundance is committed to increasing food access and basic needs to people that have barriers accessing these in traditional ways. As more people slip into financial crisis, we are ready to address basic needs in a cohesive flow without barriers put in place that can allow personal judgements and stereotypes to interrupt that flow. The state of MN approved HHF to provide services and case management to clients with greater barriers to stable housing. We believe food is a metaphor for need and are committed to making food and necessities more accessible to all.
Martha Brannon, Executive Director, His House Foundation