Calabrio Employees Are Incredible!

Minneapolis-based software company, Calabrio, selected Touchstone as a recipient of their annual Employee Giving Campaign.

We were overwhelmed with gratitude that Calabrio employees raised $23,931 during the campaign! The funds will support our work throughout the agency.

Watch a short video from Minnehaha Commons resident, Rose, thanking the Calabrio team for their generosity and support of Touchstone.

Touchstone Hosts YLAI Fellow

Touchstone is virtually hosting Dannia, a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellow, through the U.S. State Department. YLAI connects young entrepreneurs from 37 countries to businesses and organizations in the U.S.. Dannia cofounded an urgent care clinic in her home town of Hermosillo, Mexico, so people with low incomes could have affordable medical care. She worked in Touchstone’s finance and human resources departments during her fellowship. “I’ve been able to learn about Touchstone’s nonprofit business model and how the agency is growing and being successful,” said Dannia. “I hope to visit Touchstone in-person in the future.”

Our Land Acknowledgement Statement

Touchstone recognizes that our programs exist on traditional Dakota land. We recently added a Dakota land map and land acknowledgement statement at each of our programs. Sarah, Touchstone supervisor and of the Mdewakanton Dakota, led a smudging ceremony at each site. She burned sage, cedar and sweetgrass, saying “Wopida” (thank you) for acknowledging her ancestors and all Nations of Indigenous People in Minnesota.

Read Touchstone’s Land Acknowledgement Statement

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout at Touchstone

Residents and staff at Touchstone’s Minnehaha Commons, Rising Cedar and New Hope Apartment programs received their first dose on the COVID-19 vaccine in January. Vaccinations for our residential treatment staff and residents are scheduled in February. We are working with Hennepin and Anoka County Public Health departments for staff in other programs. After a challenging year, getting the vaccine is a relief and brings a sense of hope.

Our Community is Amazing!

2020 was a tough year, but thanks to our community, we received over $45,000 of basic needs items. Volunteers organized donation drives for food, underwear and clothing, masks and PPE, and hygiene supplies.

These donations make such a difference for the people we serve since they have low incomes and many have experienced homelessness.

Ken’s Story

When fires and unrest occurred on E Lake Street last May, Ken was worried about his new apartment at Minnehaha Commons. He made sure protesters knew that “people live here,” so no one would harm the building.

Ken was one of the first tenants to move into Touchstone’s new supportive housing program, Minnehaha Commons, in November 2019. He keeps a close watch on the building, residents, and staff. “I like to watch over the building and make sure everyone’s doing OK.” When Touchstone asked for food donations, Ken was there to help carry boxes and distribute food. He likes to help wherever he can.

Before moving into Minnehaha Commons, Ken spent the last thirty years in shelters and on the streets, moving back and forth between Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. When his housing fell through, he would move again and start over. “I must’ve stayed in every shelter in the Twin Cities. Some of the neighborhoods were full of violence and drugs. I needed to get out of there,” said Ken. He was determined that one day he would have a place of his own.

Because of his age and health, Hennepin County prioritized him for an apartment, but his phone did not work, so Touchstone staff could not reach him. However, they were able to contact his brother in Kansas City to let him know an apartment was waiting for him at Minnehaha Commons.

Ken had been homeless for a long time, so he was skeptical about Touchstone and the possibility of having a home. “I checked out the apartment and the neighborhood before I met with anyone.” He met several times with Touchtone staff in public libraries to learn about the program and complete paperwork. He started to trust staff and decided to give it a try. “I thought, this will work,” said Ken.

He moved into Minnehaha Commons with a furnished apartment and received household items through Touchstone’s partnership with Bridging. He needed a new bed because of a sciatic nerve condition. Touchstone staff used our Basic Needs Fund to find the right bed for him. “The bed is so comfortable. I have to stay off the bed or I’ll fall asleep right away,” he said.

Ken wants to work toward his longtime goal of getting his GED. He’s excited that he received a computer from Touchstone’s partnership with Hennepin County and PCs for People. Now, he can enroll in an online GED program.

Ken has lived in his apartment at Minnehaha Commons for over a year. “I appreciate my apartment, Touchstone staff and services. They help me clean my apartment and take me to the grocery store and food shelf,” said Ken. “This is a great place to live.”