Touchstone has provided continuous services throughout the pandemic,thanks to your support.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but especially for people living with a mental illness. Many individuals have experienced increased symptoms and could not receive services in their home. I have been impressed with the resilience of our staff as they quickly adapted to providing telehealth services and assisted people with increased needs and fewer resources. Our front-line essential workers have done an incredible job serving residents in our six 24-hour programs, despite COVID concerns and restrictions.
Currently, there is a surge in the number of people who are homeless and living on the street or in parks. Touchstone is responding to this crisis by providing Housing Stabilization Services (HSS) that help people find and keep their housing in the community. We are among the first agencies in Minnesota to offer Housing Stabilization Services that began in July.
We are also excited to announce a new housing partnership with Aeon, developer and owner, of Village Club Apartments in Bloomington. Touchstone will provide housing assistance and support services at Village Club Apartments, for 17 people who have experienced homelessness.
As we continue to navigate the uncertain future, we know that your support of our mission is essential. We rely on your donations to help individuals with mental illness find and keep housing, reach their goals, and reduce the amount of time spent in a hospital or treatment center. You help people live and thrive in the community of their choice through your gift to Touchstone Mental Health.
Touchstone served 1,684 people in 2019 in our housing programs, community mental health and residential treatment for people living with a mental illness.
But wait, there’s more!
Last year, our housing programs helped 62 people have a home, with 54 of them being ages 55 and older who experienced homelessness. Our Case Management services and Intentional Communities program provided support so 88% of people served avoided a psychiatric hospitalization.
Ellie Skelton, Touchstone Executive Director, was recently interviewed by Chantel Sings on KMOJ Radio about our agency, mental health and the importance of seeking help and taking care of ourselves during the pandemic.
During the interview, Ellie encouraged community members to use myStrength, a web and mobile tool that promotes mental health and well-being with resources for stress, anxiety, substance use and more, at no cost to you. Set up your free myStrength account.
Touchstone now offers Housing Stabilization Services (HSS) for people living with a mental illness. HSS is a new state Medicaid benefit designed to help people find and keep housing. We provide HSS in our Housing Innovations and Intentional Communities programs.
We are excited to announce that Mystic Lake Casino’s Change For The Better program raised over $5,360 for Touchstone! Casino guests generously donated their change to support Touchstone from June 22 – 30, 2020.
“We’re so grateful to be a selected recipient of Mystic Lake’s Change For The Better program and encourage guests of Mystic Lake to consider supporting us by donating their change,” said Ellie Skelton, Executive Director. “Funds raised will have a huge impact in helping us meet transportation, food, medications, household supplies and basic needs for people in our programs.”
Hundreds of community members donated food, household supplies, and financial gifts during our food drive at Minnehaha Commons. We were blessed with so many with donations, we offered food to anyone in need. Touchstone staff, Minnehaha Commons residents and volunteers helped sort and distribute food for hours. We delivered the rest of the donations to Touchstone clients in the hard-hit areas of North and South Minneapolis, and to other local food drives.
Many thanks to our awesome community for your support!
A special thank you to Surly Brewing’s, Surly Gives a Damn, and Orangetheory Fitness Maple Grove for hosting drives for Touchstone residents. Also, thank you to volunteers from LDI (Liberty Diversified International) for helping deliver donations.