Randy Pottebaum may be retired, but he’s not done helping others. For two years, Randy has volunteered his time at Simpson’s Shelter 3-4 evenings a month. He stocks and cleans up the supply closet, he makes coffee for guests, and then greets them as they enter the shelter for the evening.
Joshua Kortgard is not your average 14 year old boy. Sure, he likes playing tennis, video games, but he also spends his time collecting toiletries to donate to Simpson’s Shelter.
It all started a few years ago on a family trip to Chicago. Josh saw people on the streets and started asking questions:
“Where do they sleep?”
“Can they come live with us?”
“How do they brush their teeth?”
“Can we buy them a house?”
On March 29th, we joined the community in celebrating 10 years of Heading Home Hennepin. At the celebration one of Simpson’s participants, Brittany, was featured in the video.
Click here to view the video, her story starts at 1.44. Brittany and her two children found housing through a partnership with Simpson and Hennepin County’s Stable Family Initiative.
Joylenna Sims likes to have a goal. She’s always working toward something – learning, growing, and striving to be better. And as a Family Advocate at Simpson, she puts that attitude toward her program participants, too.
“I’m always driven by what’s next, how I can be better,
“To provoke thought and to get you to actively participate and engage in your own life.” That’s Jean Loyd’s personal mission statement. It guides her life, both personal and professional. Jean’s been working at Simpson for nine years and her mission statement drives her work.
“I like asking people questions.
Tony Szczepaniak first got involved with Simpson ten years ago through his church, Immanuel Lutheran church, Eden Prairie. “My involvement began as the church coordinator and all around cheerleader to raise awareness and engage volunteers,” Tony says. “It felt like the right thing to do.”
Over the years,
“I am a professor at Metropolitan State University. I have connected dozens of law enforcement and criminal justice students with Simpson for service learning opportunities as part of a course I teach called “Citizenship and Community Involvement.”
Simpson is by far my most recommended service learning opportunity for students because it introduces them to issues of urban poverty that many of them have never experienced from the perspective of a concerned citizen.
Malcolm Adams changed schools a lot growing up. There wasn’t a lot of consistency or stability. When Malcolm’s family moved to Minneapolis around 2004, the instability continued. Malcolm, along with his father and older brother, stayed at the People Serving People homeless shelter until they secured a spot in one of Simpson’s housing programs.
This fall, Jonathan was homeless and sleeping in his car. His friend, who had a bed at the Simpson shelter, brought Jonathan to visit. He hadn’t been to the shelter before and wasn’t really interested in staying. There happened to be an extra bed open that night and Jonathan’s friend persuaded him to stay and get a decent night’s sleep.
I met Natasha outside a gas station.
I just happened to stop for a morning paper and there she was, her baby in arms, two bags at her feet. She looked fearful. When I asked if she was alright, she told me she was leaving an abusive relationship and was waiting for a ride.