Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is a Multiplying Good One in a Million Award recipient. They are among the millions of people who are putting others first and using service as a solution to the problems we're facing. Read their story below then nominate someone who's making a difference during this unprecedented time!
One in a Million Award recipient: Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless
Where they are multiplying good: Minneapolis, Minnesota
How they are multiplying good: They are One in a Million. Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has ensured that emergency shelters, food shelves and domestic violence shelters throughout Minnesota have the tools, resources and infrastructure necessary to serve those in need. As one of a few basic needs funders in Minnesota, Open Your Heart provides funding towards motel vouchers and transportation in communities with no shelter nearby. They provide food shelves with new energy efficient appliances so that they can accept more donations and increase healthy options for families facing food insecurity. They ensure that schools have transportation, uniforms and other essential items for students experiencing homelessness. And they create warm spaces in emergency shelter vestibules so that people who are out on the streets can escape the sub-zero winter temperatures and inclement weather.
With the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, Open Your Heart is especially concerned with the vulnerability of those experiencing homelessness who sleep together in close quarters in shelters, have limited ability to wash their hands and already struggle with underlying health conditions which make the virus much more harmful if contracted. Furthermore, with children out of school and people unable to work, Minnesota food shelves are being stretched to the limit. In response, Open Your Heart quickly established the COVID-19 Response Fund to provide emergency funding to Minnesota emergency shelters, day shelters and meal service providers who do not have the financial resources needed to prevent/fight COVID-19. To date, they have provided over $85,000 to 33 front-line service providers throughout Minnesota. These funds have helped provide Minnesotans experiencing homelessness, and most vulnerable to the virus, with safe places to recover in isolation. It has given street outreach teams the protective equipment they themselves and those living in encampments need to prevent contracting the virus. And it has helped increase food and supplies necessary for food shelves to continuously support the ever-increasing needs of local families facing food insecurity.