Dedicated to enhance the lives of low-income, homeless or lonely adults by reducing isolation through relationships, activities, and support for each other and our neighbors
Impact and Programs
Listening House offered hospitality, practical assistance and counsel to over 1,000 individuals in our fiscal year, and additionally provided shelter 7-days per week in the evening, when no other facility was open to homeless adults. We held five community meetings with our guests to discuss upcoming changes in location, problems in and around the "house," and opened the floor for comments. Listening House honored nine former guests who died during the year through memorial services. We celebrated the Christmas holiday with a buffet luncheon, had a pizza party & summer barbeque, and said good-bye to two staff members. We continue to be a satellite office for mental health and veteran's outreach as well as housing advocates working to place people in apartments or other housing units. We hosted two community forums with neighbors, police and other social service programs to identify challenges and find a balance between enforcement and intervention. Staff continues to listen compassionately and to build trusting relationships that help guide individuals toward their goals or connect them to other professionals through referrals.
Listening House will relocate to the near eastside of St. Paul in the spring. Knowing our role as shelter was diminishing, the two directors restated the mission to include creative arts and enrichment programs. These goals were determined in part through information gleaned in focus groups with guests currently being served. A common remark among these focus group members was that "the worst part of a homeless existence is a lack of purpose." Additionally, staff has witnessed over the years, a loneliness that newly housed individuals felt when their community space is gone. ("I've got four walls, but I'm still homeless," is how one person expressed it. The new programs are research based and evidenced to have healing effects. But most importantly they allow people to be part of a community. We will continue to offer drop-in services which was a request from guests and partner professionals who often find their clients at LH. Music, writing, drumming circles, creative storytelling, facilitated groups on the impact of trauma or disease management and more will be offered with new partners or by Listening House staff. Some classes will be scheduled concurrent to drop-in, and others will be offered when LH is not open to the broader guest population. Creative arts and enrichment will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. Staff will also solicit guest input regarding other activities.
Community or Constituency Served
Adult men and women who are low-income, homeless or lonely
Geographic Area Served
Downtown St. Paul and surrounding areas (suburbs & Minneapolis)