News & Events
We are writing to ask for your support during this critical time. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our clients are experiencing a great loss of resources. Our clients, who are living with mental illness and/or experiencing chronic homelessness, are going without necessary supplies to live safely during this time. From going without cleaning products and toilet paper to losing in-person social support, they are experiencing extreme hardship. While Guild cannot change what is happening in the world, we can work to change the lives of those we serve. This is why we created the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The COVID-19 Emergency Fund will be comprised of donations used to support our clients during the pandemic. We will use this fund to work with suppliers to get our clients basic cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and other vital resources. Together, we can improve the quality of life for hundreds of our clients. But, we can’t do it without you. Please donate to our fund by filling out our donation form and clicking “Yes” for the question, “Is your donation for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund?”
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Before moving to Delancey Apartments, Quenton describes life as “real hectic.” First, his wife left him. Then, unable to pay over $1,000 a month in rent, he lost the house they shared, too. He went to the Salvation Army, and eventually found himself sleeping behind a dumpster at a fast food chain.
A case manager told him about Delancey Apartments after he suffered a heart attack.
A 13-unit building in St. Paul, Delancey Apartments looks much like any other apartment complex. There’s a community room, a bank of mailboxes, a bulletin board with flyers, and hallways lined with apartments. Various sounds and smells waft out – a reminder of the lives lived behind each door. The mix of tenants, including a family with young kids, come and go, sometimes exchanging a brief hello greeting. It’s a community. For the people who live there, it’s home.
To get in Delancey Apartments, a staff member – monitoring traffic via a camera by the front door – has to buzz you in. Visitors are required to show an ID. Around-the-clock staff do daily rounds of the hallways, providing support and safety for tenants. A St. Paul Police Officer does rounds once a week. “There is a comfort level that guests need to be checked in, so I can sleep good at night not having to worry about someone breaking into my apartment,” Quenton says.
Tenants arrive at the Apartments with unique stories, often sharing similar elements — histories of abuse, legal problems, mental health symptoms, substance use, medical issues, sometimes traumatic brain injuries, and other disabilities. It’s nearly impossible to be homeless without being arrested for things like loitering and trespassing, so criminal histories are also common.
“Folks that have histories of legal issues tend to be high utilizers of the legal system and those are the people that tend to get screened out of housing options,” says Julie Grothe, Service Director, Integrated Services. “We’re screening people into housing instead of screening them out. We try to work with people that have these histories because – after being homeless – they need help adjusting to living inside. Having 24/7 staffing really helps.”
If a tenant needs support or assistance, a staff member, including two Peer Support Recovery Specialists – who bring personal, lived experience to the job – is there to help. “When I’m down and out, they listen, and give positive feedback,” Quenton remarks. Staff members also help tenants learn or re-learn skills easily forgotten after a long period of homelessness – how to be a good neighbor, how to clean, and how to get groceries. “They get housing support to maintain stability,” says Vicenta Valero, Program Manager for Housing Support Services. “They can connect with a case manager, if needed, and if they have a case manager, they can get employment services as well.”
“What we hear from police and community members is that we have improved the neighborhood – not just our little corner,” Valero continues. “The police officer who does rounds at the Apartment tells us that behavior from some tenants that used to be a concern in the community has changed. When you give people a space, meet their basic needs, and provide services, people can make changes in their lives.”
Delancey Apartments is succeeding at the goal – keep people off of the street — established in 2009 when a number of partners joined together to figure out how to get housing for the 20% of people who were still experiencing chronic homelessness. All of the current tenants have maintained their apartments for at least 1 year; one person has lived there for 8 years. “For some, Delancey Apartments is the last stop,” Valero explains. “For others, it’s a temporary stop on their way to a more independent living situation.”
Quenton’s been living in his apartment, which he refers to as his “sanctuary”, for a year and 5 months. The things he likes best about living at Delancey Apartments: Movie Night, Barbequing, and having a key to his own door. With help from staff, he also got a job.
“Homelessness is a problem that feels too big to tackle for most of us,” Valero says. So, a lot of times, individuals in homelessness become invisible as we feel overwhelmed.”
“We put all of these rules and restrictions on housing,” Julie says. If we can’t help people access housing, they’ll find it on the light rail or on busses. People have to sleep somewhere. The longer someone is homeless, the harder it gets.”
Dress in your finest and smash something? Yep. That’s exactly what we did at last month’s 6th annual Bash4Guild. Okay, okay, it was stigma that got smashed. On top of that, you helped us raise a record-breaking $90,000 for our Equilibrium (EQ) Youth ACT Services! Thank you.
Over 200 guests – both long-time and new supporters alike – gathered at International Market Square with one thing in mind: to party for a purpose. Originally founded as an event for young professionals, this year’s event committee focused on creating a mission-focused party with broad appeal.
Bash4Guild guests mingled, donned props for the photo booth, struck a pose in front of the step-and-repeat, danced to live music, gave our signature cocktail, Tito’s Bash Mojito a try, cast their bids on silent auction items, dined on a variety of appetizers, and played architect-designed games, including crowd favorite: ring toss for wine.
Our Executive Director | CEO, Julie Bluhm, talked about the impact of EQ Services on young people with mental illness trying to make their way to adulthood and the program’s critical need for support. We are grateful to Nick, a young man receiving EQ services, for sharing his inspiring story with the crowd.
Our thanks to the Otto Bremer Foundation for providing $25,000 in matching dollars for our first-ever fund-a-need auction. Because of you, we received the full match!
We remain grateful to event founders and co-hosts, Nik Larsen and Matt Bollero, for their original vision and for their continued involvement in the event.
Mark your calendar: next year’s 7th annual Bash4Guild will come your way Saturday, April 25th!
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to:
Presenting Sponsor: Riverbridge
Platinum Sponsor: Otogawa-Anschel Design + Build
Silver Sponsors: Mayo Clinic, Schromen Law LLC, Hiway Federal Credit Union, Warners’ Stellian, Kurt Johnson Auctioneering Inc., Alerus Mortgage, Todd Braufman of Latitude Real Estate Advisors, and Dr. & Mrs. Michael Paparella
Co-founders and hosts: Nik Larsen and Matt Bollero
Volunteers: Mick Anderson, Laura Beilke, Gavin Bollinger-Brown, Bridget Davis, Pete Discenza, Sara Discenza, Pam Flenniken, Mark Prinsen, Jeff Roatch, Carrie Sandgren, John Sandgren, Duane Steen, Matt Steinback, Shanna Steinback.
Volunteer step-and-repeat photographer: Drew Paul, Honeybear Agency.
Bash4Guild committee members: Rachel Schromen, Brad Reiser, Cara Kootz, Kyler Harder, Nick Cupery, Anthony Theisen, and Sam Flood
Event photos: Terra Sura Photography.
We’re excited to report that, earlier this month, the Savage City Council met and unanimously approved preliminary development and design plans for the new Mental Health Crisis Stabilization and Intensive Residential Treatment Services (IRTS) Center.
We are grateful for the unanimous support of the city council and we look forward to continuing to develop relationships with our new community.
We’ll bring you more as this project progresses. Meanwhile, the Star Tribune and Southwest News Media have been covering the project.
Read the latest:
- Star Tribune: Plans for mental health treatment center in Savage move forward
- Southwest News Media: Meet the organization behind the mental health facility nearing approval in Savage
April 26, 2019
We’ll have something for everyone: appetizers, a signature cocktail, architect-designed games, including ring toss for bottles of wine, live music and dancing, a silent auction, and more! Best of all — funds from Bash4Guild will support Equilibrium (EQ), Guild’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Services for Youth.
Customized for ages 16-20, EQ helps youth with mental illnesses transition successfully into adulthood.
Bash4Guild was created by Guild Incorporated Board of Directors’ member Nik Larsen, and friend and fellow supporter, Matt Bollero. Bash4Guild increases awareness, smashes stigma, and raises funds for EQ.
When: Saturday, April 20th
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Where: International Market Square – 275 Market Street Minneapolis, MN 55405
Tickets: Get Yours Today