Breakfast event with a courageous client, supporters, staff and sharing of socks
By Maureen Schriner*
On a beautiful rainy fall day, Dakota Woodlands hosted our Bringing Families Home Breakfast, which gathered supporters and staff to recognize the successes of our shelter in serving homeless families and to understand the challenges still before us. Some of the momentous memories of this event:
Courageous client – A current resident of Dakota Woodlands, joined Dakota Woodlands’ Lauren Rose at the podium to talk about the struggles he, his wife and three children were working through, of homelessness, illness and addiction. His children are his motivation to stay sober, he told the gathering. He and his wife had been devastated when county social services took custody of their children for several weeks. His wife is still in addiction treatment. He talked about how he was using Dakota Woodlands’ programs to find a path to a better life for his family. We thank Michael for the courage to stand before the crowd to tell his story.
Our supporters – Eleven local organizations sponsored tables at the breakfast. Thanks to our board of directors who brought along family, friends and co-workers.
The event was emceed by Tom Hauser, political reporter at KSTP-TV, who recalled his time as a resident of Dakota County. Tom repeated to the gathering the compelling facts about needs of homelessness, with over 57 families on the waiting list for Dakota Woodlands.
Our staff – A number of our staff were able to join us and have conversations with our supporters. Dakota Woodlands Executive Director Beth Bromen spoke to the gathering about the problems of homelessness and about Dakota Woodlands’ services. She noted the ongoing challenges when families move out of Dakota Woodlands, but still need services to maintain stability, particularly the many adult residents at Dakota Woodlands who have mental illness, chemical addictions and no other family to help them.
We would like to thank our sponsors:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Christensen Group Insurance
Tradition Capital Bank
21st Century Bank
Individual sponsorship - anonymous
Randall Propp and Randy Nelson
* Maureen has volunteered at Dakota Woodlands as a tutor, piano teacher and communicator.