Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless

Give where the need is greatest.

aka Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless   |   Minneapolis, MN   |  http://www.oyh.org

Mission

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless believes that every Minnesotan should be free from hunger and homelessness. We make an impact by partnering with those who serve people in need, growing donor engagement and increasing awareness in Minnesota.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

Mrs. Jessica Mathias

Main address

122 W Franklin Ave Ste 610

Minneapolis, MN 55404-2426 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3488089

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (L12)

Fund Raising Organizations That Cross Categories includes Community Funds/Trusts and Federated Giving Programs) e.g. United Way (T70)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since 1986, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has focused solely on ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable Minnesotans have the most basic of needs: Food. Shelter. Safety. From inner city shelters to rural domestic violence centers; suburban food shelves to Indian Reservations; Open Your Heart helps. We were founded by employees of the State of Minnesota who wanted their employee giving dollars to be used specifically to help hungry and homeless people in Minnesota. Today, more than 5,000 individuals make our work possible through workplace giving. Most work in schools and public facilities as teachers, administrative, police, transportation, clerical, facility, maintenance, professional and technical staff. Others work in companies large and small. Together, we’ve ensured that Minnesotans who, for whatever reason, are hungry, homeless or unsafe, have adequate supportive shelter, nourishing food, and a safe place to rebuild their lives.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Hunger and Homeless Grants

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless provides grant funding for food and shelter providers for items such as mattresses, freezers and roof repairs that enable them to serve more people in need. Open Your Heart responds quickly to these needs, which are not typically funded by other organizations.

Open Your Heart also provides vital financial support to stock Minnesota’s food shelves in the summer through our Summer Challenge grant. This funding is especially important to food shelves in the summer when food supplies are low and the needs are greater because children are home from school.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

Open Your Heart meets the often overlooked needs of homeless school children through its Education Fund. This special grant funding is awarded each school year to homeless shelters and housing programs working with children and youth in grades K-12. The funding helps provide items such as backpacks, school supplies, gym uniforms and activity fees, giving students who are homeless the tools they need to stay engaged and succeed in school.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of organizations applying for grants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

These numbers reflect requests for Open Your Heart's Hunger and Homeless Grants and Education Grants.

Average grant amount

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers reflect funding towards Open Your Heart's Hunger and Homeless Grants, Education Grants, Special Projects, Emergency Requests and our Summer Challenge.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These numbers do not reflect the dozens of Minnesota food shelves who receive matching grant funding from Open Your Heart through our Summer Challenge Program.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Food, shelter and safety are essential to the overall wellbeing of all people. At Open Your Heart, our guiding principle has always been to give where the need is greatest. We do that by focusing our support on the front end of the continuum – people who are currently on the streets or in shelters. Despite vigorous and targeted efforts to reduce homelessness, and despite many individual success stories, people depend on shelters every day. Shelters are a critical first step out of an unsafe situation and reduction in their capacity is troubling. Preventing homelessness takes a broad array of supports, including support from family and community, and services provided by the public and private sector. These collectively make up our social safety net, but most are better designed to lift the fallen than to stabilize those about to fall. With rare exception, the public safety net has been strained in recent years, and funding support, adjusted for inflation, has been reduced at the same time that economic obstacles have multiplied. At Open Your Heart, our primary goal is to ensure that front line providers of crisis services have the tools, equipment, and infrastructure necessary to carry out their work.

Each year Open Your Heart provides support to over 200 different homeless shelters, food shelves and domestic violence shelters throughout Minnesota. We reach out to and support programs in communities large and small throughout Minnesota who do not usually receive support from larger metro based or statewide funders. We listen closely to the needs and challenges faced by the organizations we serve and ensure that we respond quickly by developing special projects, bringing together partner funders and utilizing local media focus to meet those needs. Although typically ranging from $2,000 - $10,000, our grants have significant impact on small programs.

Open Your Heart is mindful that some of Minnesota’s best work with people experiencing hunger and homelessness happens in small, primarily volunteer run agencies that may not have professional fundraising staff or a complex admin/financial infrastructure. As a result, we tailor our provision of resources and application process to allow presentation of information in a way that works best for applicant agencies. In an era where funders, including Open Your Heart, are requiring more information and unique application processes, we find it more important than ever to be easily accessible to Minnesota agencies.

Through direct support, Open Your Heart improves facilities, ensuring safe and dignified environments for dozens of homeless shelters and supportive living centers across Minnesota. We ensure that children and youth experiencing homelessness can participate fully in school and have the same necessities as other students. Our Homeless Student Scholarship program provides one-year scholarships to impoverished students attending the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. And our Summer Challenge makes it possible for hundreds of food shelves throughout Minnesota to restock and distribute fresh and frozen foods at a time when donations are traditionally low.

Furthermore, Open Your Heart staff and board closely follow trends and challenges faced by those experiencing hunger and homelessness and work to meet needs as they arise. This includes developing special projects to address barriers and providing emergency support within days if a crisis occurs at an agency’s facility.

We also spend a majority of our time and resources reaching out to and helping agencies secure funding not only from Open Your Heart but from other potential funders in their area. Open Your Heart grantees frequently express their gratitude for our technological assistance, propensity for responsive grant-making and for quick turnaround when providing much needed funding.

Through our over 35-year history of supporting nearly all Minnesota shelters and food shelves, Open Your Heart has developed excellent relationships with most and it goes to the heart of our work. We conduct surveys and other research involving agencies and their communities to better understand their needs and ways that we can direct our resources. Through our own communication channels and our relationships with local media, we often promote service agencies and publish articles and opinions regarding issues of homelessness and poverty.

By looking at unmet needs and developing ways to address them, Open Your Heart is constantly forming new relationships and collaborations. Through our Student Scholarship Program, we work closely with the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) to provide students who are currently homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past two years with funding towards books, material fees and living expenses. We rely on MCTC faculty and Student Support Center staff to help identify and qualify students in need of the scholarship.

For over ten years, we have partnered with Hunger Solutions in an effort to boost donations to food shelves throughout Minnesota when they need it most. During the summer months, food shelf donations are traditionally low. For the thousands of Minnesota families that rely on free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year, the summer makes it difficult for them to secure food. In partnership with Hunger Solutions, each year Open Your Heart’s Summer Challenge makes it possible for several dozen Minnesota food shelves to restock and distribute fresh and frozen foods during this difficult time.

We view our longstanding relationships with our workplace partners not only as a means of financial support but as an opportunity to educate community members on hunger and homelessness. These partnerships allow Open Your Heart to provide thousands of people each year with updates on the challenges faced by those in crisis. Employees are also able to volunteer their time and learn more about the service agencies we support.

In 2020, Open Your Heart supported…

44 Homeless Shelters and Food Shelves. It is essential that the most basic of services; food, shelter and safety, is available for families and individuals who find themselves in need. For homeless shelters and supportive living centers across the state, Open Your Heart provides access to beds, linens, kitchen equipment, remodeled bathrooms and showers, installed security systems, repaired roofs, and dozens of other projects. We focus on improving facilities and ensure safe and dignified environments for families, youth, and adults who are experiencing homelessness. From this place of safety and support, agencies can help stabilize those who are homeless and focus on critical next steps.

12 Agencies for Education. Children and youth age 24 and under are the most likely age group to be homeless in Minnesota, representing over one-third of the overall homeless population. Nearly half of these children are age 5 or under. For children, fitting in with their peers and school mates is important. But for those who are homeless, it is sometimes hard to hide the fact that they are living in shelters or in other programs. Open Your Heart helps children and youth who are experiencing homelessness get their GEDs, pay for activity fees, and much more so they can participate fully in school and have the same necessities as other students.

15 Scholarships Provided. Each year Open Your Heart partners with the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) to provide students who are currently homeless or have experienced homelessness in the past two years with funding towards education or living expenses. With demand for technical and skilled trade positions at an all time high, and with MCTC’s nearly 100% job placement rates for students graduating from their career and technical education (CTE) programs, Open Your Heart is confident that the benefits of this scholarship are twofold. In addition to filling high-demand jobs, students are offered a real and permanent escape from a homeless life.

129 Food Shelves. During the summer months, food shelf donations are traditionally low. For the thousands of families throughout Minnesota that rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs during the school year and are now even more dependent on food shelves, the summer makes it difficult for them to secure food when they need it most. In partnership with Hunger Solutions, Open Your Heart’s Summer Challenge makes it possible for Minnesota food shelves to restock and distribute fresh and frozen foods during this difficult time of year.

33 Front Line Service Providers: In an effort to ensure that homeless service providers and food shelves were able to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19, Open Your Heart quickly provided emergency funding towards plans to protect the homeless and give them a place to recover in isolation, deployed street teams to work with those living in encampments, and much more.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless

Board of directors
as of 4/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Derek Holt

Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs

Term: 2015 - 2023

Nancy Berg

Berg & Partners

Deanna Eckholm

American Academy of Neurology

Abbie Hugunin

Hennepin County

Tammy Peterson

University of Minnesota

Christopher Pinkerton

Sons of Norway

Angela Bellmont

Nexus: Youth and Family Solutions

Jessica Bigirindavyi

Eugene Bryskin

Bryskin Enterprises

Susan Christian

StoneArch Creative

David Crabb

Thrivent Financial

John Fritz

Amy Olson

University of Minnesota

Jodi Schoh

Culligan Soft Water Service

Sabrina Spangler

Ramsey County Attorneys Office

Grace Yonushonis

3M

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data