People Serving People, Minnesota’s most comprehensive emergency shelter for families and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention announced today its 20th Anniversary Fundraising Gala, held on Saturday, April 13, raised more than $265,000 for families experiencing homelessness.
This year’s theme was "Gatsby’s Gala" a salute to the Roaring 20s and People Serving People’s annual Gala event, now in its 20th year.
"Since People Serving People’s founding in 1982, our theory of change continues to revolve around creating the most stability for families in our community, and we take a multi-generational approach to addressing the barriers families face." said Daniel Gumnit, People Serving People’s CEO.
"Fifty-two percent of people experiencing homelessness in our community are families. People Serving People’s philanthropic supporters continue to make a significant difference as we work to address the barriers faced by the families we serve." said Noah Gerding, Director of Development for People Serving People.
Attending the gala as a guest of honor was Katie, a former People Serving People emergency shelter guest. Katie’s family sheltered at People Serving People more than 15 years ago. She is now a social worker in the Twin Cities, working in concert with People Serving People to help families like her own. The second chance Katie received from People Serving People is what she calls, "The difference that positively shaped my future."
Katie’s family entered People Serving People’s emergency shelter in downtown Minneapolis when she was a teenager and high school student. With the organization’s support, Katie graduated from both high school and college. She now works as a case management assistant in Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness, helping coordinate housing for people experiencing homelessness. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree and wants to impact public policies surrounding the most vulnerable populations in our community.
"I definitely consider myself as ending a cycle…Thanks to the stability and the kindness people showed me here, I was able to realize what I wanted in my life. They saw that I didn’t want to be here, that I didn’t want to be homeless for the rest of my life and that I did want to make a difference."
This year’s gala, which included passed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, games, silent and live auctions, a fund drive, and dancing was one of the organization’s most successful fundraisers to date.
"An event such as this is one way to tell our story of 37 years of advocating for and supporting those who are the most disproportionately impacted employment, economic, and educational disparities," said Gerding. ""The people we serve are experts in their own lives and know where barriers exist – it is our role to elevate their voices. The generosity from our 20th annual Gala event allows us to continue our work to end cycles of poverty and instability and ensure that family homelessness in the future is rare, brief, and non-recurring in nature."
About People Serving People – People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Minnesota and a dedicated leader in homelessness prevention. Their downtown Minneapolis shelter has 99 emergency housing units and provided shelter to 2,696 individuals from 941families in 2018. People Serving People combines crisis response with prevention and systems change work, helping children and their families who are experiencing homelessness and other adversities manage crisis situations and build a strong foundation for their long-term success. For more information go to www.peopleservingpeople.org or call 612.277.0219.
2019 Gala Event Partners include: Delta Dental, Allina Health, Bridgewater Bank, Cummins, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo, Atomic Data, Baker Tilly, Craft & Crew, The Advocate Group, Thrivent, Xcel, Zelle LLP, Welch Forsman, Allegra, Callsign51, Fetzer, kjh & associates, and Rhino Communications.