Minnesota 2016 Weidner cares!

For the second event of the 2016 Weidner Cares! campaign, we traveled to Minnesota to bring our Weidner hearts and our Weidner hands to help out at the region’s only family-focused homeless shelter. People Serving People is the largest and most comprehensive shelter of its kind in Minnesota and as a safe, secure, and sober environment, they provide emergency housing and community services which cultivate independence and accountability.

What distinguishes PSP from other emergency shelters is their broad range of on-site programs and services designed to address common barriers faced by families experiencing homelessness. They offer employment services, job training, after school programs, parent and family services, in addition to housing almost 300 families every single night.

PSP came to our attention last year when we were asked to host a fundraising event for them on the rooftop deck of our premiere downtown MN community – 222 Hennepin. The fundraiser raised over $25,000 for them, and was the most successful event of its kind in recent memory. From that initial meeting, we envisioned partnering with them for our 2016 Weidner Cares volunteer outreach.

With this many families living in one downtown, midrise location – you can imagine the amount of deferred maintenance and upgrades that are needed to keep the property feeling fresh and updated. Our group of 80 associates broke into teams and got to work immediately both inside and outside the facility. We deep cleaned the internal hallways, workrooms, and elevators. We helped process hundreds of hours’ worth of volunteer clerical work. One of our teams spent the better part of the day pressure washing the walkways and the parking lot, then went ahead and painted curbs and parking spaces. We helped to deep clean the cafeteria (which gets used for three meals and five seatings a day); and then got to help serve lunch to the staff and residents.

In what was the most visible and highly impactful projects, three teams of 8 associates were given the responsibility of completely renovating three family lounges, where residents can relax, watch TV, and read. The renovations included installing new furniture, painting murals, reorganizing books and artwork, and putting up light fixtures to match the new décor. Each of these groups had a hand in developing the new scheme, and picking out the furniture in advance. The feedback we’ve gotten from staff and residents has been tremendous, and they are hoping to renovate the remaining lounges up to these new standards in the near future.

Our team made a huge impact at this deserving non-profit, and was able to show a little love to a group of people that were sorely in need of this gesture of kindness. Now that our Minnesota region has one project under their belt, they are looking forward to the impact they can make next year and have already been forwarding worthy candidates for our 2017 event! Please join me in celebrating them for their efforts.

To learn more about our previous events, check out the Weidner Blog here.

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