There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.
— Archbishop Desmond Tutu
education, economic stability, and other social determinants of health account for 80% of health outcomes. We focus our efforts on these to maximize our impact.
Our youth deserve safe, nurturing spaces to grow, learn, and realize their full potential. This is why GMCC invests in the education and development of our youth.
No one should go hungry. We bring people together to close the gap on immediate food insecurity while working toward long term sustainable solutions.
Founded in 1981, Minnesota FoodShare is a long standing brand of GMCC’s food security and justice work. Our annual March Campaign engages thousands of people to raise food and funds for our food shelf partners across Minnesota. During March Campaign and throughout the year, Minnesota FoodShare raises and distributes funding to food shelves and other partners addressing urgent issues of food security.
The 43rd March Campaign runs February 26th – April 6th, 2024. Registration is open!
On Fridays from 11am – 3pm, GMCC opens our facility to our unhoused neighbors to provide respite from the outdoors and a variety of services such as access to hot showers and hygiene supplies, case management, digital navigation support, and a hot meal. But people don’t just show up because they are hungry or could use a shower. We have built a community here, and that camaraderie is palpable.
We are looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers to help out on Fridays!
Youth Initiatives: LakeStreet Youth Labs
Launched in 2021, LakeStreet Youth Labs (formerly Genius Labs) brings together technological access, studio learning, and student-centered programming to create opportunities for middle and high school youth that fostered creativity, independence, critical thinking, and self-awareness. We focus on STEAM programming, homework help, digital access, and meeting the immediate needs of the youth in our neighborhood.
Spring 2024 youth programming is active from January 29 – March 28th!
GMCC Recovery Care
GMCC Recovery Care provides compassionate community based support to improve the success of long-term recovery. Our three, trained subject matter experts provide 1:1 culturally specific peer recovery coaching and facilitate regular recovery meetings from our facility. This effort is in direct response to a demand for culturally-specific recovery support services.
To date, our team of peer recovery coaches has served over 150 individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD).
Food Distribution Initiatives
When COVID-19 resulted in food access challenges for some communities, GMCC partnered with faith and community leaders to launch a food distribution initiative. We opened a kitchen and prepared and delivered daily, culturally appropriate nutritious meals to seven Twin Cities communities.
Since 2020, GMCC has continued to feed our communities. Our food distribution efforts have included meals and food bags for families who participate in our programming; pop-up food shelves through which we distribute food to anyone who needs it; and distribution of food and meals at partner faith communities.
Face The Facts: Poverty Simulation Training
Our award-winning poverty simulation, Face The Facts, focuses on education and awareness around the complexities and root causes of poverty, privilege, and social justice issues within our communities.
Minnesota Venture Farms
Seeded by GMCC in partnership with local leaders, Minnesota Venture Farms (MVF) is a BIPOC-led response to inequities in our food system that further disparities in health, housing, education, and wealth. MVF is an enterprise that is led by a collective of BIPOC farmers, agricultural leaders, and food entrepreneurs. MVF builds a new, equitable food ecosystem including BIPOC land ownership, new distribution channels, and co-designed microenterprises.
As MVF spins off into its own entity, we are excited to see what impacts our investments make in the food system.
GMCC presents WBAC Summer Festival (Summer 2022)
GMCC presents WBAC (West Bank Athletic Club) Summer Festival was an exciting new collaboration. What had been an annual soccer tournament expanded in 2022 to include an international artist-in-residence and a variety of culturally-specific youth arts activities.
The 2022 soccer tournament took place June 21-25. The live music performances took place at Ted Mann concert hall on June 25th and First Avenue on July 1st. We were happy to work alongside WBAC to resume this important community event.
In fall 2020, our Learning Pods initiative provided 70 Somali youth with twice-weekly distance learning and tutoring support and engaged mothers in courses in nutrition, computer literacy, women’s health, and financial planning. We also provided weekly take-home food and supply boxes to 20 families. The Learning Pods initiative served as a proof of concept for our new youth and family services model.
Kinship Greater Twin Cities
In 2020, we completed an intensive research process that included evaluation of our 65-year running Kinship mentoring program. This six-month process included engaging paid co-designers in a three-part studio session; conducting one-on-one interviews; reviewing historical surveys; administering new surveys; meeting with partners working in the same areas; and reviewing published, external research. Results informed a reimagination of our youth development and family services to ensure we are best serving our communities. As these initiatives continue to develop, the kinship program and name will be phased out to transition to new programming.
For 25 years, Urban Immersions, engaged groups from around the midwest about the complexities and root causes of poverty and social justice issues within our communities through service learning and education. Due to COVID-19 all immersions and in-person trainings paused. As of 2021, we will no longer be offering overnight immersions as we utilize our building for other initiatives.