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Minneapolis - St. Paul area church assistance programs.

There is a network of churches across the Ramsey as well as Hennepin County area that serve the needy. The faith based groups will help anyone in need, however most of the resources are given to the vulnerable including homeless, immigrants, and families with an income under poverty levels. However anyone can seek help from one of the many churches in the city of Saint Paul or Minneapolis region.

A wide variety of assistance programs can be provided. There may be a free store (which is a thrift store) that sells clothes, low-cost furniture, baby supplies, and more. Central Lutheran Church is one example of a location that offers this service. They are based at 333 South 12th Street, Minneapolis MN 55404, call (612)870-4416.

The money raised from the sale of goods can be used to help pay for housing costs including utility bills, rent, and more. Or it pays for the operating expense of the parish. Many of the Hennepin County churches also have food shelves, and these offer boxes of groceries to clients.

Ramsey County also has thrift stores as well as “Swap Shops”. One is at St. Thomas More Church at 1065 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul Minnesota 55105, dial (651)227-7669. A swap shop also allows for exchanges of goods. This is often also called a barter system, and people can change one item for another. This is a free service and really benefits families with zero income.

Financial assistance is also available from a small number of local churches. They often receive money from either parishioner donations or grants from regional groups including the United Way of Hennepin County. Charities including New Creation Baptist Church (location - 1414 East 48th Street, Minneapolis MN 55417, dial (612)825-6933) and others may have a few dollars from time to time. The money can be used for expenses such as.

-Rent to stop homelessness. Or find other Minneapolis rent assistance programs.
-Heat or fuel bills to keep power on.
Local transportation needs for work reasons. A church may have a bus pass, gasoline vouchers, or organize mechanics to fix a car.
-Glasses as well as contacts, including free eye exams and glasses for the poor.
-Emergency supplies including winter jackets, work boots, etc.





Food shelves can also benefit the hungry. Bethesda Baptist Church (1118 South 8th Street, Minneapolis MN 55404, phone (612) 332-3389) is but one agency. They offer free food, baby formula, and the like. Or clients can get referrals to services including The Feast of Sharing Together. This is an assistance program available, and this service operates from a coalition of downtown Minneapolis churches which provides free meals, Christmas gifts or food, and more to the poor.

Last, but not least, Plymouth Congregational Church drop in center is for residents of Hennepin County with mental illness or there is also housing for people that struggle with independent living. The site is at 1900 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55403, telephone (612)871-7400. While there they are given a hot meal, counseling, and warm winter or cool summer clothing too.

Medical and dental care from Twin City churches

A council of churches also operate the MNSure Navigator Assistance program. This is available across both Minneapolis as well as all of Ramsey County. As part of the service counselors help low income families and even immigrants get the health as well as dental care they need. Or thy coordinate eye exams and the like.

Many of the advocates are part of the Minnesota Council of Churches at 22 W Franklin Ave #100, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (dial (612) 870-3600). This is a free service in which any person can meet with a specialist to go over health insurance plans that are available to them. The Navigator has been highly trained in that they have has online training, the person needed to undergo a background check and also pass a certification exam.




The staff is obligated to help the family find, apply to, and enroll into a health insurance plan for their needs. It will factor in the applicant's income, total household size, and medical needs too. So the process is all encompassing as many patient care advocates are involved.

The Council of Churches is made up of over 20 faith based charities including Orthodox judicatories, Protestant, Historic Black Churches, Catholics, and traditional Peace Churches. All services are in multiple languages, including Spanish. They can not only help with medical needs, but direct clients to rent programs, food shelves, and more.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church (address of 2742 15th Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, Phone: (612) 724-1690) operates a free community clinic for anyone in need in Ramsey County. There are professional who volunteer at the site. They offer anyone basic medical o dental care at no cost to the patient. Many of the people served are living in poverty or lack insurance. Others are homeless or immigrants to the region.

There are other free health care clinics in the community as well. The volunteer doctors, dentists, hygienists, and nurses are at these health care clinics a few hours per week. During this time-frame all needs are dealt with. The doctors even often now know of social service programs including shelters for the homeless or places that offer heating bill help in the Twin Cities. Or if the patient needs more comprehensive care, then referrals are given.

For more information on church sponsored programs in the Twin Cities area, call the 211 referral line. Anyone can dial and get free information.



By Jon McNamara

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