2017 Annual report
Every person thrives. Every voice matters.
Building pathways toward equity by disrupting social and economic barriers.
Note from the President and Chair
2017 was a big year for East Side. In charting a new direction for East Side in partnership with the community, 2017 brought East Side a new president, a new strategic plan, an updated brand, and new mission and vision statements. As our east Minneapolis neighborhoods change, our mission is to build pathways toward equity by disrupting social and economic barriers.
Equity is not just about giving people the same resources and opportunities—it’s about responding to barriers that have prevented people from accessing those resources and opportunities. This year we challenge ourselves to start disrupting those barriers by creating a space where community gathers and learns across generations, cultures, histories, and identities.
In this annual report, you’ll see some stories about how East Side has gathered and nurtured our community. Sarah, Esther, and Bob’s stories show how East Side helps everyone to thrive—from a single mom looking for support for her family to older adults looking for ways to connect to and engage with their community.
We hope you’ll continue to support the East Side community, and to help make our vision a reality. Every person thrives, every voice matters.
Board of Directors
Michael J. Burns
East Side first touched my life as a child living in the community, when two of my siblings graduated from Menlo Park Academy. Eventually I became a single mom of two beautiful children, but when my son was diagnosed with autism I was overwhelmed. I needed help and support to push through the many barriers my family was facing, so I went to East Side.
Through the adult employment program I was able to complete a Serve Safe certification and secure a full time job. I was able to get extra food from East Side’s food shelf and put my kids into after school programming with transportation home included. My children have attended the Summer on Second youth program, Camp Bovey, and continue to get art therapy and attend after school programming through East Side.
I am now in my fifth year of a job I love. My children and I are thriving.
I have multiple health issues, and in January 2017 I knew that I needed to get my health back on track immediately. I needed a pathway back into health—I didn’t want to lose my legs, go blind, or face kidney failure.
In January 2017 I was able to enter East Side’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). I was placed at East Side in the Human Resources team. I found out about East Side’s Vital Aging (EVA) programming, and was able to take health classes (Living Well with Diabetes and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Balance) where I learned to acknowledge my feelings and write down my goals. I learned how to plan meals, including the importance of portion and serving sizes. I learned to daily monitor my blood sugar levels. Now I have more energy and am not as tired as I used to be.
With the extra energy I gained from better managing my health, I was able to take responsibility for managing payroll for SCSEP. I feel like I am growing in a career I enjoy. East Side has supported me to find a new job I love, the resources I needed to manage my health, and an opportunity to engage in meaningful community.
Your voice matters: Donate
Bob and Linda Foster have been supporters of East Side for more than twenty years. Bob first got connected with East Side through the United Way, and soon after was able to join the board. As a lawyer who lived in Northeast, Bob saw it as his responsibility to give back to the community.
Bob and Linda believe everyone needs support in order to thrive, and that by donating to East Side, they can help make sure that happens for people in the community. He helped kick off donations at this year’s Night at the Nic event, and this spring was able to work with the Northeast Lions Foundation to give $3500 of scholarships to Menlo Park graduates. Bob knows how hard it is to pay for college, and how important those scholarships are to Menlo students being able to thrive.
Tony Brown, Menlo’s Dean of Students, had this to say about Bob and Linda:
“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. Words can’t express how important your generosity is to each and every soul you have touched. Thank you Bob and Linda for all you do for Menlo Park and the community. You guys are simply the best.”
Programs by Core Priority
People have the stability they need to thrive.
Children and youth foster curiosity and autonomy through educational pathways.
Older adults feel valued, socially and intellectually engaged, and able to live in the community.
Families build foundations for healing and growth.