programs & services

Please note: In an attempt to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and the risk to our families and staff, some of the programs and services listed below have been adjusted to accommodate social distancing. We are committed to our staff, our families, and our community as we continue to provide essential, transformative services despite the risks of COVID-19. Learn more.

Crisis Response and Emergency Shelter

Our 99 hotel-style emergency shelter housing units for children and families experiencing homelessness include a bathroom, beds, basic furniture, and a door families can lock behind them to feel safe. Three nutritious meals are served daily in our cafeteria, and diapers and other basic necessities are provided free of charge. After immediate basic needs are met, families are provided access to the following comprehensive Engagement Services to move towards stability.


Family Advocates use a strengths-based, client-centered approach while working one-on-one with families to address their barriers. This approach empowers them on their journey towards stability as it builds supportive relationships and connects families to community resources for housing, financial assistance, legal, medical, dental, and other services. Advocates also work with families to assess their skills and work history, create resumes and cover letters, search for jobs, prepare for interviews, complete job applications, and connect them to job training resources.

Early Childhood Development Program

An on-site, licensed, 4-star Parent Aware rated and NECPA nationally accredited program serves our youngest guests in three classrooms. The program provides developmentally appropriate curriculum and related assessments, and focuses on areas of development and kindergarten readiness that may be impacted by homelessness and other adversities.

Family Activities

Family Fridays bring families together to enjoy activities such as movies, board games, bingo, monthly birthday parties, or other special events.

Financial Fitness

Classes such as “Money in the Bank” teach adults basic financial skills including budgeting, savings, and professional communications skills.

K–12 Programs

After school and evening programs for youth include one-on-one tutoring, homework assistance, and enrichment activities that promote social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth.

Parent Engagement

This program works with parents to educate them on typical child development, parenting resources, behavior management, and other related topics, and connect them with community resources.

Supportive Housing

Ten two-bedroom apartments provide affordable housing to families with multi-level barriers to self-sufficiency. Families can take advantage of many of our on-site programs and services.

Technology Resource Center

The Technology Resource Center fosters computer literacy and provides computer access for job and housing searches and personal communication activities, such as email and social media.


Family Prevention Program

The Family Prevention Program advances People Serving People’s mission by providing housing support for Hennepin County families to maintain housing stability outside of shelter with the goal of preventing the experience, or reoccurrence, of homelessness. Support for families can include financial assistance, ongoing case management, employment assistance, connecting to community resources, and other services.

Center of Excellence Preschool and Learning Center

The Preschool & Learning Center at People Serving People’s Center of Excellence allows us to continue our multigenerational work upstream of the shelter system. The Center provides continuity of services for families leaving shelter and enables us to reach families in the community who are seeking high-quality early childhood, school age, and parent engagement programming. The licensed center has a 4-Star Parent Aware rating from the State of Minnesota and is designated a Strong Beginnings site by Hennepin County. We are proud to have low teacher-child ratios and small class sizes.

Systems Change

Community Engagement and Partnerships

The lives and experiences of our shelter guests are shaped by the interconnected systems with which they interact. Often these systems create and perpetuate economic and educational disparities, among others. People Serving People engages in issue advocacy and public policy discussions to help inform lawmakers on the barriers our community faces, helping educate our community on issues related to accessible and high-quality childcare, rental assistance, affordable housing, and childhood trauma and family healing.

Our 30+ community partners join us alongside those we serve in our work, and we move forward with a racial and economic equity lens. People Serving People hosts community gatherings, welcoming partners and colleagues from government agencies, schools, and other social service organizations to share and collaborate on trauma-responsive approaches to our collective work in the community.

Family Financial Empowerment Collaboration

People Serving People, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), Research In Action, the Pohlad Foundation, and Hennepin County’s Eligibility Work Services (EWS) Division have been concurrently discussing a pilot to reinvent self-pay for the purpose of changing policies to better support attaining housing stability. Learn more about the history, progress and goals of this pilot program.