Annual
Report

2018-2019

Annual
Report

2018-2019

You Are OSCS.

My Dear Friends,

After twenty years, the time has come for me to retire. As I prepare to step away from OSCS, I am filled with gratitude for you and all you have done. It is truly the people who make this place special, and this will remain true long after I am gone.

To our VOLUNTEERS – You help fulfill our mission all year round. You make meals, and the people in our shelter are fed. You teach in our classrooms, and our students master more English. You demonstrate care for others during times when the world can seem cold and harsh. Thank you!

To our DONORS – You are the financial supporters who make sure we have the resources we need to do our work. You keep our lights on and programs staffed. Knowing we can count on your faithful gifts allows us to plan ahead and grow with confidence. Thank you!

To our STUDENTS and RESIDENTS – You have taught me so much over the years about what the human spirit can really do. I see you, and I see your resilience, persistence, and determination to achieve and succeed. You are an inspiration to me and to so many others in the community. Thank you!

To my STAFF – You are the heart of all that happens here. You are the passion that brings life to our work. I am humbled by your dedication. Because of you, people succeed in achieving their dreams. You remain in my heart. You are my heart. Thank you!

And to ALL OF YOU – Over the years, so many of you have taken a moment to express a quiet word or two of encouragement. Please know how much this has meant to me, especially on those days when the work hasn’t been easy. I carry these words also in my heart. Thank you!

This Annual Report again provides us the chance to look back on the past year. We honor what we have been, and now especially, we look forward to what we will become. Although my position will change, you will continue to have me as one of your most dedicated cheerleaders.

Serving as the executive director for OSCS has been an honor and a privilege. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I remain forever grateful.

Yours,


Sandy Aslaksen
Executive Director

English
Learning
Center

Our
Saviour’s
Housing

Volunteers

Donors

English
Learning
Center

Our
Saviour’s
Housing

Volunteers

Donors

Education For

373

Student Hours

34,727

Education For

373

Student Hours

34,727

When I came here, I was so embarrassed to speak in English, I wanted to be confident speaking. Because if you live here, it’s necessary to everything – to go shopping, work, study – to live. Now maybe it’s not perfect, but people can understand what I want to say.
– ELC Student

Impact

Students say they are better able to

%

Speak
& Understand

%

Read
& Write

%

Meet
Everyday
Needs

In English

Impact

Students say they are better able to

%

Speak
& Understand

%

Read
& Write

%

Meet
Everyday
Needs

In English

When I came here, I was so embarrassed to speak in English, I wanted to be confident speaking. Because if you live here, it’s necessary to everything – to go shopping, work, study – to live. Now maybe it’s not perfect, but people can understand what I want to say.
– ELC Student

Congratulations to the 13 members of our school community who became new citizens!

Who We
Serve

  • Identify as Women 67% 67%
  • Identify as Men 33% 33%

110

Classes

Representing

25

Countries

Speaking

17

Languages

  • English
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Citizenship
  • Distance Learning
  • Intro to Health
  • 70% Somalia
  • 10% Ethiopia
  • 7% Ecuador
  • 4% Mexico
  • 2% Kenya
  • ≤ 1% from each of the remaining 21 countries
  • 76% Somali
  • 12% Spanish
  • 3% Oromo
  • 3% Amharic
  • ≤1% from each of the remaining 13 languages
  • Ages 18-87
  • 50% came to the United States as refugees
  • 37% have children under 18 at home
  • 48% have never had access to school before

Because of school, students have…

Become U.S. Citizens
Gotten Jobs
Made New Friends
Communicated with Neighbors
Asked for Directions
Used a Computer
Learned How to Improve Health

Congratulations to the 13 members of our school community who became new citizens!

Who We
Serve

  • Identify as Women 67% 67%
  • Identify as Men 33% 33%
  • Ages 18-87
  • 50% came to the United States as refugees
  • 37% have children under 18 at home
  • 48% have never had access to school before

110

Classes

  • English
  • Reading
  • Math
  • Citizenship
  • Distance Learning
  • Intro to Health

Representing

25

Countries

  • 70% Somalia
  • 10% Ethiopia
  • 7% Ecuador
  • 4% Mexico
  • 2% Kenya
  • ≤ 1% from each of the remaining 21 countries

Speaking

17

Languages

  • 76% Somali
  • 12% Spanish
  • 3% Oromo
  • 3% Amharic
  • ≤1% from each of the remaining 13 languages

Because of school, students have…

Become U.S. Citizens
Gotten Jobs
Made New Friends
Communicated with Neighbors
Asked for Directions
Used a Computer
Learned How to Improve Health

Meet Husain

I’ve had to wait for this learning experience to feel this good. I started in the lowest class. Now I feel very good about my reading and writing. Even when others taunted me for being so old and going to school, I kept trying. I am proud of that.

Husain was in his seventies the first time he heard about the English Learning Center. He’d been helping his nephew run a small shop in the Somali mall down the street from the school. Customers told him about the place where adults could go to learn, and he knew he had to go.

He says, “I came to learn the language. I wanted to answer my community when they asked me questions. I wanted to talk to the doctor myself, go to the grocery store, and feel calm about what I was saying.”

Learning a new language later in life has not been easy, and progress has sometimes been slower than Husain would like. After twelve years, he’s advanced from beginning to intermediate level English. “I’ve had to wait for this learning experience to feel this good. I started in the lowest class. Now I feel very good about my reading and writing. I feel confident because anywhere I go, I can get what I need and not worry [others] are fooling me.”

Husain believes that he’s taught others that you can learn at any age. “I kept trying. I’m proud of that. When I would tell my customers, ‘I need to leave and go to school,’ they would respond, ‘You’re old now. What can you learn from school now? I would tell them, ‘Instead of staying here with you and staying the same, I’ll go and learn one more word I didn’t know before today. That’s more than you can say.’”

Now in his mid-eighties, Husain’s drive to learn remains as strong as ever. Rather than staying home, going to the mall, or even making an appointment, he will always choose to come to school. “I never want to miss class. I always want to be here, always on time. Always learning.”

Shelter and
Housing For

513

I feel more secure and safe when I am here. The staff asks us what’s going on in our lives, and I get all the help that I need. The place gives me hope to move on. I feel close to obtaining my goals of going back to school and working.
– Duene, Shelter Resident

Impact

%

Move from shelter into permanent housing

(of those who participated in case management)

%

Remained in transitional housing or moved into permanent housing

%

Remained permanently housed

175

People gained or maintained housing

Meet Husain

I’ve had to wait for this learning experience to feel this good. I started in the lowest class. Now I feel very good about my reading and writing. Even when others taunted me for being so old and going to school, I kept trying. I am proud of that.

Husain was in his seventies the first time he heard about the English Learning Center. He’d been helping his nephew run a small shop in the Somali mall down the street from the school. Customers told him about the place where adults could go to learn, and he knew he had to go.

He says, “I came to learn the language. I wanted to answer my community when they asked me questions. I wanted to talk to the doctor myself, go to the grocery store, and feel calm about what I was saying.”

Learning a new language later in life has not been easy, and progress has sometimes been slower than Husain would like. After twelve years, he’s advanced from beginning to intermediate level English. “I’ve had to wait for this learning experience to feel this good. I started in the lowest class. Now I feel very good about my reading and writing. I feel confident because anywhere I go, I can get what I need and not worry [others] are fooling me.”

Husain believes that he’s taught others that you can learn at any age. “I kept trying. I’m proud of that. When I would tell my customers, ‘I need to leave and go to school,’ they would respond, ‘You’re old now. What can you learn from school now? I would tell them, ‘Instead of staying here with you and staying the same, I’ll go and learn one more word I didn’t know before today. That’s more than you can say.’”

Now in his mid-eighties, Husain’s drive to learn remains as strong as ever. Rather than staying home, going to the mall, or even making an appointment, he will always choose to come to school. “I never want to miss class. I always want to be here, always on time. Always learning.”

Shelter and
Housing For

513

Impact

%

Moved from shelter into permanent housing

(of those who participated in case management)

%

Remained in transitional housing or moved into permanent housing

%

Remained permanently housed

175

People gained or maintained housing

I feel more secure and safe when I am here. The staff asks us what’s going on in our lives, and I get all the help that I need. The place gives me hope to move on. I feel close to obtaining my goals of going back to school and working.
– Duene, Shelter Resident

369

Emergency
Shelter

22

Transitional
Housing

122

Permanent
Supportive
Housing

  • Up to 90-day-stay
  • 40 beds each night, plus 4 overflow winter beds
  • Meals, laundry, showers, and storage
  • 1-2 year program focusing on health, education, and stabilizing a livable income
  • 2 houses for women, prioritizing survivors of domestive violence
  • Sustained housing support for those who have experienced chronic homelessness and who live with a mental, physical, and/or chemical disability.

Who We Serve

  • Identify as Women 32% 32%
  • Identify as Men 67% 67%
  • Identify as Transgender (Less than 1%) 0% 0%

Because of shelter and housing, residents have…

Improved Health
Saved Money
Gained Employment
Volunteered
Gone to School

  • Ages 18-78, averaging in the mid-40s
  • In Emergency Shelter
  • 46% have either been homeless for at least one year or four times in the past three years

  • In Transitional Housing
  • 73% report being survivors of domestic violence

  • In Permanent Supportive Housing
  • 79% report struggles relating to mental health, 28% to physical disability, and 24% to chemical dependency

Who We Serve

  • Identify as Women 32% 32%
  • Identify as Men 67% 67%
  • Identify as Transgender (Less than 1%) 0% 0%
  • Ages 18-78, averaging in the mid-40s
  • In Emergency Shelter
  • 46% have either been homeless for at least one year or four times in the past three years

  • In Transitional Housing
  • 73% report being survivors of domestic violence

  • In Permanent Supportive Housing
  • 79% report struggles relating to mental health, 28% to physical disability, and 24% to chemical dependency

369

Emergency
Shelter

  • Up to 90-day-stay
  • 40 beds each night, plus 4 overflow winter beds
  • Meals, laundry, showers, and storage

22

Transitional
Housing

  • 1-2 year program focusing on health, education, and stabilizing a livable income
  • 2 houses for women, prioritizing survivors of domestive violence

122

Permanent
Supportive
Housing

  • Sustained housing support for those who have experienced chronic homelessness and who live with a mental, physical, and/or chemical disability.

Because of shelter and housing, residents have…

Improved Health
Saved Money
Gained Employment
Volunteered
Gone to School

Meet
Katherine

[Our Saviour’s] welcomed me with open arms. It was so much love in that facility. I tell everybody, ‘That place, that’s my first blessing in Minnesota.’

Meet
Katherine

[Our Saviour’s] welcomed me with open arms. It was so much love in that facility. I tell everybody, ‘That place, that’s my first blessing in Minnesota.’

Katherine moved to Minneapolis, MN in 2009. She came here intending to return to Chicago after the complicated delivery of her friend’s granddaughter’s child. Once here, however, she decided to stay and make a better life for herself. After many years of addiction, she wanted to make a change and stop using.

Katherine remembers the day she first learned about Our Saviour’s shelter. With only six beds for women, she thought, “What’s the chance I’ll get in there.” But she called and received a bed from that same day. “They welcomed me with open arms. It was so much love in that facility. I tell everybody, ‘That place, that’s my first blessing in Minnesota.’”

During her three-month stay, Katherine worked and saved money. She saved enough to be able to move into her first apartment. Even though it was four flights up with no elevator, she was proud to have a place that she could call hers. Eventually, she moved to a better apartment in a building whose stoop she used to sit on and dream about living in.

 

Now, Katherine dreams of one day owning her own home. Her kids and grandkids are a big source of motivation. “I want to have something for my grandkids, a foundation that they can come and be in my backyard and mess up my house. So I’m really looking forward to that, and I deserve it.”

Still, Katherine never forgets the time in her life when she needed help and tries to be there for others. This Father’s Day, she hosted a barbeque where she invited folks who were homeless to come enjoy free food and community. A couple months later, she organized a back-to-school drive. With sponsorship, she was able to give out three hundred bookbags packed with supplies! And Katherine has no intention of stopping here. She even has a name picked out for a future nonprofit to carry out her work—HOST (Help Out Society Today).

Although Katherine’s road has been long and winding, she’s grateful for where she is today. “I’m so grateful that I wasn’t left on the streets or stabbed up or dead somewhere. I have a story, and I love my story. I’m just so excited to be on earth today.”

You
Volunteered.

2,581

Volunteers

To go out every day, not being nourished – if your body isn’t nourished, your brain isn’t nourished. Breakfast is just really important, and I wanted to make sure that people have it every day.
– Ella, Shelter Volunteer

}

16,042 =

Hours of Service

7.7

Full-Time Positions

You
Volunteered.

2,581

Volunteers

To go out every day, not being nourished – if your body isn’t nourished, your brain isn’t nourished. Breakfast is just really important, and I wanted to make sure that people have it every day.
– Ella, Shelter Volunteer

}

16,042 =

Hours of Service

7.7

Full-Time Positions

Our Saviour's Housing

  • 2,408 volunteers
  • Donated 9,844 hours
  • Served 15,560 meals, valued at $92,013
l

English Learning Center

  • 173 volunteers
  • Taught 3,654 class sessions
  • Totaling 6,198 hours, valued at $174,473
  • 64% have taught for two or more years

Our Saviour's Housing

  • 2,408 volunteers
  • Donated 9,844 hours
  • Served 15,560 meals, valued at $92,013
l

English Learning Center

  • 173 volunteers
  • Taught 3,654 class sessions
  • Totaling 6,198 hours, valued at $174,473
  • 64% have taught for two or more years

You Gave.

We believe everyone has a right to have an opportunity to succeed. Our Saviour’s Housing gives people a chance at a fresh start, and the English Learning Center prepares refugees and immigrants so they may navigate well in their new home. These are noble things. We happily support OSCS!
– Jay and Toni, OSCS Donors

You Gave.

We believe everyone has a right to have an opportunity to succeed. Our Saviour’s Housing gives people a chance at a fresh start, and the English Learning Center prepares refugees and immigrants so they may navigate well in their new home. These are noble things. We happily support OSCS!
– Jay and Toni, OSCS Donors

  • 72% Government Grants $2,152,339
  • 13% Private Gifts and Corporations $382,778
  • 9% In-kind Contributions $266,486
  • 5% Other Income $148,304
  • 1% Rent Income $24,017
  • <1% MHFA Debt Forgiveness $4,115
  • <1% Interest Income $51
  • 77% Our Saviour’s Housing $2,251,036
  • 18% English Learning Center $518,901
  • 3% General and Administrative $77,371
  • 2% Fundraising $63,737

For a complete list of donors, audited financial statement, and 990 visit the Ways to Give page.

Board of Directors

*indicates concluded board service during the year

Daniel Bain
Anna Bergreen
Stacie Blaskowski*
Craig Johnson

Jane Dunlap
Pr. Laurie Eaton
Elena Geiger-Simpson
Nate Hallanger

Tom Mulhere
Chinyere Obasi*
Tezra Osthus
Ben Scott*

Nicholas Smith
Mary Tinkham*
James Unglaube
Angela Willson

Make a donation today to change lives.

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.871.5900
Fax | 612.871.0017

communications@oscs-mn.org

Our Saviour's Housing

2219 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.872.4193
Fax | 612.872.4442

English Learning Center

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.874.9963
Fax | 612.871.0017