President Dennis Connolly introduced Community Support Center Director Karen Meyer.  Karen is the sole staff person at CSC, but she works with many volunteers to help prevent homelessness and provide long-term financial counseling to minimize the need for future assistance.  CSC’s office is located in the Faith Christian Reformed Church at 16th and Silver Lake Road in New Brighton.  Its service area is New Brighton, Mounds View, North Oaks, Shoreview, and Arden Hills.  To receive support, CSC participants must:  
  • reside in the above mentioned service area,
  • have applied for county services,
  • have a financial situation which is sustainable with short term financial assistance and
  • demonstrate interest in making long term changes.
CSC receives referrals from Ramsey County, The United Way, churches, landlords, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, schools, social services, police, and word of mouth.  Potential participants start with a 2 hour interview with volunteer active listeners to ensure that the above participation criteria are met.  If so, CSC partners with a variety of agencies to provide the short term financial support needed to prevent evictions and develops a plan to prevent eviction in the future.  When possible, the initial interviewer works long-term with the participant, guiding them to resources, working on budgets, goal setting, debt reduction, resumes and celebrating accomplishments.  Because of all this ongoing support, the average amount of financial assistance to prevent eviction is amazingly small at just $400-700 per family.  Compare that with the $3,000 per month to house a family of four in a Ramsey County homeless shelter.  Also notable is that there are 30-40 families on the waiting list for those homeless shelters.
Karen is seeing a greater need for CSC’s services as COVID-19 has stretched many poor family’s resources.  She anticipates an increase in eviction notices when restrictions are lifted.  CSC has received a $5,000 grant from the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition which will be helpful in managing the coming eviction crisis.
Karen can be reached at or 651-387-8050
Upcoming Rotary Events:
See President Connolly’s weekly email for details.
The Rotary International Convention will be a virtual one this year.  Click here for details.
Margaret Feng-Ling Johnson has accepted a new position as Dean of University College and Associate Vice President for Student Success at St. Cloud State University, starting July 1.  Congratulations, Margaret!
Geoff Hollimon updated us on the Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition.  He proudly reported that 11 Rotarians are involved in the Coalition.  Donations of over $51,000 have been received toward the $150,000.  Your contributions are needed reach that goal.  Personal and organizational donations of any amount may be made by check payable to the Suburban Ramsey Covid-19 Response Fund and mailed to:
       Suburban Ramsey Covid-19
       Response Fund
       C/o Carol Brown-Mills
       5845 St. Albans Court
       Shoreview, MN 55126
Carol is a board member of Shoreview Community Foundation and she’ll forward them to The St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation each day. You will still get your tax receipt from the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundation with tax ID # 41-6031510.
Recent improvements to the Coalition’s website include a “Donate” button if you prefer the convenience of online donations. 
The Coalition’s Facebook page can be accessed by clicking here.
In addition, 50 reusable gowns have been sewn, by Dana Rebelein and other Coalition volunteers, for the Ramsey County Care Center and 150 more are needed.  If you can help sew gowns, contact Dana Rebelein.  The Coalition is holding a virtual run/walk fundraiser soon. Stay tuned for more details.
Charlie Longbella reported that an online donation function will be available soon. 
Charlie has also prepared a draft of a brochure for the No-Plate Dinner and Cindy Carlson has suggested some edits.  The final brochure should be available soon.
Today’s live auction resulted in a final bid of $200 for the Indian Hills Golf Package.  Jason Miller was the winning bidder.  Round 1 of the bidding for the Sugar Lake Lodge stay and play package ended with a bid by Cindy Carlson of $275.  Next week features the final round of the Sugar Lake Lodge package bidding and the first Round of the Prestwick golf package.  Don’t miss it!
The Board meets next Tuesday at 11AM by Zoom. 
Jim O’Brien’s granddaughters (who were our Egg Hunt Bunnies for several years) have graduated from college and are both employed.
Nyle Zikmund announced that he is running for Anoka County Commissioner, but keeping his day job as Mounds View City Administrator.  Good luck Nyle!
Your editor will be out of town next week, so you’ll have to attend the meeting to be in the know.