Posted by Jeff Benson on Nov 13, 2018
Our guests today were new member-in-waiting Charlie Longbella and prospective member John Brady.
- Jerry Tietz said that Bev was back at Benedictine Health Center after a hospitalization.
Those who signed up to pack Thanksgiving meals at Ralph Reeder Food Shelf should show up at 9:30 on Tuesday the 20th.  The new address is 2544 Mounds View Boulevard (formerly County Hwy 10), Mounds View, MN 55112 in the Silver View Plaza strip mall.
- Next week is District Governor Mike Becker’s official visit to our club.  He will meet with the board at 11 AM prior to the meeting.
- Cindy Carlson said our part of the Harvest Pack event will start around 3:30PM on December 11th.  We hope to have everyone there.
- Cindy also presented Gerry Tietz with a certificate of appreciation from the Rotary Foundation honoring our financial support of “End Polio Now”.  The certificate was presented at last week’s Foundation Dinner.  Gerry commented that the certificate belongs to all of us.
-  At the Foundation Dinner, Margaret Johnson was the lucky winner of the split-the-pot drawing and came away $740 richer.
- Dave Hoel reminded us that the Irondale Choir will perform at our December 18th noon meeting.  The location has yet to be determined.
- Dennis Connolly noted that the Gold Plate Dinner will be on April 12th and that the first planning meeting will be on December 4th at 11AM (before our noon meeting).
Happy Bucks Summary:
- Dave Hoel offered a buck for Mark Lampman as he recovers from hip replacement surgery.
- George Winiecki was happy for his deer camp experience with family members, even though they only got one deer for the party of five hunters.
- Cindy Carlson gave a dollar in honor of Joe Mauer’s playing career with the Twins.
- John Ordway was in New York recently to preview plays to bring to the Ordway Theater.  He and Marla watched 5 plays in 2 ½ days and were able to visit with the directors and staff of all the plays.
- Gerry Tietz was happy to have Charlie Longbella and John Brady here today.  He was also happy for a packers win.
- Geoff Hollimon was happy to finally attend the wedding of his niece which was scheduled to be held on Kiawah Island, South Carolina just after the hurricane hit.  Thankfully, the weather cooperated this time.  Geoff shared that the impact of the storm was devastating in New Bern, North Carolina, but his time share was fortunately spared.  Geoff also joined Gerry in celebrating a Packers win.
- Paul Fournier advised us that Chrissy will be interviewed on Channel 11, Monday November 19th, at 4:00PM.  The topic will be her new book on Alzheimer’s Disease, titled “The Unexpected”.
Jason Miller introduced our speaker, Julie Jeppson, Executive Director of Stepping Stone.  Stepping Stone’s mission is to “provide emergency housing and support to youth and adults who are 18 and older experiencing homelessness, as they strive for self-sufficiency”.  Julie began by saying that homelessness is on the rise for all groups but youth and veteran’s homelessness is growing dramatically and these two areas are the priority for Stepping Stone. The rise in youth homelessness has three main causes; ageing out of foster care, mental health issues and fetal alcohol syndrome.   The annual report of the National Low Income Housing Coalition served as the basis for a report by the Minnesota Housing Partnership titled, “Out of Reach Minnesota 2017” which revealed that:
-The amount a household needs to earn to afford a modest apartment (the “housing wage”) increased by 5% in 2017 compared to a 3% increase in 2016.
- To afford a two bedroom apartment, the median income renter would need a 13% raise.
- The average minimum wage earner would need to work 78 hours a week to afford a two bedroom apartment.
- A full time minimum wage earner can’t afford even a one bedroom apartment in any of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
These numbers explain the increased need for homeless shelters and Stepping Stone is no exception.  As of yesterday there were 252 people on their waiting list.  This is due to increased demand as well as increased length of stays in a facility meant for short term emergency stays.  Stepping Stone employs a holistic approach to homelessness, providing classes in financial literacy, housing, employment, life skills and social support.  The goal is to move people from the shelter into transitional housing and eventually full financial independence.
Julie’s home Rotary Club (Blaine/Ham Lake) is sponsoring a District Matching Grant to rehabilitate homes to provide transitional housing for people moving out of the Stepping Stones Shelter.  Julie hopes that we will be able to contribute to this grant.  Jason and Julie are shown below.