Episcopal Community Services announces new vision and direction

Posted Aug 23, 2012

[Episcopal Community Services] Episcopal Community Services (ECS), a nonprofit organization that has worked to end poverty through a number of social service programs since 1963, announced today that its Board of Directors has adopted a new vision for the organization that will link it more directly to the Episcopal Church in Minnesota (ECMN) and its faith communities throughout the state. The new mission will move the organization away from providing direct social services, resulting in the transfer or closure of current ECS programs by the end of 2012.

Board President Molly Wanstall, describes the new vision as a path to improve financial sustainability, but also to directly connect with and support Episcopal faith communities throughout Minnesota in their anti-poverty outreach and advocacy work. “Leveraging the passion and commitment of faith communities and their volunteer power across the state is a more sustainable path toward achieving our mission.  We believe that working with faith communities holds the promise of doing more with fewer financial resources, but greater people resources,” said Wanstall.

“Each community has the opportunity to identify and help meet the most urgent local needs within its unique context and culture,” added The Rev. Canon Tim Hodapp, vice president of the ECS board. “This work will continue the legacy of ECS’ mission. In fact, it returns us to the focus of our founders,” said The Rev. Hodapp.

ECS currently operates a number of distinct programs providing holistic, one-on-one support of individuals and families through initiatives that support housing stability, job readiness and creating community. The programs include Family Resource Centers in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater and Fairmont; a long-term homelessness program; a supportive housing program, EpiscoBuilders, Resident Services at affordable housing complexes and at the Center for Families in North Minneapolis; youth development programs; and the Ready for Success programs, which provide low income men and women with clothing suitable for job interviews and the workplace.

The ECS Board of Directors will work in the coming months to transition clients, and if possible, staff and programming, to other nonprofit organizations. They will be assisted by MAP for Nonprofits, which has helped other nonprofit organizations with similar situations.

Episcopal Community Services serves, strengthens and supports adults, youth, children and families at-risk and in need in Minnesota.