Sheltering Arms Foundation announces 2022-23 slate of grantees, awards $450,000 to 43 Minnesota nonprofits serving children

The Sheltering Arms Foundation
Posted Aug 17, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, August 17, 2022 — Children’s mental health is in crisis across this country, with alarm bells sounding last fall and winter from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and more. To help meet the urgent needs here in Minnesota, the Sheltering Arms Foundation is committed to funding mental health supports in addition to early childhood and out-of-school-time programs. Today, Sheltering Arms, a supporting organization of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota, announced its 2022-23 financial support of 43 nonprofit organizations that are working hard to deliver high-quality programming to our state’s most vulnerable children. Sheltering Arms will invest $450,000 in innovative direct service programs in early childhood and out-of-school-time youth development, as well as statewide advocacy campaigns designed to improve Minnesota’s policies that impact children and their families.

“Sheltering Arms recognizes how greatly mental health services are needed right now. Children and youth are suffering from the impacts of the Covid pandemic and the epidemic of racism, both of which have led to losses and isolation, compounded with a shortage of children’s mental health resources,” said Denise Mayotte, executive director of the Sheltering Arms Foundation. “Families, parents, and childcare providers’ have also been severely affected. Many of our grantees are addressing this directly and working to build mental health supports into their programming for the children and families they serve.”

One such grantee in Sheltering Arms’ youth development funding area is Emma Norton Services in St. Paul, which operates a supportive housing program called Emma’s Place in Maplewood for previously homeless women and their families, where their children are served through a trauma-informed youth program. With the stress and anxiety of the pandemic and unrest, the art therapy part of the program has been a very valuable tool for children and their families.

“At Emma Norton, we know that stability, early interventions, and wrap-around supports are critical to positive mental health outcomes for children – especially those who have experienced homelessness,” said Shawna Nelsen-Wills, advancement director of Emma Norton Services. “That’s why we’re proud to offer our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) youth program and additional mental health supports, including a new sensory room, to the children at Emma’s Place. Thanks to vital funding by the Sheltering Arms Foundation, we can help our youth heal from trauma and give them the tools to succeed in school and life.”

Supported with an advocacy grant from Sheltering Arms in the early childhood category, Minnesota Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting is working statewide to educate legislators on the vital importance of home visiting as a core early childhood service and advocate for policy changes to include evidence-informed practice. They are also providing expertise to partners and other coalitions across the state, such as Minnesota’s Prenatal-3 coalition and the Start Early Funders.

“We know approximately 9-14% of infants, toddlers, and young children under age 5 experience emotional, relational, or behavioral disturbances. Recognizing and addressing these disturbances early can help children and families attend to challenges and identify strategies to successfully mitigate them in the future,” said Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn, representing the Minnesota Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting. “This funding from the Sheltering Arms Foundation will expand our efforts to increase awareness and resources to support infant and early childhood mental health services and consultation through family home visiting and in partnership with other early childhood advocates.”

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is bringing mental health supports to some of St. Paul’s youngest and most vulnerable residents with its Families Together Therapeutic Preschool, which serves very low-income families in the Frogtown and East Side neighborhoods. This program combats the effects of poverty, trauma, toxic stress, and homelessness with a therapeutic and intensive relationship-based approach. They are adding occupational and speech language therapy to the program to help children who have experienced speech delays because of trauma in their lives.

“At the Families Together Therapeutic Preschool, we know that young people thrive best in the context of relationships,” said Lisa Kiesel, program director of LSS Families Together Therapeutic Preschool. “Teachers, parents, therapists, and extended family are all part of helping young children regulate their behavior, cope with stressors, and succeed in the classroom. Support from the Sheltering Arms Foundation has been instrumental in our ability to provide integrated mental health supports directly to the children as well as to their parents and other caregivers. Having flexible funding that can complement billable services is a critical part of making our program work.”

In Sheltering Arms’ early childhood funding category, 23 grantees received a total of $252,000. This includes $65,000 over 6 advocacy/public policy grants, continuing the foundation’s work to improve systems and policies that affect Minnesota’s children. In the youth development funding category, 20 programs received a total of $198,000 in grants. Areas served by the 43 Sheltering Arms grantees include Blooming Prairie, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Mankato, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Northfield, Red Wing, Rochester, St. Louis Park, and St. Paul.

The 43 grantees supported by Sheltering Arms in 2022-2023 are:
* American Indian Community Housing Org. (Duluth)—$15,000 grant (youth development)
* Baby’s Space (Minneapolis)—$12,500 grant (early childhood)
* Banyan Community (south Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (youth development)
* Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (St. Paul, serves metro area)—$7,500 grant (youth development)
* Boys & Girls Club of Rochester (Rochester)—$5,000 grant (youth development)
* Centro Tyrone Guzman (south Minneapolis)—$15,000 grant (early childhood)
* Child Care Aware of MN (St. Paul, serves statewide)—$10,000 grant (advocacy, early childhood)
* Children’s Defense Fund/MN (St. Paul, serves statewide)—$15,000 grant (advocacy in early childhood)
* Children’s Theatre Company (south Minneapolis)—$13,000 grant (early childhood)
* CommonBond Communities (St. Paul, serves 52 cities in Minn., Wisc., and Iowa)—$7,500 grant (youth development)
* createMPLS (Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (youth development)
* Duluth Community School Collaborative (Duluth)—$12,500 grant (youth development)
* Emma Norton Services (St. Paul, serves St. Paul and Maplewood)—$12,500 grant (youth dev.)
* The Family Partnership (Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (early childhood)
* First Children’s Finance (Minneapolis, serves statewide and beyond)—$10,000 grant (advocacy in early childhood)
* Friendship Academy of the Arts (Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (youth development)
* Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (St. Paul)—7,500 grant (youth development)
* Hallie Q. Brown Community Ctr, Inc. (St. Paul)—$12,500 grant (early childhood)
* Hispanic Outreach of Goodhue County (Red Wing, serves Goodhue County)—$10,000 grant (youth development)
* Hospitality House Youth Development (Minneapolis)—$7,000 grant (youth development)
* Illusion Theater and School, Inc. (Minneapolis, serves statewide)—$13,000 grant (youth devel.)
* Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul (St. Paul)—$15,000 grant (youth development)
* Joyce Preschool (south Minneapolis)—$8,000 grant (early childhood)
* Liberty Community Church (north Minneapolis)—$15,000 grant (youth development)
* Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (St. Paul, serves statewide)—$15,000 grant (early child.)
* Mentor North (Duluth)—$7,500 grant (youth development)
* Morning Glory Montessori (Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (early childhood)
* Neighborhood House (St. Paul)—$7,500 grant (early childhood)
* People Serving People (Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (advocacy in early childhood)
* Perspectives, Inc. (St. Louis Park)—$15,000 grant (early childhood)
* Plymouth Christian Youth Center (north Minneapolis)—$10,000 grant (youth development)
* Project Friendship (Northfield)—$7,500 grant (youth development)
* Reading Partners (St. Paul, serves metro area)—$7,500 grant (youth development)
* Relate Counseling Center (Minnetonka, serves western metro)—$10,000 grant (early childhood)
* ServeMinnesota (Minneapolis, serves statewide)—$11,500 grant (early childhood)
* St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, fiscal agent for Minnesota Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting (MCTHV serves statewide)—$10,000 grant (advocacy in early child.)
* St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development (Minnetonka, serves metro area)—$12,500 grant (early childhood)
* Tennis & Education, Inc. (St. Paul)—$8,000 grant (youth development)
* Think Small (St. Paul, serves statewide)—$10,000 grant (advocacy in early childhood)
* Walker West Music Academy (St. Paul)—$10,000 grant (early childhood)
* Way to Grow (Minneapolis, serves metro area)—$7,500 grant (early childhood)
* Wayside Recovery Center (St. Louis Park)—$10,000 grant (early childhood)
* Wilder Foundation (St. Paul, serves the east metro)—$10,000 grant (advocacy in early childhood)

The mission of the Sheltering Arms Foundation is to invest in the lives of children and help them reach their full potential. Based in Minneapolis, the foundation funds nonprofit organizations and supports policies that benefit Minnesota children and their families who have the least access to resources. Since its inception as a grantmaking foundation in 1983, the foundation has provided more than 1,390 grants totaling just over $17.25 million. The next deadline for grant applications is in January 2023. For information about submitting a grant request, volunteering, or donating to the foundation, visit or call 612-871-9210 (toll-free: 866-871-9210).