Kim Rathjen, President of Onward Eden Prairie

Onward Eden Prairie Helping Homeless Youth

Kim Rathjen

On Tuesday, February 16th, Kim Rathjen, President of Onward Eden Prairie, gave an update on Onward Eden Prairie's work in helping homeless youth.  She started by thanking the community and many of the members who have supported the community driven project. 

Onward Eden Prairie opened almost two and half years ago for young adults who need a safe space to live.  Onward Eden Prairie is a transitional housing program serving adults ages 18-24 who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.  Residents receive adult support from 180 Degrees to help them learn important life skills so they can plan for a successful start in the future.  From research and experiences shared by school and community social workers, young adults facing homelessness in the suburbs are usually attending school, working, or doing both, but they don’t have a stable or safe place to live.  Many homeless youth “couch-hop” meaning they sleep in a car or live in an unsafe home.  In addition, many youth first became homeless due to volatile or unsafe family situations which then led to parental rejection, getting kicked out, or fleeing family conflict.  Homeless shelters are mostly in Minneapolis away from friends, school, work, and familiarity.  Unassisted homeless youth are likely to become homeless adults. 

Kim highlighted that the residents of Onward Eden Prairie are real people with hopes and dreams of the future.  She mentioned a current resident who just finished a nursing degree and is working at a hospital, and another resident studying communications.  Residents struggle and learn, as all emerging young adults do, how to live in community with others, develop and respect boundaries, and resolve conflict in healthy ways.  Incoming residents are ages 18-22 and must have a job, be committed to finding a job, or be in school; some do a combination.  Residents commit to live in a sober house and work with a case manager.  Each resident has their own bedroom, shares a bathroom with another person, pays monthly rent; each house can serve up to four young adults at a time.  As of now, Onward Eden Prairie has helped 10 young adults.  Thanks to many community supporters and volunteers, Onward Eden Prairie is able to create a safe and stable place for homeless youth to help residents launch a successful future.

Announcements:

  • Starting next meeting, Praf will be sending members to breakout rooms as they join until 7:35AM to chat in small groups.

Spotlight on Rick Getschow:

Member pictureRick Getschow has been a city manager for the state of Minnesota for the past 25 years for four cities:  Hector, Lauderdale, Hopkins, and Eden Prairie.  Rick has had a great experience working for Eden Prairie for the last ten years, and he is proud to be working for the city of Eden Prairie, where it’s been named one of Minnesota’s Top 150 Workplaces for the seventh consecutive year.  Rick hosts the City Podcast “Real Talk with Rick” and is a great way to listen to what is going on in the community.  Rick has been a Rotary member for around 20 years in the Hopkins, Roseville, and Eden Prairie Clubs.  Rick is married and has three daughters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Fives:

  • Dan O’Brien is happy to celebrate his granddaughter Georgia's birthday and his wife Mary’s birthday.

  • Carol Bomben is happy to celebrate her grandson’s birthday.

  • Tim Conner is happy to celebrate his granddaughter Maeve’s birthday.

  • Roy Terwilliger is happy to receive his second COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Robert Starr is happy COVID-19 did not harm him and his wife much.