Welcome to our Neighborhood!

Organized in 1915, East Side Neighborhood Services is a nonprofit human service agency that provides social and other services to individuals, families and the communities of primarily Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis. Our purpose is to assist people of all ages and backgrounds in realizing a higher quality of life.

FutureConnect in Action

November 7, 2017

Most internships don’t begin with a basketball bet.

But for Charlie — a participant in the FutureConnect program at East Side Neighborhood Services — losing on the court was the first step toward gaining professional skills.

When Charlie graduated from Menlo Park Academy Alternative High School, another program of East Side Neighborhood Services, program coordinator Perris Johnson suggested that he enroll in the 2017 FutureConnect cohort. Through project-based instruction, participants in FutureConnect cultivate work readiness and explore career pathways. For someone like Charlie, who dreamed becoming a chef and owning a restaurant, FutureConnect offers relevant internships that build both technical and ‘soft’ skills.

Even so, Charlie wasn’t quite convinced — which is when Perris suggested a bet. “If I won a pick-up basketball game against him, he would enroll in the program,” Perris says. “But if I lost, I couldn’t bring up my program to him again.”

When Perris won the game, Charlie honored his bet and enrolled.

Charlie, left, preparing snacks at Menlo Park Academy.

“Not knowing what to expect, Charlie was a little resistant at first. But as the weeks went on, he showed more of an interest in and a commitment to the program,” says Perris.

Each program cohort moves through four phases together, starting with work readiness training and career pathways exploration. Following these foundational stages, participants pursue advanced training and internships in a field that interests them.

When the 2017 cohort arrived at the internship phase, Charlie naturally gravitated toward the Hospitality pathway, looking for an opportunity that would provide hands-on experience in the kitchen as well as an introduction to the business side of running a successful restaurant.

Now, Charlie is completing an internship at The Lyn Hall — a new, upscale cafĂ© located in South Minneapolis. Perris says, “Charlie has shown hard work, commitment, and maturity through this whole process.”

“He will definitely be successful in the hospitality field,” says Perris.

SCSEP success

November 3, 2017

James was one of millions of older adults surviving on food stamps and struggling to find work before he heard of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

Like many Americans, James saw his financial situation become increasingly insecure as he grew older.

“Then a friend suggested, ‘Why don’t you try East Side Neighborhood Services?’” James says.

Through SCSEP — a major program of the Older Americans Act and the only federal job training program focused exclusively on low-income older adults — East Side helps people like James develop their skills and update their resumes to achieve unsubsidized employment.

“It’s difficult to break the cycle of poverty, especially at an older age,” explains Susan McCauley, Chief Performance Officer at East Side. “But we want older adults to have work that reflects their wealth of experience.”

Through SCSEP, participants secure temporary, part-time employment at local community, faith-based, and public agencies, supporting these organizations as they carry out their missions.

James, bottom second from left, with East Side staff and his coworkers at Brian Coyle Center.

James was placed at Brian Coyle Center, a location of Pillsbury United Communities in the heart of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.

“He’s such a great employee. He does what he does with interest and passion,” says Amano Dube, Director of Brian Coyle Center.

For James, SCSEP provided much more than work: “They placed me where I could get more resources, like computer classes, on top of a job.”

And for Dube, SCSEP participants like James fill critical gaps in staffing. “Most of our work is done with help from senior workers,” he says. “We care for them, and they care for the community.”

In fact, James became so essential to Brian Coyle Center that Dube decided to hire him as a permanent, full-time employee when James completed his SCSEP training.

“SCSEP restores dignity because it removes older adults from isolation and makes them feel valued as people,” says Dube.

Kristine Martin, President of East Side Neighborhood Services, agrees: “What we’re trying to do is change the paradigm and break down the lens of aging. We want to change cultural patterns to support lifelong learning and engagement.”

For Martin, SCSEP exemplifies East Side’s mission to foster the development and well-being of individuals and families.

“SCSEP is a model of how — through lifelong learning and engagement — we can strengthen our community and support its well-being,” says Martin.

Upcoming Events: 

  • Give a Ton Tuesday
    November 28, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
    Join us for a holiday open house where you'll make a difference with your loose change. For every eight cents, we'll purchase one pound of fresh, nutritious food for older adults and people with disabilities living in the Minneapolis metropolitan area. This event also features treats and tours, a meet & greet with our President Kristine Martin, and a special announcement about the 2017 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

  • 2017 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
    December 9, 7:00 pm
    Join us for a family-friendly holiday lights experience that supports the Metro Food Programs at East Side Neighborhood Services! Make sure that our neighbors have food during the holiday season by bringing a monetary or non-perishable food donation.

  • 2018 Twin Cities Snowshoe Shuffle
    February 10, 9:30 am
    Join us for for the biggest snowshoe race in Minnesota! The Twin Cities Snowshoe Shuffle is a US Snowshoe Association event and part of the Braveheart Series. All proceeds benefit Camp Bovey, a summer camp program at East Side Neighborhood Services that helps youth build respect for the environment, for one another, and for themselves.

  • Tai Ji Quan: Moving For Better Balance
    Mondays and Wednesdays, through December 6, 10:30 - 11:30 am
    This Tai Chi class reduces risk of falls by improving balance, muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility through mindful movements in a slow, flowing motion. All classes are held at East Side. The cost of these classes is based on ability to pay. No one will be turned away due to financial constraints. To register, call Empowering Vital Aging at 612-787-4045 or email at TeamEVA@esns.org.
  • A Matter of Balance
    Thursdays, October 12 - December 7, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
    In A Matter of Balance, you will learn to view falls as controllable, make changes to reduce risks at home, perform exercises that improve strength and balance, and set goals to increase physical activity. This eight week workshop — an award-winning program — includes group discussion and exercise. The cost of these classes is based on ability to pay. No one will be turned away due to financial constraints. To register, call Empowering Vital Aging at 612-787-4045 or email at TeamEVA@esns.org.
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers
    Mondays, November 6 - December 11, 3:00 - 4:30 pm
    An educational program designed to help family caregivers take care of themselves while caring for a relative or friend. Whether you're helping a parent, a spouse, or a friend — someone who lives at home, in a nursing home, or across the country — you will benefit from this class! To register, call Empowering Vital Aging at 612-787-4045 or email at TeamEVA@esns.org.




    It's a great day in the NEIGHBORHOOD!



    Helping individuals, strengthening families, building community
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    by calling 612-781-6011 (voice) or by using your preferred relay service.

    East Side Neighborhood Services, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Service Provider
    1700 Second Street NE • Minneapolis, MN 55413 • 612-781-6011

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