Staff

Ed MurphyEd Photo

Executive Director, [email protected]

Ed Murphy has worked for homeless and hungry people since 1988. He began his career by serving as Program and Development Director at The Emergency FoodShelf Network. From 1991-2000 Ed served as Executive Director of St. Stephens Human Services. During his tenure, St. Stephens grew from a four employee, 30 bed shelter serving homeless men into an innovative and comprehensive multi service agency serving homeless men, women, and children.

In 2000 he left St. Stephens to serve as Executive Director of The Bridge for Youth. During his seven years, The Bridge significantly expanded its services to homeless and runaway youth, culminating in the development of the new Bridge Center for Youth. Prior to joining Open Your Heart, Ed founded Hearts and Hands – a non-profit agency providing services and support to families of children facing life threatening conditions, where he has now moved into a board role.

A native of Minnesota, Ed is a dedicated Twins fan, lover of the North Shore, and enthusiastic traveler. Blessed in this life, he is committed to providing hope and support for those Minnesotans who, for whatever reason, are homeless and hungry. He is the father of one child, Benjamin, who is forever seven years old. He and his wife Nan live near downtown Minneapolis.


Ruby Simmons535897_10103616792336100_931583802_n

Program Director, [email protected]

Ruby Simmons has worked with dozens of hunger relief organizations and homeless shelters across the Twin Cities through various positions including an internship with Second Harvest Heartland and an AmeriCorps position with Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters.

In college, at the University of Minnesota, Ruby was set on working in international education. She lived abroad for three years where she soaked in Hungarian saunas, learned German, hitch hiked to Ljubljana, didn’t learn Russian, chaperoned 42 German-immigrant children across 1367 miles and came to appreciate Minneapolis.

It was in St. Petersburg, where there are over 16,000 children and countless adults without homes, that Ruby really became aware of the dangers of homelessness. Like in Minnesota, it can be life threatening to spend the night outside in winter.

Knowing she could not be very effective abroad with her horrible accent, Ruby came back to her home town of Minneapolis to do what she could to support her fellow Minnesotans. She is very happy that this path has led her to a position with Open Your Heart, where she can help make a difference not only in the Twin Cities, but across Minnesota.

Ruby spends most of her free time with her two lovely pit bulls and lives in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis.


Jessica Mathias2016 Jessica Mathias Photo

Development Director, [email protected]

Jessica (Jesse) Mathias, has worked in non-profit development for several years. Her passion for non-profit work began at the Basilica of Saint Mary as an intern working on the Basilica Block Party and Annual Gala. From there she spent over five years working as a Development Associate for Restart, Inc., a local non-profit organization that provides housing and independent living skills to individuals with brain injury. She also spent time with the Red Cross as Development Projects Director prior to joining OYH.

Jesse has her M.A. in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine’s University and her B.A. in International Relations from St. Cloud State. She and her husband live in Plymouth with their two rambunctious boys and four dogs. She couldn’t be more excited to join the OYH team and help share their message that every Minnesotan should be free from hunger and homelessness.


Kathy Mahoney

Office Manager, [email protected]

Kathy began her work with Open Your Heart as Office Manager in October 2015. She was drawn to working with the homeless and hungry while she was serving as the Administrative Assistant for St. Joseph’s Home for Children, a Catholic Charities program which works with children and their families to provide short term shelter needs and residential mental health care treatment for emotional and behavioral health issues. Prior to this she honed her skills in a variety of industries such as medical billing, retirement program compliance, advertising and commercial print sales.

Kathy has always enjoyed volunteering in and supporting community organizations such as the St. Paul Midway Block Program, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Citizens United and the Nature Conservancy. She loves spending time with her family, walking, shooting archery and teaching her grandsons how to speak “Minnesotan” in an obnoxious manner.