2017 August grants have been awarded!

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Anna Marie’s Alliance for $1,786 to purchase a washer and dryer for Anna Marie’s Shelter.

Church of the Incarnation (Food Shelf) for $4,500 to purchase equipment necessary to keep the food shelf up to code with the City of Minneapolis.

HOPE 4 Youth for $2,000 to purchase new kitchen tables and chairs and a tabletop griddle for the drop-in center and supplies for outreach.

Red Lake Homeless Shelter for $ 10,271 to purchase two new stacked washer/dryers and a new under cover dishwasher.

Servants of Shelter of Koochiching County for $5,760 to purchase guest supplies such as laundry detergent, bedding, bus tokens etc.

Small Sums – At Home Group for $7,650 to purchase 180 rush hour monthly bus passes for our Twin Cities homeless clients who have just found jobs.

The Bridge for Youth for $7,195 to purchase replacement furniture and mattresses for homeless youth emergency shelter.

The Salvation Army for $6,890 to purchase 10 sturdy bunk beds and 20 durable mattresses to be used at the Harbor Light Center.

The Sheridan Story for $7,000 to purchase racking for the warehouse to help decrease costs.

Wright County Community Action for $6,990 to purchase HVAC and concrete work for the WCCA Food Shelf.

2017 June Grants have been awarded!

Churches United for the Homeless – former client volunteers in the kitchen.

Hunger and Homeless

Thanks to generous donors and OYH board members we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

A Place For You for $10,000 to repair building and bring it up to code and handicap accessibility.

Churches United for the Homeless for $9,448 to install and replace security locks on front door and dormitories.

Community Emergency Service for $3000 to purchase a cooler.

Duluth Vineyard Church–Fruit of the Vine Food Shelf for $1,454 to purchase an additional commercial freezer.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota for $5,000 to fund sponsorship recognitions for the 2017 Food Access Summit.

Northome Community Food Shelf for $3,750 to purchase a freezer and a refrigerator for the new location.

Pearl Crisis Center for $4,232 to provide emergency hotel vouchers for victims of domestic violence and their children.

PROP Food Shelf for $4,663 to purchase a freezer for the pantry.

Saint Paul Public Schools/Project REACH for $4,300 to purchase adult size cots to use for emergency shelter located in Saint Paul Public Schools.

Steele County Food Shelf for $3,723 to purchase a Double Duty Refrigerated Deli Display Case.

The Salvation Army Minneapolis Central Worship and Service Center for $3,300 to purchase a single-door freezer for the food shelf.

Women’s Shelter, Inc. for $8,950 to purchase and install security technology in the shelter.



Thanks to our generous donors we were able to provide an emergency fund for the homeless students at the following organizations.

Ascension Place, Inc.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
Bluff Country Family Resources
Cornerstone Advocacy Service
Dakota Woodlands
EMERGE Community Development
Evergreen Youth & Family Services, Inc
Freshwater Education District Alternative Learning Center
Harvest Network of Schools (HNS)
HOPE Coalition
Intermediate District 287
ISD 709
Life House
Minneapolis Public Schools
Minnesota Internship Center
Charter High School
Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women
Sojourner Project
St. Paul Public Schools
The Bridge for Youth
Women of Nations

Open Your Heart this Mother’s Day!


Tonight, 15,000 Minnesotans are homeless. For women, domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness. While Mother’s Day is an opportunity to thank that special woman or women, in your life, it is also a chance to honor the women who are overcoming major adversities and are determined to carve out a meaningful life for themselves and their families. This Mother’s Day, honor a mother in your life by doing what they do every day: making the world a better place.

For 31 years, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has focused solely on ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable Minnesotans have the most basic of needs: Food. Shelter. Safety. From inner city shelters to rural domestic violence centers; suburban food shelves to Indian Reservations; Open Your Heart helps.

“The new security system increases both safety and the feeling of security, which is invaluable to women who come through our doors looking to make a better life for themselves and their children.”
– Ruth’s House of Hope

Over the years we have spent millions – nearly all donations from fellow Minnesotans – in every corner of the state, wherever the need is the greatest. We ensure that Minnesotans who, for whatever reason, are hungry, homeless or unsafe, have adequate supportive shelter, nourishing food, and a safe place to rebuild their lives.

This Mother’s Day, please consider making a contribution in honor of a mother in your life and help us carry out our important mission. When you shower moms with love on May 14th, also honor the women struggling throughout Minnesota and help provide the most basic of needs to the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. In difficult and uncertain times, those in need, more than ever, depend on caring and compassionate people like you.

Donate here.

Download a printable insert you can send to a mother in your life here: Mother’s Day Card Open Your Heart Printable

Or download an image version that you can send by email here: Mother’s Day Card Open Your Heart Image (Right click on the image and ‘Save image as…” to download.)


Ed Murphy
Executive Director
[email protected]

April Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to OYH board members and generous donors we were able to award over $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

Avenues for Homeless Youth for $4,100.00 to purchase an institutional cooler for the Minneapolis Avenues shelter.

Bridgepointe Community Church Food Pantry for $2,500.00 to purchase 3 freezers, one cooler and 2 refrigerators 1 microwave, which will store more fresh produce in our foodpantry/soup kitchen .

Care and Share of Crookston, Inc. for $13,768.00 to purchase seam-sealed mattresses for all our beds.

Cass Lake Area Food Shelf for $2,750.00 to purchase a 50 cu ft glass front refrigerator, used to store fresh food choices.

Merrick Community Services

HOPE Coalition for $2,159.00 to purchase two washing machines at our Haven of Hope domestic violence shelter, to replace one that has “died”, and another that is “dying.”

Life House, Inc. for $4,350.00 to purchase a washer/dryer and residential freezer for “The Loft” transitional shelter; a stackable washer/dryer and commercial freezer for the Drop-In Youth Center.

Merrick Community Services for $4,790.00 to provide capacity building funds for Merrick Community Services’ new location to purchase storage equipment.

Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless for $5,000.00 to support for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless (MCH) 2017 Statewide Annual Conference on September 26 and 27 in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Pillager Area Food Shelf for $5,100.00 to increase service space and delivery. Funding to purchase commercial freezer and cooler.

Stepping Stone Emergency Housing for $6,703.00 to purchase commercial refrigerator and freezer.

Vineyard Community Services for $8,000.00 to purchase a new-used forklift to replace current forklift.

Willmar Area Food Shelf for $4,200.00 to purchase 1 commercial solid door self contained freezer with castors.

Grantee letter: Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM)

Thank you donors! More women and families will find comfort tonight because of you.

“I am happy to report that15896380_945378215494429_2564857688816398138_o-01 Asian Women
United of Minnesota (AWUM) has completed the use of the generous grant of $7,500 awarded by OYH. As proposed, AWUM staff purchased 24 new bed frames and mattresses for House of Peace Shelter…

Providing new beds to women and children coming to the House of Peace has been such a delight. The old beds were originals from when the shelter opened in 2001 and had suffered major wear and tear…We have gotten great feedback on the comfort of the new beds people are sleeping better and feeling honored that they are able to use brand new (for now!) furniture.

AWUM was pleased to share the news of OYH’s generous grant with our friends and donors. Upon hearing about the new beds, a couple of individual donors asked if they could provide brand new linens for the shelter. We were happy to accept the offer, and now have new sheet sets for each mattress…

It is wonderful to be able to show a woman her room with clean, new bedding. We thank OYH for helping us provide better amenities to women and families who are coming to House of Peace to find relief from harm and fear.” –Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM)

We are looking for a new Development Director!

Development Director

The Development Director is responsible for leading all fund development activities. The Development Director is a key member of the OYH team, reports to the Executive Director and works closely with staff and the Board of Directors.

Organizational Informationnow-hiring

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless is a 30-year-old nonprofit providing grants and other support to community agencies throughout Minnesota that serve hungry and homeless people. Our annual budget is approximately $1,000,000.  We have a staff of four and an active and engaged Board of Directors. Our office is in the Loring Park community of Minneapolis.


  • Establish development goals, strategies, and outcomes
  • Work with Executive Director and Board in developing annual marketing plan
  • Develop and implement strategies to enhance OYH marketing and branding
  • Identify prospective partners and strategies to reach them
  • Develop and nurture relationships with corporate marketing staff
  • Develop sponsorship and partnership opportunities
  • Engage in event planning and management
  • Staff liaison to OYH Fund Development Committee
  • Explore advertising opportunities
  • Develop and implement social media marketing strategies
  • Manage and develop donor database
  • Maximize database effectiveness
  • Develop and implement strategies to expand individual donor base
  • Network with corporate, family, and institutional foundations
  • Develop OYH speaking engagements and group presentations

Experience and Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree. Minimum of three years of professional experience working as development/marketing director in a nonprofit environment required. Proven ability to develop and engage donors. Proficiency in donor database management. Passion for mission of serving hungry and homeless Minnesotans. Event planning and management experience. Excellent communication skills and ability to articulate orally and in print, the mission and services of OYH.  Must exhibit creativity and the ability to work independently. Knowledge of social media and marketing strategies.  Team player with ability to work collaboratively with diverse people.

Position Details

Salary: $50’s DOQ. Position is 32-36 hours per week. Occasional evenings. Paid holidays. Generous Vacation/Sick (PTO). Employer contribution to HSA and 401B.

Please send resume and cover letter by 2/01/17 to [email protected]  Subject: Development. No calls please.


December Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to OYH board members and generous donors we were able to award $55,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

  • The Salvation Army (St. Cloud) for $9,950 to purchase 50 new mattresses for The Salvation Army’s Emergency Shelter in St. Cloud.
  • Aurora Food Shelf for $3,500 to purchase 2 commercial refrigeration units for use at the food distribution site in Aurora.
  • Passing the Bread (PTB) Food Distribution for $2,979 to purchase a new commercial freezer, cooler and 3 portable electric coolers to replace the old ones.
  • Casa de Esperanza for $8,728 to purchase gutters and carpeting to improve access to and better protect food storage areas in our shelter.
  • Breaking Free for $3,231 to purchase additional and upgraded security cameras for a housing program for formerly homeless and sexually trafficked women and girls.
  • Big Lake Community Food Shelf for $5,000 to purchase shelving, produce fixtures and lettering to reconfigure the service space in the food shelf and increase the amount of healthy foods that could be provided.
  • The Link13174194_708552879276870_5249301762089943434_n for $10,000 to purchase outreach program supplies that will be provided to homeless youth during the winter months.
  • Hospitality House of Owatonna for $4,086 to purchase flooring in the facility, replace a freezer and update bathroom vanities and faucets.
  • St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) for $4,000 to purchase 2 glass door refrigerators, a commercial freezer, replacement castors for carts and some of the wiring involved to better offer healthy food options to client.
  • Loaves and Fishes for $3,300 to purchase 3 double glass door refrigerators which will store fresh produce in the new larger warehouse space.

Open Your Heart Grant Guideline Changes

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has made some changes in our grantmaking. Changes will be reflected in our Grant Guidelines and Application on our website by January 1, 2017.

Open Your Heart is entering our 31st year and has provided over $20,000,000 in grants to hunger and homeless organizations throughout Minnesota. Every few years we engage in strategic planning to assess the needs of our stakeholders, review current data on hunger and homelessness, and assess our effectiveness in carrying out our mission. We also consider the overall funding landscape affecting agencies and the availability of funding for crisis needs.

In our recent Strategic Planning efforts, we looked at some clear trends that have evolved in the past few years that impact our grantmaking effectiveness. Most significantly has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of applications for funding that seem to correspond to a decline in the numbers of key funders willing to support emergency/basic needs. Whereas for most of our history, the number and amount of requests more or less matched our available funds, that changed beginning in 2011. Today we receive at least three times as many requests as in the past, thus requiring us to consistently turn down excellent applications. As a result of this analysis, we have established Grant Guiding Principles and have made changes in our Funding Priorities and application process to ensure funds are directed where they can have the most impact.


  • Give where need is greatest.
  • Serve front end of the continuum focusing on people who are currently homeless or hungry.
  • Preference for projects that either increase the numbers of people served or improve the quality of service to participants.


  • OYH is focusing grant making on the front end of the continuum. For agencies serving homeless people, preference is given to services for people who are currently homeless – on the street or in shelters. Transitional housing has lower priority than shelter. Permanent supportive housing programs are unlikely to receive funding.
  • Hunger programs must be open and free to all in need. Geographic service boundaries are acceptable, but agencies requiring program participation, membership, purchase of food, attendance/participation in religious service, etc., as a requirement to receive food are unlikely to be funded.
  • Infrastructure or equipment for shelters or food shelves must benefit the areas where clients are served. Administrative areas, parking lots, etc., are unlikely to be funded.
  • Preference is given to projects that increase the numbers of people served or improve the quality of services provided.


  • Agencies are eligible to apply for one Hunger and Homeless grant per year. This is a change from previous years when agencies could be awarded one regular grant, but could apply as often as they like. As in the past, Education or Special Project grant applicants can also apply for and receive Hunger and Homeless Grants within the same calendar year.
  • Umbrella organizations with multiple program sites, but a single EIN or fiscal agency, can submit a total of two grant requests per year per agency. Requests must be for different sites.
  • There is no minimum or maximum award. Average grant is less than $7,000.

We recognize that on occasion, a natural disaster or other unforeseen events might result in a shutdown of services. We may be able to fund quickly in those circumstances. Please call our office at 612-338-5577 if that situation arises. Please note, emergency grants will only be available to agencies that have no other resources available and will require suspending services without immediate assistance.

Occasionally, OYH will issue RFP’s for Special Projects. Grant applications and/or awards will not affect the eligibility of agencies for Hunger and Homeless or Education Grants. These initiatives will be announced on our website, you can also sign up to receive grant announcements by email by clicking “Get Updates” on the upper right-hand side of our website (www.oyh.org) or by emailing us ([email protected]). Sponsorship of Community Events is only for pre-selected charities.

Please let us know if you have any questions regarding this change. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 612-338-5577.

October Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to OYH board members and generous donors we were able to award $60,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

  • Clearwater County Food Shelf for $1,498 to purchase two chest-type freezers to replace freezers with bad seals.
  • New Salem Missionary Baptist Church for $4,530 to purchase a refrigerator, freezer, shelving, bags and gloves for the food shelf to help keep food longer and give clients more time to pick up food.hope-4-youth-anoka-slide1-5-1500x630
  • People Incorporated for $9,920 to purchase survival gear and supplies for Street Outreach in Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey Counties.
  • HOPE 4 Youth for $10,000 to purchase the kitchen appliances for the 12 studio apartments at the new Transitional Living Program, HOPE Place.
  • Ruth’s House of Hope for $1,125 to purchase two security cameras for the emergency and transitional shelter.
  • Hubbard County Food Shelf for $5,000 to purchase a new and larger capacity walk-in freezer to replace the old one which does not work well and constantly needs repair.
  • St. Charles Resource Center for $5,616 to purchase a 51 cubic ft. glass front freezer for the food shelf, including freight, delivery and installation charges.
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Shelf for $3,238 to purchase a reach-in refrigerator and a reach-in freezer.
  • Indian Neighborhood Club on Alcohol and Drugs for $10,000 to purchase refrigerators and other furnishings for the expansion.
  • Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul for $9,044 to purchase much needed mattresses, rollaway beds, portable cribs, and bedding for the homeless families served.

August Grants have been awarded!

Thanks to OYH board members and generous donors we were able to award $69,000 in funds this month to Minnesota agencies in need!

  • Asian Women United Of Minnesota, Inc. for $7,560 to purchase new bed frames and mattresses for battered women’s shelter to replace 15+ year old beds.
  • Barnesville Area Food Pantry for $2,230 to purchase a freezer with delivery to increase the frozen food capacity.
  • Chisholm Food Shelf for $4,350 to purchase a new commercial refrigerator and freezer and installation.
  • Our Saviour’s Housing for $5,075 to fund the air conditioning system replacement at the emergency shelter.
  • Pine Island Sharing Shelves for $4,450 to purchase a freezer, refrigerator, and adjustable shelving units.
  • Quad City Food Shelf for $1,782 to purchase a compressor for the freezer.
  • Safe Avenues for $10,000 to replace the fire/smoke alarm system at our domestic violence shelter.
  • The Salvation Army (Virginia) for $10,000 to purchase a walk-in freezer for The Salvation Army of Virginia’s food shelf.
  • Small Sums for $5,100 to purchase 120 rush hour monthly bus passes for the Twin Cities homeless clients who have just found jobs but need a reliable way to get to work in the first months back to work.
  • St. John’s Food Shelf for $1,000 to purchase a new refrigerator to assist in fresh produce offering for the food shelf patrons.
  • Stepping Stone Emergency Housing for $6,066 to purchase shelter bunk beds and wardrobes.
  • The Brainerd Baxter Youth Center for $6,042 to fund a commercial fridge unit repair and to purchase a commercial freezer and a stainless/metal shelving for food shelf donations.
  • White Earth Tribal Council for $5,500 to purchase beds, pots and pans, utensils, bath and hand towels, and washcloths for Native American families coming to the homeless shelter.