Listening House of St. Paul

A nonprofit organization

$14,522 raised

97% complete

$15,000 Goal


Listening House of St. Paul eliminates the resource scarcity traps  of poverty and homelessness. By providing comfort and practical resources to manage the day, Minnesotans maintain their privacy, safety, confidence, and connections to get through hard times. 

The Poverty Cycle

Life interruptions happen. Job loss, illness, death, and unfortunate events are a part of life, and they put people at financial risk. For decades, we have trended away from widespread public access and support programs, defaulting this work to churches and families. We then doubled down, creating stereotypes and assumptions around poverty that centered on shame and blame. All the while, housing and inflation continued to rise. The result is a tipping point of mass poverty and endemic homelessness that today overwhelms our states, hospitals, schools, and police.

Our Solution

Poverty is complex and deeply rooted in social and civil justice. For Listening House, what we know is that those at the bottom incomes need access and resources—not shame or blame—to ensure that life interruptions don’t become life-changing events. Our solution is both simple and practical: Radical hospitality. With no fee to enter, no background check, no documents, and no criteria, everyone in the community is welcome to use bathrooms, showers, lockers, resting rooms, work and connectivity stations, laundry, and mailboxes while mingling at our coffee and food bars. Kindness, respect, and safety are the only rules. As trust and engagement builds, so do links to other services. Annually, we serve 5,000 guests with 70,000 visits. 

Historic Move

Like most day shelters, Listening House started in a church basement 40 years ago. It was a parishioner who chose to listen, not judge, as she built services on what she heard. It’s a common story. Churches have long been a safe haven for those who suffer and are in need. They often have been the birthplaces of service and social justice movements. Yet, services on the backs of only volunteers and in church basements are limiting.

In November 2023, after 40 years of operations, Listening House is making a historic move into a fully-owned, independently operated building in Lowertown St. Paul. The three-year, $6 million project is a lot of things, but at its core, it is about legitimacy. It is about seeing and legitimizing those in poverty and not pushing them around from neighborhood to neighborhood as if they don’t have a right to exist. It is about valuing first-class services that don’t require an entry fee. It’s the crazy idea that the value of people is that they are people and not how much they can pay for things. Because at some point, existing should not be a pay-to-play experience. 

Catch our vibe?

•    Make a significant donation today.

•    Contact Us to customize a volunteer role or event for you.

What does supporting Listening House mean? It means that the 125 – 150 individuals who come through our doors each day can get some much-appreciated support.

Take a look at the average cost of a few of the services we provide:

  1. On a average day, we provide 30 – 40 Hygiene kits to guests 
     (cost per Hygiene kit - $15)
  2. Five days a week, we provide meals and snacks to our guests 
     (One month of individual meals for a guest - $350)
  3. On average, we fulfill 25 – 50 clothing requests for guests each day
     (average cost per guest (using new and donated clothing) = $20)
  4. Monthly bus passes for guests to get to work and back = $90 (10 day pass = $10)
  5. Average cost to help guests obtain Birth Certificates, sociial security cards, and  state ID cards (needed to start a job or secure an apartment) - $50
  6. One month prescription drugs or medical costs - $10 - $250

About Listening House:

Our mission is to welcome our community through radical hospitality.

Listening House core values:

  1. Respect: We treat everyone with dignity and understand that everyone has their own story.
  2. Hospitality: We strive to be friendly and welcoming to every guest. 
  3. Inclusion: We make every effort to provide everyone with equitable access to opportunities and resources. 
  4. Community: We create a space for everyone to feel supported and heard. We make ourselves approachable and endeavor to connect with all guests. 
  5. Compassion: Our actions demonstrate concern for the struggles and misfortunes of others. 

Locations & Hours:

Listening House, 464 Maria Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55106

  • Open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

As of Wednesday, Nov. 8:  421 E 7th ST, Saint Paul, MN 55101 

  • Open noon - 8:00pm, Wednesday - Sunday


Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Listening House of St. Paul

Tax id (EIN)

36-3291367

Categories

Community Humanitarian Aid Emergencies

BIPOC Serving

BIPOC Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving

LGBTQ+ Serving

Address

421 E 7th Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone

651-227-5911

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