"If I only had a place to live, my life would be okay." That's what the women say who end up at Perspectives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, right outside of Minneapolis. They help mothers who've lost custody of their children, women and children who've been abused, and families who've lost their homes. Perspectives helps families fight poverty.
Over the course of 25 years, Perspectives has helped over 600 female-headed families. Currently, the program supports 52 families and over 100 children. Women accepted into the Perspectives family have to agree to follow a rigorous set of rules designed to get them back on their feet and raise healthy, violence-free children.
Perspectives has two Supportive Housing programs. Their two-year Transitional Program helps women who are referred from shelters, and by parole officers, and social-service agencies. Each resident sets goals for sobriety, good parenting, and employment. Women who meet their goals are eligible to apply for permanent housing in apartments owned by Perspectives. Clients have to care for their properties, participate in community activities, job training, and social service. Perspectives takes chances on women some organizations won't.
Kid's Café is an integral part of Perspectives program providing nutrition and caring for children of families in the Supportive Housing program as well as children in the community. Daily, the children participate in the Kid's Café, an after-school, 5-days-a-week nutrition and mentoring program that offers academic enrichment. At the Kid's Café, a full-time chef guides and teaches the children as they prepare, serve and clean up a nightly dinner. They have the opportunity to eat meals family style, something many of the children have never done with their own families.
Perspectives Family Center
Executive Director Jeannie Seeley-Smith
3381 Gorham Ave
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Published on October 28, 2003