QVS Minneapolis

2018-19 Site Placements (click on any logo for more information)

In the Heart of the Beast

In the Heart of the Beast In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre brings people together for the common good through the power of puppetry and mask performance. Societal gaps in education, income, employment and justice separate us from one another and from the world we live in. The ritual and ceremony of puppetry and mask performance uniquely allow us to develop a shared vision for the future. Through our work, we ask ourselves: What does it mean to be human in this time and place?

HOTB is about six months away from launching a capital campaign to renovate the 1920s movie house where we do our work. A key part of that process is connecting and re-connecting with the communities we serve in the neighborhoods around us, which include the largest urban Native population in the US, the largest Somali population outside Africa, a well-established Latino immigrant population, a vibrant community of artists of color and LGBTQAI artists, White Baby Boomer social activists, and an undeserved youth population from many different cultural backgrounds.

Community Connections Fellow: This is in many ways a classic community organizing position. The goal is to better understand the needs of the various communities we serve and to identify the ways in which we can best serve those communities with our mission and with a renovated building serving as a neighborhood art center. The fellow will report directly to Associate Director Deb Ervin and will support the work of Marketing and Communications Director Meg Walsh and Development Director Marcie Berg. While a specific work plan has not yet been set, projects might include:

  • Participating in planning, hosting and documenting community events
  • Supporting the community-outreach portion of existing programs (mainstage shows, youth programming, artist development programs)
  • Being part of the team that develops the 45th annual MayDay Parade and Festival

Bridging was founded in July of 1987 by the Outreach Networking Ministry team of Pax Christi Catholic Community in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, to provide quality furniture and household items free of charge to those in need. Bridging operated as a ministry for five years before becoming a separate 501(c) (3) non-profit in 1992. Having moved to various locations, in 1997 Bridging took ownership of the Bloomington Minnesota warehouse and central offices, located at 201 West 87th Street. Fueled by increased demand, Bridging expanded its service by opening a warehouse in Roseville in November 2006. Between our current locations in Bloomington and Roseville, Bridging operates 64,000 square feet of warehouse space and is considered the largest Furniture Bank in the United States. We partner with approximately 150 area social service agencies who refer their clients to our services. Clients come to one of our two warehouses and our guided by (volunteer) personal shoppers to select the items that they need to make their house a home.

Warehouse Team/Utility Staff Fellow: The warehouse team member is responsible for duties in the warehouse, commercial and residential pick-ups and deliveries to clients. They work with other team members to ensure the organization, safety and cleanliness of the work environment. The utility staff will (periodically) assist in the checking-in of clients; as well as assist (periodically) as a personal shopper helping the clients selected their furniture and household goods. The utility staff may also assist from time to time in special projects in various other departments - such as Financial Development, Community Relations and Client Services.

  • Activities include:
  • Accurately pulling clients orders and loading delivery truck in a safe, efficient manner (must be able to lift 50 pounds above head, carry 70 pounds and push/pull 100 pounds).
  • Coordinating and assisting with in-coming and out-going items
  • Work efficiently and safely with other team members to unload trucks and deliver furniture to clients
  • Organize warehouse items in a safe and efficient manner
  • Driving a Bridging vehicle (truck) to either deliver or pick-up furniture. Must be 21, have a valid driver's license and have a clean driving record.
  • Oversee and assist with volunteers and work crews
  • Assist with checking in clients who arrive for their shopping experience
  • Assist the clients in the selection of their furniture and household items
  • Answer phone calls to give general Bridging information
  • Perform other Bridging activities as needed

The Fellow will be working with a wide variety of populations and demographics. Our volunteers range in age from 14 all the way up to 90+. The majority of our clients (90%) have a household income of $20,000 and 56% of them are transitioning out of homelessness. There are clients who have both mental/physical disabilities as well as many for whom English is not their primary language. We do ask our agency partners to provide care attendants/translators in these situations.

Green Central Elementary School

Part of Minneapolis Public Schools, Green Central Park Elementary is located in south Minneapolis and serves Kindergarten-5th grade. At Green, 96% of students receive free and reduced lunches, 61% are English Learners, with a high proportion of Latino and Somali students. Each grade level team consists of 3 classroom teachers, an ESL teacher, a coach, and an assistant. Green is often cited as a model of positive turnaround. Programs include Quality First Time Instruction with Coach Support, Positive Schoolwide Engagement, Family Engagement and Equity.

The QVS Fellow will:

  • Collaborate with the Positive Schoolwide Engagement Committee to envision and plan for a recess time where students experience and learn positive ways of playing and engaging together and learn and apply skills for conflict resolution.
  • Collaborate with the school counselor to create consistent about messaging how and when to use Second Step Problem Solving.
  • Bring opportunities for guided play such as cooperative games to students at recess in Grades PreK - 5
  • Provide conflict resolution during and after recess to students.  
  • Work with counselor to create and implement a system of effective communication between recess staff, classroom teachers and the PSWE team around social situations that need follow up from recess.  
  • Support the afterschool program to provide classes to small groups in areas of his or her interest/skills  (music, arts, cooking, sports or academic support according to his or her interest/skills.)
  • As time and schedule allow, the fellow will be available to provide individual and small group academic interventions to students selected by teachers.

Required Qualifications

  • Belief in students’ capacity to succeed and thrive
  • Good listener
  • Commitment to seeing  all situations through an equity lens
  • Solutions oriented
  • Enjoyment in outside play with youth
  • Ability to be command respect and give direction
  • Experience working with small groups of students from diverse cultures
  • Ability to take direction and learn from experienced teachers and school counselor
  • Ability to ask for support and change approaches in response to learning
  • Find the beauty, joy and humor of being outside with active kids on a cold, snowy, Minnesota day!

Desirable Qualifications

  • Fluency in Spanish or Somali
  • Background working with students Prek – Grade 5
  • Familiarity with conflict resolution strategies
  • Soccer
  • A skill or interest you’d love to share with kids through afterschool activities
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light

Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light is an interfaith community co-creating a just and sustainable world. We work in partnership with faith communities to build transformative power and bring the lights of people’s unique gifts to addressing the climate crisis. At MNIPL we work to build the interfaith climate movement in Minnesota by empowering faith communities across the state to take action that is authentic, effective, and energizing in their context.

Since our founding in 2004, we have mobilized interfaith support for landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota, educated hundreds of thousands of congregants, and worked with every major religious denomination in the state. We provide faith communities with the resources to powerfully show up in the growing climate movement by engaging in actions that are authentic, energizing, and effective. We do this in two ways: leadership development programs and action opportunities that provide tangible ways to make an impact. We believe that it’s not enough to offer people opportunities to take action on the issues they care about. Instead, we believe leadership development and organizing training empower individuals to build a movement capable of creating a just and livable climate for the human and more than human world. We are a staff of 10, reaching 5,000 people across the state and working with more than 200 faith communities.

Environmental Justice Organizer: This Fellow will serve the organization by supporting the efforts of two volunteer teams, the Policy Team and the Just Solar Team. Using the New Organizing Institute framework for defining strategy and tasks they will help to keep team members in the loop and help to implement work plans that are cooperatively generated. They will assist these teams by conducting basic research through environmental justice and economic development mapping programs. They will work with the Just Solar Coordinator, working to build relationships and promote environmental justice to audiences across Minnesota. This will involve conducting one to one meetings with interested volunteers and potential partners, tabling at outreach events, giving short presentations, and helping to keep others in the loop about their network building success. This Fellow will be given basic organizing training through our Be the Spark training. The Fellow will work with communities best suited to their background and interests. Our Just Solar Coalition works consistently with communities of color and we would love to hire a Fellow who is comfortable building relationships and helping to promote programming within diverse faith communities, including mosques. The Fellow should be an outgoing and very organized who is ready to be both accountable and flexible. If there is a specific interest in youth, opportunities to assist with our All In the Circle camps in the summer are available.

Our Saviors Housing Program

Our Saviour's Housing program operates an emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing for single adults. The English Learning Center program provides free English language instruction, plus tutoring in math, computer and citizenship test preparation for newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Our Saviour's Housing program provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing plus a wide array of support services for those who are homeless in our community.Both programs are focused on serving adults primarily in south Minneapolis, Minnesota.

All of our offices and workspaces are located in close proximity to one another in an urban neighborhood in south Minneapolis. Our mission is accomplished by about 40 staff members, including 27 full time and 13 part time individuals. We involve more than 1500 adult volunteers in the course of our work over a year. We are a community of hope for those who need a home.
Our mission is eliminating homelessness by providing shelter, support and a chance to start over.

Case Manager- Permanent Supportive Housing: Our Fellow will support a caseload of 16-20 homeless clients in scattered apartment building sites. The Case Manager’s primary functions are to assist clients with the move-in process, meet weekly to assess and encourage a case plan, ensure basic needs are met and to assist with crisis prevention/intervention to assure housing stability. Additionally, PSH Case Managers formulate strong professional relationships with clients’ landlords to better advocate and mediate any issues that may arise.

OSH has a welcoming community approach, strong teamwork collaboration, and flexibility to creatively improve programming to meet residents’ needs. The ideal candidate for this position will embrace this mindset.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Support Meetings

Quaker Voluntary Service recently expanded to Minneapolis/St. Paul as its fifth location in the fall of 2018. We are so excited to continue the process of building community and growing our work in the Twin Cities!

The Minneapolis QVS program in under the spiritual care of three Quaker Meetings in the area: Minneapolis Friends Meeting, Prospect Hill Friends Meeting, and Twin Cities Friends Meeting.

“Upon corporate and individual reflection, we in Prospect Hill Friends Meeting find our initial enthusiasm for Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) undiminished and grounded in what we understand Spirit asks us to do. We affirm our desire to participate with other Friends to establish and cultivate a local QVS program, as Way opens…”

Prospect Hill Friends Meeting

Excerpt of Minute on Quaker Voluntary Service

Volunteer your time with QVS Minneapolis/St.Paul

Please click on the button below to learn more about volunteering to help with our first year in Minneapolis/St. Paul! We have a variety of tasks/needs that we could use support with, so please inquire to see how you might support this exciting endeavor!

For other ways to be involved, reach out to Sonja Sponheim, sonja (at) quakervoluntaryservice.org.

Contact #QVSMSP

Please click on the button below to learn more about our needs in opening our fifth QVS location in Minneapolis/St. Paul!

For other ways to be involved, reach out to Sonja Sponheim, sonja (at) quakervoluntaryservice.org.

2018-19 Fellows (click on any picture for more information)

Angelica Brown

Angelica Brown is recent graduate from Portland State University with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and recently completed the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s poetry certificate program. Angelica feels drawn, because of her Christian faith and Quaker practice, to find ways to participate in harm reduction and prison abolition efforts in her communities. She is coming to Quaker Voluntary Service after a summer internship with the Catholic Workers in Los Angeles. An avid poet, pen pal, and soup maker, Angelica tries to spend her free time creating nice things for the people she cares about. Angelica alternates between worshiping with Multnomah Friends in Portland, Oregon and North Valley Friends in Newberg, OregonAngelica Brown is recent graduate from Portland State University with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and recently completed the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s poetry certificate program. Angelica feels drawn, because of her Christian faith and Quaker practice, to find ways to participate in harm reduction and prison abolition efforts in her communities. She is coming to Quaker Voluntary Service after a year of working as a youth advocate for a drop in center for houseless young people, and a summer internship with the Catholic Workers in Los Angeles. An avid poet, pen pal, and soup maker, Angelica tries to spend her free time creating nice things for the people she cares about. Angelica alternates between worshiping with Multnomah Friends in Portland, Oregon and North Valley Friends in Newberg, Oregon. Angelica will be serving with Green Central Elementary School in Minneapolis this year.

Dillon Sebastian

Dillon Sebastian is originally from Takoma Park, MD and is a 2018 graduate of Oberlin College where she majored in Geology and minored in Education. She spent most of her summers at Quaker camp, sparking her interest in education. At Oberlin she was involved in Oberlin’s Big Parade. From her work on the parade she learned about the power of community building through art. She is excited to continue working in the arts at In the Heart of the Beast in Minneapolis.

KT Glusac

KT Glusac grew up in Woodbridge, CT and is a recent graduate from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. She currently resides at Bread and Roses Collective: a low-income housing cooperative for activists in Syracuse, NY. She is a peacemaking facilitator for cases diverted out of the criminal justice system, a member of the Immigrant and Refugee Defense Network through the Worker’s Center of Central New York, and a volunteer of the Childcare Collective, a group that demonstrates solidarity with local activists by providing childcare. When she is not participating in community organizing or working in the collective garden, you can find her climbing the rock wall or meditating at the zen center. KT loves connecting with other beings and has an undying interest in intentional communities (researching and living within a Quaker IC called Quaker Intentional Village-Canaan in East Chatham, NY was her first exposure to Quakerism). KT is eagerly anticipating her position as a case manager with Our Saviour’s Housing.

Taylor Wicklund

Taylor Wicklund is a recent graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with majors in Geography and Political Science and minors in Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies and in Scandinavian Studies. As a proud critical geographer, Taylor credits the field for much of her focus on radical social justice and interest in intersectional community organizing and development. She believes one of the most important questions one might ask about a given policy, structure, or space is “for whom?” At Gustavus, Taylor advocated for a more just campus on its President’s Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Diversity Leadership Council; and Student Senate. She served off-campus as the Interim Outreach chair for the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign in Minnesota, and as a volunteer mapmaker for a local nonprofit. Taylor has spent her past year interviewing conventional farmers in Southern Minnesota for her thesis, which seeks to understand their perspectives on the impacts of economic transition within agriculture. She enjoys exploring new places, researching, knitting, reading, writing, practicing yoga, and most of all, singing. While Taylor didn’t know anything about Quakerism prior to discovering QVS, she is thankful that she stumbled upon the faith and is jazzed to spend the next year in the spiritual care of local Quakers. Having spent a portion of her high school years in the city, Taylor is excited to return to Minneapolis where she will be working as an Environmental Justice and Policy Organizer at Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

Eli Phillips

Eli Phillips grew up in Columbia, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington D.C. He grew up going to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, but felt that he truly connected with his spirituality at Opequon Quaker Camp. Eli attended Opequon, a camp affiliated with Baltimore Yearly Meeting, as a camper and would later return as a counselor. He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated in 2018 with degrees in Music and East Asian Studies. While at Guilford, Eli had a radio show all four years while serving as the station’s general manager for three years. Additionally, Eli was in a campus band called Pickled Garlic which was a ton of fun. For his senior thesis, Eli wrote and recorded original music, the final product being an album called “Excerpts”.  Eli is incredibly excited to be working with Bridging in Minneapolis this year.

Alina Yaman

Alina Yaman is a Turkish-German New Jerseyan who grew up moving back and forth across the Atlantic. They currently live in San Francisco with their beloved partner, and they are excited to start a new chapter in the Midwest! Alina graduated from Yale in 2017, where they spent most of their time studying linguistics, playing rugby, and organizing in the LGBTQ+ community. Alina’s spiritual journey has been a long and winding path, sparked in large part by their experience walking the Camino de Santiago when they were 18. Since then, Alina has found comfort and refuge in various churches, mosques, and interfaith spaces. Alina’s mystical leanings and open curiosity led them to the Quakers. In their QVS year, Alina will be working as an Environmental Justice Organizer for Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

Most Recent Blog Posts from Minneapolis

#QVSMSP- We need your help to fill this house!

Do you have spare furniture, kitchen utensils, linens, bikes, beds, etc. that you are not using? We are seeking furniture and household items to be donated to the new QVS House in Minneapolis. We have an empty house to furnish in preparation for the arrival of QVS Fellows this fall. Please view the attached spreadsheet to see more about what we need!

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