RS EDEN Corrections Services Director Addresses Women and Reentry Challenges at Minnesota Department of Corrections Conference

On April 23, 2018, the Minnesota Department of Corrections Task Force on Justice Involved Women and Girlsheld their annual conference, sponsored in part by RS EDEN. This year’s conference focused on the disparate treatment of women and girls in the criminal justice system. Task Force members LuAnne Buck, Director of Corrections Services for RS EDEN, and Amber Jochem, Community Outreach Manager of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, spoke about the challenges women face reentering the community from incarceration.

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Graduation Celebration at Portland Village

Light up the grill, pour the lemonade, and cut the cake…the Portland Village family housing community is celebrating graduations of all kinds. This year the community celebrated the accomplishments of 14 tenants—adults and children—who graduated from elementary to junior high, from junior high to high school, who completed drug court, and who received their GED. The Graduation Celebration is an annual event for tenants to socialize, celebrate goals, and simply enjoy a summer afternoon together with food and fun.

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Fresh Faces at Fresh Grounds Café

Imagine commuting to work on a 32” Nimbus unicycle. Gabriel, 16, rides his to his shifts at Fresh Grounds Café, causing coworkers and customers to smile in wonder. Gabriel heard about the Fresh Grounds Café training program when he was 14 and attending the nearby Nova Academy. The Fresh Grounds trainee recruiter visited his school to give a presentation about the benefits of training. Gabriel had to wait until he turned 15 to enroll; and after training had to wait again until 16 to be hired. But according to Gabriel, it was worth the wait. “Fresh Grounds helped me with socializing, memorizing recipes, and multi-tasking,” he comments. Working about 20 hours weekly over the summer, Gabriel spends his spare time atCircus Juventus, where he has been training for the past eight years.

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Women and Children in Recovery at RS EDEN

RS EDEN Women’s Program provides family-centered substance use disorder treatment for women and their children. Treatment services are offered in the newly-renovated 614 Grant building in Minneapolis. The building was purchased in 2016 and redesigned intentionally to create a family-centered, trauma-informed environment in which women and children can heal together. Women attend treatment groups to address trauma, parenting skills, chemical dependency, and mental health. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation techniques are part of their recovery, as well as regular family events and outings including trips to the Minnesota Zoo, State Fair, local libraries, and other sober family events. Children are welcome at the building and central to the family’s recovery process. Mothers and children live together in the nearby Lorraine Apartments, a place where women can free themselves from substance abuse, stay safe, and practice a change in lifestyle and commitment to sobriety that supports healthy families. Children are supported with access to PICA Head Start and transportation to various school programs.

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Tenant Satisfaction High at RS EDEN Supportive Housing

In Spring of 2018, RS EDEN’s Asset Management Division conducted a tenant survey at all its metro housing locations with a 59% return rate. The average rating about how RS EDEN operates its housing was a 9 out of 10. Tenants especially appreciate the safety and stability that RS EDEN housing programs provide, the recovery focus, and the staff, units, and larger community.

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RS EDEN’s Emanuel Housing Designed by Cermak Rhoades Architects Received the 2018 Affordable Housing Design Award

AIA Minnesota and The McKnight Foundation proudly announce that RS EDEN’s Emanuel Housing is the winner of the 2018 Affordable Housing Design Award. Located in near U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the facility offers permanent affordable housing in a vibrant neighborhood, with health care and support services on site. The ideal location, nestled in a mixed-use neighborhood with excellent transit access, provides a population coming out of homelessness with a new opportunity to connect to the broader community.

Recognized for the award is RS EDEN; Cermak Rhoades Architects; Frerichs Construction; Pierce Pini + Associates; Spencer Jones Landscape Architect; Mattson Macdonald Young; and Emanuelson-Podas Inc.

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Alliance Apartments Celebrates Diversity

In March, Alliance Apartments hosted the second-annual Avowal: A celebration of Culture. This tenant-led event provides an excellent opportunity to gather for dinner and fellowship, while recognizing the many cultures that come together in the building.

An amazing menu played a starring role in the celebration. Staff and tenants shared traditional foods representing their cultural backgrounds. This year included Liberian food, traditional Jamaican jerk chicken, corned beef, greens of many types, Hawaiian turkey, a Polynesian chicken dish, spaghetti, and traditional wild rice from Red Lake. To continue the conversation about culture and diversity, tenants spoke on a variety of topics.

What makes the tenant-led celebrations at Alliance so amazing is the enthusiasm of the tenants. Watching them come together as a group of people from every walk of life and share their stories, their perspectives, and their knowledge, is truly inspiring. According to Program Manager, Karen Johnson: "It is impressive to see the tenants come together for this event, to lead and to share. We watch them break their own stereotypes as they contribute their talents and their wisdom. The staff get to just sit back and enjoy." The 2018 Avowal was a tremendous success.

Nurse Practitioner Clinic Open at Women and Children's Family Clinic

RS EDEN proudly offers medical services at the Nurse Practitioner Clinic, recently opened at the Women and Children’s Family Center, in Minneapolis.

The people served here experience numerous barriers to primary and preventive healthcare services, resulting in fragmented care, reliance upon costly emergency services, and less connection and participation in health care activities. To better respond to this need, RS EDEN is collaborating with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing to offer an on-site healthcare clinic at the Women and Children’s Family Center.

Minnesota Recovery Connection's 2017 Walk for Recovery

A team of Emanuel and Alliance staff and tenants participated in the 2017 Walk for Recovery.The day began with a breakfast speaker jam at Alliance and after the walk, tenants and staff gathered at Emanuel for fellowship, pizza, and donuts.

The annual Walk for Recovery is a way to celebrate recovery, show your support, generate hope, reduce stigma, and offer living proof that recovery is real.

National Night Out Celebration at Lindquist Apartments

Staff and youth advisory boards planned an exciting evening at Lindquist Apartments on August 1, 2017.

We welcomed over 40 staff, youth, and community members for an incredible evening of food, yard games, a bounce house, face painting, double dutch. It was an amazing evening in our community!

Photo Contest Winners at Emanuel Housing

Emanuel Housing hosted a photo contest for tenants themed: "Life Downtown."

Six winning photos were chosen and will be displayed in the tenant lounge for the next year. We are proud to showcase the talents of our tenants.

Giving Back to RS EDEN

Life has not been a straight line for Tom Thompson. "The staff at RS EDEN gave me an opportunity to change my life. And I took advantage of it," remarks Thompson. "Looking back over the last 27 years, I feel a great deal of gratitude for RS EDEN. We all need a little help sometimes."

"Whenever possible I try to give back to Eden House." Thompson sponsors a few men in the residential program and attends first Friday events to talk about his experiences and encourage them to share their own. "I establish boundaries up front: I will not lend you money, I will not employ you. Don't call me while you are drunk or high. But if you do your work, I will be here for you. In fact, there isn't much I wouldn't do to support you.

Journalists from the Supportive Housing Field: The Power of the Tenant Voice

One way that tenants give voice to the lessons of their lives and the strengths of their communities is through Housing Newsletters. Joel K. is the long time Editor of the Central Chat, his housing community's newsletter. His work on the newsletter has been something he enjoys doing to give back to his community. He was recently invited to a meeting at Emanuel Housing to share his wisdom and experiences with a group of tenants who came together to create the Emanuel Housing community's first newsletter, the Emanuel Expression. They were inspired after reading copies of both the Central Chat and The Alliance Gazette.

The Green Team Impacts Local Community

The Green Team is the Elliot Park neighborhood environmental clean-up group. Rick Purcell and Angie Taylor lead The Green Team, along with six Elliot Park residents, including Karen Johnson and James Gatewood. Established in partnership with EPNI Livability Task Force, The Green Team builds community and neighborhood involvement in keeping Elliot Park clean. "I'm excited to be a part of The Green Team," said Johnson, "We've already seen the impact we've made on cleaning up Elliot Park."

August 15, 6:30 p.m. | Jaur Café, 609 South 10th Street, Minneapolis

Recovery Works

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Paul Bierch and Caroline Niesche for all they give back to RS EDEN. Paul graduated from Eden House in 2009, but he returns to mentor at meetings every Sunday night. "I love it here: both what they do and everything it represents. For me, recovery is more than simply the process of getting off drugs. It is the process of changing behavior and mindset," said Paul.

Alliance Housing Celebrates Black History Month

Alliance Housing hosted a completely tenant-driven Black History Celebration in February. The celebration serves as a stellar example of what tenants can achieve when encouraged to use their many gifts and talents.

RS EDEN Commits to Best Practice and Training

RS EDEN recently launched a robust effort to promote opportunities for all agency staff to engage in training necessary for being an effective advocate for equity and diversity on the job. RS EDEN programs serve clients in an array of programs including corrections, substance abuse, and supportive housing. Drawing on the expertise of the University of Minnesota’s Office for Equity and Diversity, the agency is rolling out a series of workshops for all staff over the coming months.

Kudos to RS EDEN tenants

Emanuel Housing tenant Connie Karg took home a first-place ribbon at the 2017 VA Arts & Crafts Show for her Minnesota Vikings themed crocheted blanket.

Central tenant DuWayne Gunderson was nominated for 21st Annual Bloomington Diamond Service Awards through his job at the Best Western Hotel in Bloomington.

Staff Profile:
Benito Rodriguez Hernandez and Nieves Rosas-Ponce

“I cannot believe how clean it is here,” or “RS EDEN’s buildings are the cleanest and nicest places around.” These are just a couple of the many compliments that we receive from tenants, staff, and outside vendors and professionals on a regular basis. There are two reasons why this is so: Benito and Nieves.

April is Second Chance Month

Join us for Prison Fellowship's annual Second Chance 5K on April 23rd to raise awareness for those in need of a second chance. In order to create change, Prison Fellowship is declaring this April Second Chance Month—a whole month dedicated to the spiritual and social restoration of the formerly incarcerated.

Supportive Housing and Services Make a Difference for Teens

The Curfew Diversion Program redirects young people from the criminal justice system for offenses such as violating curfew or truancy, by offering supportive services to youth and their families.

A program participant and one of our own Portland Village residents participated in a press conference with Attorney Mike Freeman to showcase the program impact.

A Place to Call Their Own

That is what the Women and Children's Family Center represents for our community of women and children. Together they are creating something special in a new building designed just for them.

This beautiful space is a point of pride where they can participate in activities that support their current needs and help prepare them for a positive future ahead.

Second Chance on the Hill Day 2017
Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda | Thursday, February 9 at 10 a.m.

Join RS EDEN along with more than 60 Minnesota organizations to stand together to support second chances for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system.

Be inspired, take action, meet with legislators, and make change.

Annie Mehan Brings Hope and New Perspectives

Using her story of survival, Annie shows others how to take past suffering and mold it into a ladder that Annie Mehan Brings Hope and New Perspectives

Using her story of survival, Annie shows others how to take past suffering and mold it into a ladder that will lead to freedom. This is an encore visit after a well-received visit to Portland Village last month.will lead to freedom. This is an encore visit after a well-received visit to Portland Village last month.

Investing in Moral Reconation Therapy Provides Alternatives

A new contract with the Minnesota Department of Corrections is now in place. In January, Correctional Counseling, Inc. trained RS EDEN Recovery Services staff in MRT-Moral Reconation Therapy.

MRT is the premiere cognitive-behavioral program for substance abuse treatment and criminal justice offenders focusing on honesty, healing, and setting appropriate goals.

RS EDEN is featured as a Nonprofit to Know

Thank you Minnesota Philanthropy Partners! Check out this short video showcasing our past, present & future!

RS EDEN Women and Children’s Family Center Grand Opening

With a reputation as a leader in delivering effective recovery services, RS EDEN is proud to offer a new space to house its Women’s Program. The RS EDEN Women and Children’s Family Center will provide a therapeutic environment for women in recovery that is safe, quiet, and family-friendly.

Located next to RS EDEN’s Men’s Program building at 1025 Portland Avenue, this site offers a space uniquely suited to women going through the recovery process. It offers rooms for group meetings, private rooms for individual counseling, a family bathroom with a washer and dryer, outdoor green space, along with stroller parking and a gym for activities.

Faces of Flint: Seventh Landing tenants share lessons learned about a community in crisis

Back from the travel component of their Service Learning experience to Flint Michigan, Seventh Landing tenants reflected on the personal and service lessons learned and shared those with their local community in a thank you event on Sept. 24, 2016. The group gave a brief demonstration about their adopted community at the Fresh Grounds Café in Saint Paul, sharing data, stories, and personal reflections about the activity.

A note from Dan Cain

September 1971: The country was embroiled in a war that was more controversial than any in a generation. Young people were rejecting the values of our country’s leaders and turning to different types of protest, including the widespread use of new, powerful drugs. Soldiers, exposed to cheap narcotics in Southeast Asia, began using them to offset the stress of military conflict that often seemed meaningless and unsupported, only to find that when they returned home those same drugs were exponentially more expensive and difficult to obtain. Many turned to crime to fund the habits that had been developed under fog of war. This environment and these conditions fostered the creation of Eden House, the Midwest’s first therapeutic community.

International Overdose Awareness Day

RS EDEN partnered with the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation and others to support International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2016. The event was held in the courtyard of the US Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. Speakers at the event included US Attorney Andy Luger, US Senator Amy Klobuchar, MN Senator Christine Eaton, MN Representative Dave Baker, Lexi Reed Holtum (Executive Director Steve Rummler Hope Foundation) and community members impacted by the epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths.

The Power of Telling Your Story: Portland Village Tenant Emma Matrious

The Portland Village family housing program has been a host site for the St. Stephan’s A Day in the Life project over the past two years. A Day in the Life is a homelessness education and community outreach project, which offers interested community members a vital learning experience to engage with and be educated by people who have experienced homelessness in our community. Participants are guided through various homeless shelters and supportive housing sites, learning firsthand from people who are experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and coming away with a deeper understanding of the challenges, successes, and perspectives of people who live it. Emma Matrious, a parent of three living at Portland Village for over two years, has shared her story to a Day in the Life participants, and now that experience is part of her own story.

US Bank Stadium Employment Opportunity

Employment can be scary when you have not had a job for a while, especially if you have a criminal background or other barriers. The statement "you just need to get a job" is not as easy as it implies.


The US Bank Stadium offered RS EDEN housing division an exciting opportunity to create a smooth path to employment for our tenants. US Bank Stadium provided us sixty reserved time slots for interviews during their three-day recruitment event. This opportunity allowed our tenants time to practice their interviewing skills, work on computer skills, and create or update their resume.


Medals Don't Have Race Times

Jeff's journey to running marathons started with baby steps while growing up in Massachusetts, going onto serve in the Coast Guard, and somehow ending up living a life of isolation as a homeless man in NE Minneapolis for many years.

After securing supportive housing at RS EDEN's Emanuel Housing, Jeff trained for and ran the Twin Cities Marathon(TCM) last fall. He brings a positive attitude to all life experiences. His drive to never feel sorry for himself fueled his dedication to running. With no previous long-distance running experience to guide him, he was surprised how training for the marathon brought him a true sense of community and an unexpected focus. Jeff serves as an inspiration to anyone looking to make a change or try something different.

Minnesota Second Chance Day on the Hill

The Minnesota Second Chance Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition of over 50 organizations who advocate for fair and responsible laws and policies that allow those who have committed crimes and served their sentences to fully support themselves and their families, as well as contribute their full potential to the community.


RS EDEN has always been very active with the coalition and this year has been no different. Due to the work dozens of passionate individuals, Minnesota legislators and criminal justice leaders have struck a deal on what could be the most significant reforms to the state's drug laws in decades.


Michigan Bound!

RS EDEN will send six individuals from the Seventh Landing supportive housing program and the Fresh Grounds Cafe Training Program to engage in service work in Flint, Michigan this July.

While in Flint, they will assist community partners with distribution of water, water filters, and replacement cartridges to individuals and families affected by the current water crisis. This activity represents a partnership between RS EDEN, Volunteer Transport (, and First Trinity Mission Baptist Church in Flint, MI. While all three agencies are distinct in mission, they coalesce around the mission to rebuild lives, promote accountability, and give people second chances.

Calling all gardeners!

RS EDEN gardeners are hard at work planting seeds at several locations. The Central Avenue garden club is up and running with new goals to plant vegetables on the property and provide access and opportunities for healthier eating to the tenants this year.


Fresh Grounds featured on KSTP Evening News

Fresh Grounds was featured on KSTP-TV at 6pm and at 9pm last night. Check out the video online for a taste of what makes us unique.

"Teen homelessness is a growing problem across the country. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS visited a coffee shop in St. Paul where employees take a unique approach to helping homeless youth...."

Job Opportunities

RS EDEN is an equal opportunity employer whose mission is to provide recovery, accountability, and support services facilitating individual, family, and community movement from non-productive behavior to responsible, self-sufficient lifestyles.