** For immediate release **
July 16, 2020
St. Paul, Minnesota
SERVICES EXPAND FOR YOUTH AT RISK FOR SEX TRAFFICKING
180 DEGREES NAMED REGIONAL NAVIGATOR FOR MINNESOTA'S EAST METRO REGION
The Minnesota Department of Health has awarded 180 Degrees over $450,000 in grant funding to expand services around the state to prevent sex trafficking of minors. 180 Degrees operates Brittany’s Place in St. Paul, the state’s largest shelter and program for girls under 18 who are victims of sex trafficking, along with youth shelters in Chanhassen, Rochester, and St. Cloud. New intervention and prevention services will be offered at each facility, broadening the network of support for youth who are at risk for sexual exploitation.
“Minnesota Department of Health recognizes the need to connect with more youth at risk for sexual exploitation,” said Caroline Palmer, Safe Harbor Director for the Minnesota Department of Health. “We are working with organizations across the state, like 180 Degrees in the East Metro, to identify more at risk youth and connect them with appropriate services.”
The grant names 180 Degrees the Safe Harbor Regional Navigator for the Twin Cities’ East Metro region. Serving as the regional expert and service hub, the Safe Harbor Regional Navigator coordinates training and strengthens service networks across Anoka, Chisago, Dakota, Isanti, Ramsey, and Washington counties. Programs goals are to educate communities about sex trafficking, quickly connect youth with services, and strengthen the continuum of care in the region.
Effective immediately Mary McRoy, 180 Degrees Senior Program Manager for Brittany’s Place, will step up to lead the Safe Harbor Regional Navigator effort on behalf of 180 Degrees.
“We are fortunate to have Mary leading this effort,” said 180 Degrees’ CEO Dan Pfarr. “Mary is an effective relationship-builder and leader. Managing Brittany’s Place for the past several years, she has extensive experience working directly with youth who are victims of sex trafficking. She’s eager to share her knowledge with others in the community.” said Pfarr. A search is underway for a new Program Manager at Brittany’s Place to replace McRoy.
Minnesota Department of Health funding will also expand services to prevent sex trafficking of minors. 180 Degrees will launch outreach to at-risk youth in the Twin Cities East Metro and Southwest Metro suburbs, and in St. Cloud, and Rochester, and also assess youth in its shelters for risk for sexual exploitation.
“Youth in our shelters are among the highest risk group for sexual exploitation,” said Dan Pfarr, CEO at 180 Degrees. “Now we will have the resources to assess the risk level youth in our programs. Along with more street and community outreach, these services help us prevent further or future victimization”.
Founded in 1971, 180 Degrees is a multi-cultural social service agency providing emergency shelter and housing for homeless youth, victims of sex trafficking, and men exiting prison. Programs include Clifton Place, a residential and supportive housing program for men exiting prison, Brittany’s Place, Minnesota’s largest shelter and program for girls under 18 who are victims of sex trafficking, Hope House Emergency Youth Shelters in Chanhassen and St. Cloud, the Von Wald Group Home in Rochester, and Onward House transitional living in Eden Prairie.
FOR MORE INFO: CONTACT: Janet Hallaway firstname.lastname@example.org
For paroled offenders, homeless teenagers and others helped by the nonprofit firm 180 Degrees, the coronavirus crisis has changed risks and needs.
Each year, 180 Degrees assists 200 former Minnesota offenders find training, housing and work within a few months of parole. It also provides emergency shelter and services for 1,000-plus homeless teens in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Rochester.
Around the state, nonprofits took an estimated $1 billion hit in April as the COVID-19 virus and instant recession derailed spring fundraising and curtailed other revenue streams.
180 Degrees CEO Dan Pfarr and program director Richard Coffey in 2019 completed a multiyear financial turnaround of the once-ailing, 50-year-old social enterprise. They cut ancillary programs, collaborated with other agencies and accelerated private fundraising.
At Clifton Place, a halfway house operated by 180 Degrees near downtown Minneapolis, staff was buoyed in recent years by increasing numbers of ex-offenders who landed $15-an-hour jobs with a future, finding places to live and lower prison-recidivism rates. Employers were starting to view ex-offenders as a resource in an employee-hungry economy. Skills, a paycheck and new friends at work can be a powerful, positive purpose.
But the coronavirus crisis instantly pushed Minnesota's unemployment to levels not seen since the early 1980s.
"Our job is to help these guys become productive citizens and to protect society," said Coffey, a one-time Army paratrooper and Minnesota Gophers basketball great in the 1980s. "We work with these guys to become accountable. They are trying to get their lives together and earn respect. They have committed a crime and paid dearly.
"Before COVID, jobs weren't the issue. It was housing. No one wants to rent to a felon. And you don't want to rent from a slumlord … who may demand a couple of months rent and then claim you're dealing drugs, which can be a parole violation and get you back in prison. Our guys have very little power."
The pandemic has made things more complicated operationally and financially at 180 Degrees. One of its top priorities was to make sure that residents at Clifton Place stayed free of the virus.
"The danger of bringing COVID to a 36-bed congregate-living site was a huge risk," said Pfarr, who himself had to quarantine at home after a family member was exposed to the virus elsewhere.
"Richard, Tony Hunter, the senior manager at Clifton, Layee Sanoe, our house manager, were central to critical adjustments," Pfarr said. "We could have been forced to close our doors. But we adjusted."
More of the support programs were done on site, which meant that the residents didn't need to travel as much. When they did, 180 Degrees started using vans so the residents could reduce their use of public transportation, where the exposure risk is perceived to be higher.
"We gave each full-time employee a $4 per hour pay increase as they took on additional risk, as well additional costs for cleaning supplies, masks," Pfarr said. The nonprofit was helped by additional funding from the state Department of Corrections.
180 Degrees secured grants from several counties that it serves, about $150,000 in donations and also got a $680,000 loan from the Small Business Administration.
Pfarr said he anticipates there is more hard work ahead for the organization to continue providing services while the pandemic threat remains.
"This is not going away until we have comprehensive vaccination, testing and contract-tracing at the local level," Pfarr said. "We are planning our [fiscal] 2021 budget that starts in July. And we have a waiting list of 40 guys being released from prison. We must connect them with employment and housing before they leave us."
So far, nobody at Clifton Place has contracted the virus.
"I've been here for about a month and I just finished [online] forklift certification and I'm looking for work in manufacturing," said Kurt Mahoney, a Clifton resident. "The biggest change for me is doing so much more online and being restricted in terms of job searching. There are warehouse and grocery-store jobs.
"I want a job that pays enough to cover rent and my other basic needs; $15 an hour or more. You've got to be optimistic and you're doomed for disaster. It's all supposed to happen within two to three months."
Coffey's Clifton Place crew has delivered over long hours, including trying to lift spirits during COVID times. The life skills, substance abuse and self-empowerment work continues.
"We've got five full-time staff and three part-timers," Coffey said. "We need to double that, but it's not in the budget. There are not many Tonys or Layees out there. I can't have them burn out.
"Our clients … have paid the price. It's good for society if we can find them proper housing and good jobs."
Neal St. Anthony has been a Star Tribune business columnist and reporter since 1984. Reach him at email@example.com.
Read the full article in the Star Tribune here: https://www.startribune.com/180-degrees-battled-covid-19-on-top-of-tough-mission-to-assist-ex-offenders/570696012/
TonkaTogether, a fundraising project of the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, is raising needed funds for 180 Degrees and five other non-profits in the Twin Cities southwest metro suburbs. All non-profits provide basic needs services in the community, services which are in greater demand during Covid-19.
"We're grateful for the support of the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club and all the people in the community who are lending support, said 180 Degrees' CEO Dan Pfarr. "No organization can solve youth homelessness alone and so we appreciate the community coming together when we truly need support."
180 Degrees operates Hope House, a emergency shelter for youth, ages 14-19 who are homeless, and Lanewood House, fully furnished affordable apartments for young adults 18-22 who are at risk of homelessness. Waiting lists persist at both Hope House and Lanewood House during Covid-19, indicating the ongoing need for safe shelter and programming.
Read more about TonkaTogether in article from the Sunrise Sailor.
** For immediate release**
January 30, 2020
St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul's East Side Area Business Assocation (ESABA) announced yesterday that 180 Degrees was selected as its Non Profit of the Year. The award, presented by ESABA Board Chair Steve Ledin and Executive Director Paris Dunning at the association's annual meeting, was held at Vomella Companies new headquaters in St. Paul.
"180 Degrees is honored to receive this recognition," said Advancement Director Janet Hallaway. "The teams staffing our 24-hour crisis shelters and working out in the community bring humility, compassion, and commitment to their work every day. This award recognizes all that they do to make our communities stronger around the state."
Founded in 1971, 180 Degrees operates residential programs for homeless and at-risk youth, girls who are victims of sex trafficking, and men exiting prison. Community-based programs provide support to youth with learning disabilities and victims of domestic violence. Over 1,000 clients receive services each year. Residential programs include Brittany's Place, Hope House, Lanewood Place, and Clifton Place. Community-based programs include Youth Vocational Program, SAFE, and All Children Excel.
** For immediate release **
January 2, 2020
St. Paul, Minnesota
Services for homeless young adults are taking on a new look.
Beginning in January, 2020 180 Degrees and non-profit Onward Eden Prairie will begin a new partnership providing housing and case management services for adults, ages 18-22 who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.
"This partnership brings together expertise from two organizations to address the growing need for housing for young adults in crisis," said Dan Pfarr, CEO of 180 Degrees.
Volunteer-led Onward Eden Prairie, launched in October 2017, identified the need for services in Eden Prairie for young adults who were transitioning out of homeless, foster care, or at risk for homelessness. The founders included a collaboration of community, social service, faith-based, and government organizations. Onward Eden Prairie secured and now maintains a fully-furnished single family home which houses up to four adults in independent units.
With the partnership, 180 Degrees will provide all programming and staffing, drawing on the agency's 50-year history providing trauma-informed, strength-based, culturally-relevant care.
Residents at the home will have access to strength-base support groups, case management services, and connections to community resources.
"Our goal is to empower these young adults to attain long-term stability in housing, education, and employment, " said Pfarr. "Employing the resources of two organizations to address homelessness will increase our responsiveness to the needs in the community."
Minnesota's Youth Intervention Program Association (YIPA) inducted Brittany's Place, Senior Program Manager, Mary McRoy into their Hall of Fame on December 6, 2019.
Launched in 1999, the Youth Intervention Program Association Hall of Fame recognizes professionals who make extraordinary contributions to their field. Among the thousands of youth workers in Minnesota, only 86 have achieved this recognition and status in the Youth
Intervention Field. McRoy joins an elite group of Minnesota social service professionals
working in the field of Youth Intervention, providing early intervention programs for youth and
With a career spanning twenty-five years, McRoy received the Friends of Youth Leadership
Award for her exceptional leadership and tireless commitment to helping youth overcome
barriers of poverty and racism. At Brittany’s Place, McRoy sees to it that the girls who the
victims of the worst possible trauma have a safe place to stay and trauma-informed services to
help heal physical and emotional wounds.
The FBI has identified the Twin Cities as one of the nation’s largest centers for sex trafficking of
youth. Now in its fifth year of operation, Brittany’s Place provides shelter, services, and
programming to over 100 girls each year, with half coming from the metro area and the
remaining half from around the state.
Under McRoy’s leadership, Brittany’s Place has evolved from a program ready to be shuttered
because of high costs to one of financial stability. Implementing cultural change including
staffing and programming, McRoy proudly reports the program is now serving more youth and
delivering better outcomes.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award. It’s a capstone of my career,” said Mary McRoy.
“I’m also grateful to those who encouraged me to continue to take on new challenges,” she
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a big deal,” said Paul Meunier, Executive Director of the
Youth Intervention Programs Associations (YIPA). “We know that everyone who devotes their
career to helping vulnerable youth is a superstar, but Hall of Fame members stand out as
exceptional people we should try to emulate.”
Brittany’s Place is a program of 180 Degrees, a multi-cultural social service agency founded in
1971. McRoy is 180 Degrees’ second team member to be inducted into the Youth Intervention
Hall of Fame, joining 180 Degrees’ Chief Executive Officer Dan Pfarr.
FOR MORE INFO: CONTACT: Janet Hallaway firstname.lastname@example.org
October 1, 2019 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) --180 Degrees is pleased to announce that A Way Home America (AWHA) announced Hennepin county as a selected community for its Grand Challenge to end youth homelessness. 180 Degrees is among several organizations within Hennepin County to participate in this initiative.
The Grand Challenge aims to end homelessness for LGBTQ+ youth and youth of color, paving the way to eventually end housing insecurity and homelessness for all young people. LGBTQ+ youth and youth of color are 120% more likely to experience homelessnss than their peer. Youth of color make up 89% of young people experiencing homelessness between ages 18 and 24.
Over the next two years, AWHA will support Hennepin County and nine other communities across the country in developing targeted strategies to address the problem in their areas. These communities include Richmond, VA, Miama-Dade County, FL, San Francisco, CA, Sacramento, CA, Palm Beach, FL, Tuscon, AZ, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, and Anchorage, AL.
AWHA's Grand Challenge is based on the theory of "Targeted Universalism," meaning that if communities focus on meeting the needs of populations most impact by youth homelessness, they can build a system that meets the needs of all young people who experience homelessness.
The Grand Challenge is supported by the Ballmer Group, the Butler Family Fund, the Campion Foundation, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Melville Charitable Trust, the Raikes Foundation, and the Schulze Family Foundation.