LifeHaven, a Twin Cities Metro Youth Homelessness Program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, provides housing and support to young single women ages 16 and 17, who are pregnant or parenting.

Help LifeHaven with Outdoor Landscaping

LifeHaven is seeking financial support and volunteers to help spruce up the outdoor landscaping around the LifeHaven home before the end of summer. The front lawn could use some added rocks, mulch and flowers for the empty flower pots they have. Financial donations to purchase the materials and volunteers to implement plans are both needed. If you are a Thrivent member, this would be a great way to use a Thrivent Action Team and $250 in seed money; learn how to apply here. Otherwise, make an online donation and select LifeHaven, write a check to Incarnation with “LifeHaven landscaping” in the memo or consider buying a gift card to Menards, Home Depot or Lowes. For questions or to indicate interest in helping with this project, contact Khaliya Dorry at LifeHaven.

Other Donation Opportunities

Lyft and Uber Gift Cards

Several of the current youth and their children experienced health issues resulting in the need to go to the hospital more frequently than usual. Extra Lyft and Uber rides in recent months have added up, making it hard for the program to financially sustain this level of transportation need. As the LifeHaven staff works with each youth individually on establishing their own transportation plans, they want to establish an option for part-time staff onsite to be able to use when in these emergencies. Uber or Lyft gift cards in increments of $20-$50 would be quite helpful.

Hygiene Items 

The following items are in low supply at LifeHaven and are needed immediately:

  • Baby Wipes (*always needed)
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razors
  • Soft Bristle Brushes
  • Wide Tooth Combs + Rat Tail Combs
  • Shampoo & Conditioners (preferably Shea Moisture Brand)

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Metro Homeless Youth program of Lutheran Social Service has created this list of helpful items to donate to the LifeHaven community. Drop off donations at the LifeHaven home at 325 Jenks Avenue in St. Paul, by ringing the doorbell and stepping away from the door. Only new items may be accepted by LifeHaven.

Financial donations to support LifeHaven are also very helpful. To financially donate, use Incarnation’s secured site or write a check to Incarnation with “LifeHaven” in the memo and send it to the Incarnation office.

Provide a Meal

Typically, volunteers are needed to provide a Sunday meal for the residents of LifeHaven and during the rest of the week, youth schedule themselves to prepare a meal for the entire household. However, due to the pandemic, LifeHaven youth are not cooking meals for their housemates in order to decrease exposure to one another. If you’d like to provide a weekday meal for the youth of LifeHaven, contact Khaliya Dorry 612-346-1323. If you’d like to be added to those providing Sunday meals, contact Ev Pugh.

In either case, please plan to prepare or procure enough food for 8 adults and deliver the meal to LifeHaven by first coordinating with Khaliya so your gracious gift of a meal may be obtained in a no-touch fashion. For reference, meal ideas and guidelines for providing meals can be found here.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota: Statement in Response to George Floyd’s Death

Lutheran Social Service has long been committed to being an anti-racist organization. Many of the services they provide have been effective in diminishing disparities. By supporting LSS, you are an essential partner in this work.

LSS leaders are meeting daily to discuss a range of responses, from helping employees manage their own safety and grief to leveraging LSS’ substantial capabilities further to combat structural racism. There is energy and momentum on all of these.

Thank you for sharing our mission of inspiring hope, changing lives and building community. It feels more relevant today than ever.

Read LSS’ Statement in Response to George Floyd’s Death. 

Regular Donations are welcomed at LifeHaven

Household and Personal Care Items, and Welcome Baskets

Even when COVID-19 is not a concern, a number of items are needed at any given time to ensure the LifeHaven home is well equipped for the teenage mothers and children as they begin their lives at LifeHaven. Purchase any of the items on this list and drop them off when the Incarnation building and Incarnation Office are often. Please mark “LifeHaven” and someone will take them to the LifeHaven home.

Volunteering at LifeHaven

Normally, volunteers are an important part of the LifeHaven community; however while COVID-19 continues to be a concern, volunteers within the LifeHaven home and with the LifeHaven residents cannot be used. 

Typically these are the type of volunteer opportunities available to support LifeHaven. It’s our hope and plan that over time LifeHaven will again be able to use volunteers with varying levels of involvement with the young moms, their children and varying time commitments. Direct service opportunities require volunteer training and screening. Please check back to see what new volunteer opportunities might be available. If you are interested in being contacted about new volunteer opportunities once the pandemic is no longer a concern, contact Becky Benson.

Ongoing Individual Direct Service Positions

Includes child care, driving for Girls’ Night Out, baking cookies or serving as a group leader for an activity of your choice. These positions require volunteer training and background screening.

Child Care
Provide child care while youth and moms are in group meetings, independent living skills groups, parenting skills groups and Girls’ Night In/Out. Volunteers can be scheduled weekly or monthly or every other month. Child care is needed every Thursday 6 – 8 p.m. and twice per month for Girls’ Night In/Out which usually happens on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening of each month. A role description for this service opportunity can be found here.

Girls’ Night Out Driver
Provide transportation for the moms to get out and have some fun! Girls’ Night Out is a time when the moms go out with staff and volunteers for some fun (dinner, movie, etc) without their children. Girls’ Night Out happens once per month, usually on 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6 – 10 p.m.

Additional Individual Indirect Service Positions

Includes making providing a Sunday night dinner, coordinating a donation drive, sponsoring a youth during the holidays, and opportunities for small groups.

Donation Drive Coordinator
Coordinate a donation drive within your community (work, school, small group at church, etc.) collecting much-needed items for the moms and children at LifeHaven. Donation lists are available in Incarnation’s Atrium by the LifeHaven bulletin board.

‘Giving House’ Holiday Gift Drive
Shop for and donate gifts based on youth’s holiday wish lists. Pick a gift tag off the LifeHaven Holiday Giving House at Incarnation during the Alternative Giving Fair in November.

Small Group Projects
Occasionally there is a need for a small group to complete a project at or for LifeHaven. Most projects involve cleaning, painting, and building/grounds maintenance. Eagle Scout projects have also been done at LifeHaven.

On Call Individual Direct Service Positions

Includes presenting about independent learning skills, providing professional services, helping to maintain the LifeHaven facility or working on a moving crew. These positions require volunteer training and screening.

On-Call Independent Living Skills Guest Presenter
Come in and share your skills and expertise with our youth! Do you know about financial management, employment skills/services, health/nutrition, education/college admission, voting/civic engagement, tenant rights and responsibilities, chemical health/substance abuse, domestic violence or STD/HIV prevention, etc. Be on call to come in and present during one of our independent living skills groups.

On-Call Maintenance Crew
Help keep LifeHaven in good working order. Be on call to come in and do repairs as needed. Must have an email address.

On-Call Driving Crew
In many cases programs deal with large donations and moving youth into apartments. We are looking for a pool of individuals who would be willing to help move donations and youth’s belonging and to assist with other occasional transportation needs of youth participating in LSS Youths Programs.

On-Call Job Shadowing
Are you willing to talk with one of our moms about your job or even let them shadow you on the job? We welcome volunteers with all types of jobs, especially in the legal and health (nursing, dental, and vet techs) fields.

About LifeHaven

The LifeHaven program and home can provide services and shelter for as many as six moms and their children at a time. The team of dedicated staff and volunteers at LifeHaven support young moms and their children as they transition from homelessness to housing stability, work toward achieving their goals, and create lasting change in their lives and communities.

All moms living at LifeHaven attend high school full time during the day and receive supportive services from LifeHaven staff before and after school and on the weekends, including case management, advocacy, and independent living skills education. They also receive education and support as they work to strengthen parenting skills. Since 2003, Incarnation partnered with LifeHaven under the Families in Transition umbrella. As a partner in this project, Incarnation provides financial, in-kind donation and volunteer support.

LifeHaven is located at 325 Jenks Avenue, near I-35E and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul. For directions, contact the Incarnation office at 651-484-7213.

Questions about LifeHaven? Contact Becky Benson.