East Side Neighborhood Services has been a centerpiece of the Northeast Minneapolis community for over a century. Today, it continues to be a place where people receive support to solve immediate needs or engage strategies to achieve self-sufficiency and stability. East Side has expanded its services to reach throughout Hennepin County with multicultural and intergenerational audiences.

Volunteer Victory: Terry's Story

“The way the world is turning, you just never know what’s going to come your way.”

That’s Terry’s volunteerism philosophy. For a year and a half, he’s been the volunteer site coordinator of East Side’s High Rise Mobile Food Shelf site at Holmes Greenway Apartments in Minneapolis.

Terry became involved with the program when he moved into the apartment building nearly three years ago. He joined the Mobile Food Shelf’s robust team of volunteers and eventually inherited his current role as coordinator.

“I grew into the position,” says Terry.

The Mobile Food Shelf program includes 39 sites, low-income apartment buildings where residents receive nutritional support delivered directly to them. For many participants, finding transportation to a brick-and-mortar grocery store or traditional food shelf can prove difficult. East Side’s Mobile Food Shelf ensures that these residents still have access to fresh, nutritious food.

“The program really depends on volunteers, especially our coordinators,” says Program Assistant Diane. “Because of them, we can trust that everything will be set up once we arrive with the food delivery.”

In addition to managing the distribution, each site coordinator oversees the other volunteers. That piece of the position has its challenges, says Terry: “You have to know when people are not ready to volunteer. Telling your friend that they have the compassion but need to get more skills — that’s hard.

Those obstacles, though, have proved transformative for Terry. “I’ve built the confidence to follow through with what I need,” he says. Diane has observed Terry’s growth, too: “His leadership skills are so effective now. He coordinates everything and knows everyone.” Terry even keeps track of his neighbors’ dietary restrictions, putting in special requests for those who are gluten or lactose intolerant.

At the end of the day, it’s his humility that keeps Terry going. “It humbles me to help in a way, to get involved because you never know when you could be that person.” “When people come up to me and say, ‘Thank you, Terry, for having this safe environment for me’ — that’s the best part.”

Learn more at esns.org/foodstability.

President Kristine Martin Named 'One to Watch in 2018'

A trusted leader in the nonprofit community, East Side Neighborhood Services President Kristine Martin is known for her holistic approach and her ability to bring groups together to build successful teams and create integrated strategies.

This month, Martin was included in Ballinger | Leafblad, Inc's list of "Ones We'll Be Watching in 2018," alongside Melvin Carter III, Andrea Jenkins, and others.

Before joining East Side, Martin was Vice President of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. She holds a BA in Social Work and Spanish from Concordia College and a MSW in Social Work Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota. 

She brings 30 years of public service, working to strengthen families and children, build partnerships across sectors, and cultivate community.

"I am thrilled to lead East Side Neighborhood Services," Martin says. "I hope to position East Side as a premier partner in the changing communities of Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis, providing a prominent multicultural and intergenerational center of engagement."

Martin is an active community leader, serving on the boards of Nexus Community Partners, Minnesota Campus Compact, St. Paul Promise Neighborhood, and Advisory Board of YouthLink. She chairs the board of Minnesota Uruguay Partners.


      Aging with Dignity and Respect: It's a Social Justice Issue

      Tuesday, March 20

      1:00 - 2:30 pm

      As we experience aging across our communities, there is an urgent need to plan for the prevention of elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Join us for this free forum on prevention and intervention with Marit Peterson, Program Director at Minnesota Elder Justice Center, and learn how to make your neighborhood a safer place for all!

      Connecting with Movement & Music


      12:45 - 2:15 pm

      March 7 - April 11

      A six week series intended to bridge the gap between “I want to” and “I can.” This class is full of easy and enjoyable activities that integrate music, dance, and singing. Use your imagination and celebrate memories that ensure a delightful experience! For more information, please contact Debra at 612-787-4104 or DJacoway@esns.org.

      East Side Job Fair

      Wednesday, April 18

      10:30 am - 2:30 pm

      Join us for the first annual East Side Job Fair! This free onsite event is an opportunity for job seekers to speak with 40+ companies currently hiring team members in childcare, warehouse, healthcare, customer service, and more. For more information, please contact Allie at 612-787-4035 or asmeeth@esns.org.

      Living Well with Chronic Pain


      1:00 - 3:30 pm

      April 3 - May 8

      Living Well with Chronic Pain is a new evidence-based, six-week group workshop designed to help you live a healthy life with your chronic pain by managing symptoms. Workshops are interactive and offer practical tips and guidelines on a variety of health and wellness topics. For more information, please call us at 612-787-4045.

      Night at the Nic: East Side Annual Celebration

      Thursday, May 17

      5:00 - 8:00 pm

      Held at Nicollet Island Pavilion with beautiful skyline views from the bank of the Mississippi River, Night at the Nic (formally known as the East Side Wine Tasting) includes samples of wine, local cuisine, and microbrews. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door. For more information, please contact Mary at 612-787-4033 or manstett@esns.org.


      Tai Ji Quan: Moving For Better Balance

      Mondays & Wednesdays

      January 8 - April 3

      10:30 - 11:30 am

      This Tai Chi class reduces risk of falls by improving balance, muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility through mindful movements in a slow, flowing motion. All classes are held at East Side. The cost of these classes is based on ability to pay. No one will be turned away due to financial constraints. To register, call Empowering Vital Aging at 612-787-4045 or email at TeamEVA@esns.org.

      A Matter of Balance


      March 8 - April 26

      1:00 - 3:00 pm

      In A Matter of Balance, you will learn to view falls as controllable, make changes to reduce risks at home, perform exercises that improve strength and balance, and set goals to increase physical activity. This eight week workshop — an award-winning program — includes group discussion and exercise. The cost of these classes is based on ability to pay. No one will be turned away due to financial constraints. To register, call Empowering Vital Aging at 612-787-4045 or email at TeamEVA@esns.org.

      Vital Fitness


      10:45 - 11:45 am

      East Side's Vital Fitness group meets weekly for a variety of exercises that improve balance, strength, and coordination. There is no cost to participate. Contact Gloria with any questions at 612-787-4076.

      Employer of the Day

      Looking for a job in customer service, hospitality, or janitorial and maintenance work? Our on-site hiring events are just for you! During each event, attendees will have an opportunity to get help with applications, hand their resumes to hiring managers, and ask questions about openings. Some Employer of the Day events also offer on-site interviews. Please contact 612-787-4035 with any questions.

      Tax Preparation Sessions

      Prepare + Prosper will hold free, drop-in tax preparation sessions from January 20 - April 14. Interested individuals who meet the income qualifications — less than $35,000 for individuals and less than $55,000 for families — will receive services in a lottery system. This system is used to determine order randomly and ensure fairness. All present at the sign-in time have an equal chance of getting assistance.

      Elder Law Clinic

      During East Side's Elder Law Clinics, older adults can meet with an attorney for a half-hour consultation at no charge. Appointments begin at 10:00 am and end at 2:00 pm. To make an appointment, please call 612- 781-6011 or email sstensvold@esns.org.


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