Welcome to the Listening House

We’re OPEN! Call for an appointment or ring the doorbell…

In recent months, we searched for a way that we could serve our guests safely given the COVID-19 pandemic. We had many conversations with the city and county leaders as well as with outreach workers. We heard over and over that those who stay outside need a place to wash up, and get clean clothes, nonperishable food and water. We decided the way to do that safely was to offer services by appointment and we began to serve that way on April 30. All guests are screened for symptoms, guests and staff wear masks, we regularly sanitize ourselves, guests, and the space, and the number of people in Listening House at any one time is limited.

Appointments are available Monday – Thursday (mornings and afternoons), as well as on Friday mornings.

Services provided at this time include: soap, towels, and other hygiene products necessary to clean up using the sink in our private bathrooms, hygiene kits, clean clothes, including socks and underwear, coffee, tea, non-perishable snack food to eat here and take with, procurement of birth certificates, other services on an as-needed basis (ask for what you need when you call).

Guests, case managers, outreach workers, and the sheriff’s department can call or email to make an appointment. The sheriff’s department may be able to help transport to Listening House as well. Call 651-227-5911 or email frontdesk@listeninghouse.org for an appointment.

 

Covid 19 Update April 16, 2020

Listening House will open to guests on an APPOINTMENT ONLY BASIS starting Thursday, April 30. Appointments can be made by calling 651-227-5911 on or after Monday, April 27. We encourage compliance with Minnesota’s Stay at Home order. Until the order is lifted, we will take appointments made by guests or outreach workers for those people who are camping or have no place to stay. The services we will provide include: access to private bathroom and supplies for a “bird-bath”, clothes, hygiene kits, coffee, tea, non-perishable to go pack, and birth certificates.  All who enter must agree to wear a mask (provided).

To donors who regularly bring us in-kind items like clothing, backpacks, etc. First, we are so grateful for you. We are not accepting these items now, however, we encourage you to donate new items on our Amazon Wish List on the Get Involved page of our website. The exception to this is that we welcome your donation of masks, either homemade or store-bought.  

 

Covid 19 Update April 3, 2020

Listening House of St. Paul will remain closed to guests and the public until further notice. For guests who have storage belongings and mail at Listening House, pick-up of these items will be available the week of Monday, April 6 through Friday, April 10 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 noon ONLY. 

  • If mail is not picked up during this time-frame, it will be given back to the post office to return to sender. We strongly encourage you to change your mailing address at this time. Click here to change your address online.
  • If storage items are not picked up during the above pick-up days/times, all items will be bagged and stored off-site until further notice. 

At this time, pick-up days/hours are only for guests who have mail and storage here. There will be no other services provided during this time, and the building will NOT be open to guests for any other reason.

Like everyone else, we are adjusting our services with the outbreak and impact of the coronavirus.  We continue to monitor the situation following news and advice from the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health, and other community partners. For these reasons, we are going to remain closed to the public and to our guests until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation closely. Please check our voicemail, Facebook page, website, or signs on the entrance doors for any changes. 

To donors who regularly bring us in-kind items like clothing, backpacks, etc. First, we are so grateful for you. We are not accepting these items now, however we encourage you to watch this webpage as we reconsider how to support the people who use our services and those donations. 

Stay well everybody!

 

 

Covid 19 update March 20, 2020

At Listening House, we, like everyone else, are grappling with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact to the lives of our guests, volunteers, staff, and community. We have been and continue to monitor the situation, following news and advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the MN Department of Health, and our community partners. 

Listening House closed to the public and our guests beginning at 11:30 AM on Friday March 20, 2020.  Our plan is to re-open on Monday, April 6 at 9 AM.  This was communicated to guests here today. The health and safety of all guide our decision-making.  There are no known illnesses among guests, volunteers or staff.   During the weeks we are closed to the public and guests, we will be monitoring all new information related to the pandemic so that upon re-opening, we will have enhanced protective measures in place to provide critical services in a manner that is consistent with Federal, State, and Local recommendations.  As you know, there are many unknowns and the rules of the game seem to change on a daily basis. 

Staff is to be commended for the additional actions they have taken to date to ensure the cleanliness of our space and mitigate the spread of germs up to now. These enhanced measures include:

  • Educating staff, guests, and the community about COVID-19 and its symptoms (fever, dry cough, trouble breathing, and more) and requesting any guest who is experiencing symptoms to check in with staff to take their temperature and screen for illness.
  • Asking staff who are experiencing symptoms of illness to seek medical advice and remain home until symptoms have completely resolved.
  • Ensuring that adequate cleaning materials and hygiene products are available including soap, water, sanitary products, cleaning supplies. In addition to our four bathrooms with sinks, a portable handwashing station was added to the front entrance as a very visible reminder.
  • Conducting additional cleaning and frequently disinfecting commonly touched surfaces.
  • Encouraging proper and frequent handwashing and other preventative measures including social distancing.
  • Suspending acceptance of donations of used clothing.
  • Suspending the Thursday foot care and clothing room.
  • Discontinuing communal food sharing.
  • Requesting volunteers stay home to reduce the risk to our guests as well as protect their safety.
  • Encouraging guests who have homes to stay home for the sake of their own health.

Even with these measures, for the public health of our guests, staff, and broader community, we find it necessary to temporarily close.  In this time of unknowns, it has been a very difficult decision. The people who seek refuge at Listening House have long dealt with unknowns.  They often do not know where they will sleep, where they will eat, when they will get resources, and more. 

Given the pandemic, many of us who have lived in relative control of our circumstances now experience high anxiety.  That is to be expected.  If you are personally struggling, practical tips are offered by the National Alliance of Mental Illness on their website at www.nami.org.   Listening House staff and guests are also feeling more stretched than normal by the unknowns.  Anxiety runs high.  Some regular guests have already self-isolated.  People are not as physically close to one another.  The hugs and fist bumps that previously flowed freely are now bumped elbows and heel clicks if they occur at all.   

Within all of this, my inspiration comes from the guests.  When asked how they are, the responses I hear most often carry a common sentiment:  “I’m on this side of the dirt, aren’t I?  It is a good day.”   “I’m blessed by the best.”  “I am groovy and blessed.”  “I’m blessed and highly favored.”   Listening to them, for myself, I pray for an increase in faith.  I also pray for the continued health and well-being of our staff, guests, volunteers, donors and supporters.  Thank you for being part of our Listening House community.  Please watch our website www.listeninghouse.org or Facebook for regular updates during these times of unknowns.

Cheryl Peterson, Executive Director

Occupying Hearts – Offering Resources

Listening House is a sanctuary from the streets where practical assistance, counsel and a friendly ear are offered to people who are homeless, disadvantaged or lonely.  Staff and volunteers aspire to create a sense of community and connection by promoting respect for all.  Respect nurtures hope, which in turn strengthens personal resolve toward positive change.

Our doors open to up to 140 adults each day. Though our space is humble, friendships are rich and we actively engage with surrounding businesses to be a good neighbor. Support comes from a variety of sources and includes financial contributions, in-kind donations, professional services, and over 10,000 hours of volunteer assistance, annually.

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