Who We Are
Dubbed the “living room of the homeless,” Listening House is a day shelter and community center providing hospitality, practical assistance and guidance to men and women who are disadvantaged, homeless or lonely.
People in transition or crisis feel isolated and need a welcoming space where they can feel connected and accepted. We strive to create a safe environment that supports people going through change, knowing we are not change-makers and that lasting change must come from within. We accept people where they’re at; set expectations for courteous, lawful behavior and help them plan a course forward.
A basic safety net of services includes hygiene products, clothing, message delivery, telephone use, haircuts, foot care (including socks/shoes/boots) and essential first aide. Onsite partner professionals consist of mental and chemical health outreach teams, housing advocates, chiropractic care, medical screening and veteran’s assistance.
Two-hundred plus people come to Listening House daily. Nearly 800 individuals visited last year.
“Coming to Listening House made me feel I’d entered a different dimension because of the eyes of staff and volunteers – Eyes that were open and told you that you were worth something, a valuable member of the human race.”
-Richard, a former guest
“Get a storefront, wait, and pray. If God wants it, He’ll pay for it.”
Such was the business plan of our founders who realized their dream in December 1983 when a benevolent businessman offered three-months free rent and two folding chairs. Their aspiration was simple: “Listen. Do not preach; do not try to fix, just listen.”
Five to 25 people visited daily at that time. One journalist wrote, “They come for a cup of coffee, to meet friends, play dominoes or guitar, sit alone in peace or sort through a troubling problem with someone who will listen.” Little did anyone know it was only the beginning of a swell of people who would be homeless. In 1995, a downtown revitalization project triggered a decision to end our lease, and Listening House became homeless. Assumption Church rescued the mission by offering free office space. Staff stayed connected through street outreach until space was secured at 215 Ninth Street West in Downtown St. Paul. We were then offered our newest home in the lower level of First Lutheran Church at 464 Maria Avenue in East St. Paul. Though services were added, staff never lost sight of the mission: To Listen.
Help Listening House continue to serve guests in St. Paul, MN
Donations will go to keeping our doors open every day! Mail donations to Listening House, 464 Maria Ave., St. Paul, MN 55106 or click the red “donate now” button to make an online donation.