Jake Breaks the Cycle of Homelessness for his Daughter

Jake was not new to being homeless, which started as a child. His life as a young adult was hard, living on the streets, loneliness and addiction.  He knew there had to be a better life and started the recovery process.  After getting treatment, Jake had additional responsibilities, which included being a single dad to a newborn.  He needed a place to stay and had no network around the Twin Cities.

Through his church, he connected with Threshold to New Life.  They were able to help with rent for transitional housing while Jake worked on a long-term solution for himself and his baby.

Threshold was able to remove the immediate stress so he could focus on their eventual home.  They provided an opportunity to get him back on his feet.  Jake thanks God for laying the groundwork to get him connected to Threshold to New Life.

Jake’s future for himself and his daughter looks bright!

Family Death Creates Setback

“Sue” was consistently making her rent payments until a death in the family occurred. She fell short one month when she had to help with a family member’s funeral expenses.
Threshold to New Life partnered with her and her landlord to cover the rent shortage and Sue had one less thing to worry about during the difficult time of losing a loved one.

Personal Care Kits from Imagine Church

Imagine Church (https://imaginechurchmn.com/) serving the St. Michael, Albertville and Otsego areas has a heart for outreach. It is likely borne out of the love for community and those in need from its Lead Pastor, Josh Christenson. Josh serve in a homeless ministry with a previous church prior to starting Imagine Church. The experience has changed him.

His team organized and assembled about 100 personal care kits for distribution among those in need, primarily folks in the Twin City homeless community. We began distribution this morning to several folks with smiling faces!

Thank you to Imagine Church for thinking of and caring for “the least of these”

Caring for Extended Family

“Bill” is in his late 60’s and caring for his niece’s five children after she had passed away.
An unexpected car repair made it impossible to pay his rent for two months, and this shortfall needed to be cleared up prior to his moving into a larger place to accommodate his new larger family.
Threshold to New Life was able to partner with Bill and his landlord to close his rent gap. Bill and his family are now able to move in their new larger place.

Great FIRST event!

Our organization has not really attempted to raise funds in the past. Our funding has been through “attraction rather than promotion”, mostly people that know us and want to support and join in with what we do.

Our board felt led to urge us out of our comfort zone to create an event to attract those not yet known to us, to test our message and attempt to gain further support – to add both “friends” and “funds” to our organization.

The outcome was overwhelming.

We had about 80 people in the room, of about 60 were people that had no direct connection to us. We presented what we do and how we’re different. We had two great testimonies by people and partners we’ve helped. It was so affirming and uplifting to those of us that work in the organization as well as for our board members in attendance.

We shattered our goal for friend and fundraising. Now, we get to the necessary task of putting these gifts to work in our community through the families we serve.

We are grateful to a generous God and his role in bringing others to us in loving support.

A Refuge from a Troubled Past

The COVID pandemic has changed many things for most of us. For our organization, we’ve had less demand to assist with the traditional housing as there has been (thankfully) a wave of government support for those in great need. So even though our donations will be down from last year, we have some excess funds that we intend to put to work in the community.

At our board of directors meeting in September, we discussed the idea of stepping up the amount of collaboration we do with sober houses. We have been involved with them to a degree, but we haven’t been super intentional about it. The board agreed. So, we have some work to do.

Frequently, as a patient exits chemical dependency treatment, he/she is urged to enter a sober living situation, to put a bit more distance between themselves and their past. This offers a safe and supportive environment to help one get off to a good start in the transition back to “normal” life.

The challenge is while having been in treatment for many weeks (or longer) most have little or no means to pay even a modest deposit for rent. That’s where we step in. We typically will provide a no strings attached grant to the client, while he/she must raise some of the funds themselves and we put our money in last, to complete the agreement.

The picture above is one of a handful of clients expressing gratitude for our good work. Our good work is a reflection of the good God that we serve, give all the credit and all the glory for what we have been provided to share.

More Hygiene Kits!

Yes, we’re “PACK” again!

Our small group as part of our series entitled, “What’s a Galatian?” got socially distanced, but physically together, to assembly 150+ hygiene kits that are being distributed among our homeless friends in Minneapolis.

Each kit included: 

  • Kleenex
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Razors
  • Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Nail Clipper
  • Comb
  • Chapstick
  • Wash Cloth
  • Soap
  • Socks
  • Snack
  • Tracts
  • (Pads and Tampons for the ladies)
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Such a blessing to have friends that share our heart for loving on others. We’ll distribute these from now through the holidays until they’re gone.

If you have an interest in a project like this, just reach out to us and we’ll help guide you through what needs to be done and we can help with distribution if needed.

Safe and Sober

There is little that is more devastating in the lives of individuals and families than addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. We know how God loves to meet us in those broken places, and the brokenness left by addiction is significant.

That’s why lately we’ve been working with more sober homes. Those living on modest means and/or presently homeless and needing a small financial lift have been eligible for some of the new funds our government has recently made available. Our organization has continued to look for opportunities to “step in the gap” for those in need, and this continues to be a real need.

This woman will be successfully exiting her treatment program and in part due to our assistance, will be moving into a sober living situation. This is a critical steps early in sobriety; to get some “clean time” and establish new, healthy patterns of living. A sober house can provide a buffer between in-patient treatment and “real life”.

Thanks to all who support our efforts. We are “all in” for this woman, praying for her safe and healthy transition. We have little doubt that she will indeed “pay it forward”, as she suggests.

George Floyd was my friend

Goerge Floyd

We met while I was making my rounds as a volunteer Chaplain, and the Salvation Army Harbor Lights is a regular stop on my route. Floyd (I knew him as Floyd) was in a situation attempting to extract an inebriated guest from the building. He was new, and it did not go well – for Floyd. After he moved the gentleman out of the building, Floyd and I spent time together, one to one, discussing the event, sharing our histories, crying and praying together.

Our friendship was born.

Although his employment at Harbor Lights ended, I would see him there, hanging around, visiting with the staff and guests, often with a kind word, an encouragement, or a funny story to share. He seemed to love to be among “the least of these” (as Jesus said). His escape from his hometown was to provide a geographic cure for his struggles, and the time he spent at Harbor Lights was salve on his wounded heart.

We did not spend as much time together as I now wish we had. Our encounters, except for a few, would be brief – maybe 10 or 15 minutes. On a few occasions, as I shared above, we went deep. In the time we shared, I would describe Floyd as:

  • A big man (physically, you could not miss that)
  • A giver. Floyd had a huge heart and held the world with a loose grip
  • A fighter. He was plagued with the same struggles that many of us are, and he pushed against those desires, sometimes losing the battle, but never stopped fighting the war.
  • Tender-hearted. He found it easy to come to tears. He was never embarrassed to share from his heart.
  • A man after God’s own heart. Floyd identified with David (of the Bible) who was first given this moniker. David was both a sinner and a saint. Floyd desired so much to become the latter.
  • A friend. He would light up when he would see me. I know that he looked so forward to our conversations. I know he would call me his friend.

The Floyd I knew was a peace-lover. He detested violence. He cared for his family, in the best way he knew. He had a robust faith and wanted others to meet his God.

His legacy will live on, not through violence but through peace, justice and through real change in how we see and treat each other. This isn’t only a police issue but an issue that continues to cut deeply into the core of our society. Judging someone based on appearance, color of skin or any other superficial trait is simply unfair. It’s wrong. No matter the color of your skin.

Remember, we all bleed red.

 

—Richard Bahr, Co-Founder and Chaplain at Threshold to New Life

Carla Bahr

SECRETARY/TREASURER & ADVOCATE

Carla co-founded Threshold to New Life with her husband, Richard, in 2013. Carla handles the day-to-day operations for the organization dealing with partner organizations and working directly with clients.

She has spent a career in providing administrative support for executives at a number of prominent Twin City companies, which developed her organizational skills as well as the heart of a servant.


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Richard Bahr

PRESIDENT & CHAPLAIN

Having led and grown a leading capital equipment manufacturer with installations in 27 countries serving 17 of the top 20 pharmaceutical firms in the world, Bahr became determined to dedicate more of his time, talent and treasure to helping “the least of these."

He has a B.A. from Augsburg University in Business and has served on the boards of and has actively worked with several charitable organizations throughout his career. As a licensed minister, he volunteers as a chaplain at various homeless shelters along with providing leadership for 2.4 Ministries of Grace Fellowship, serving a daily breakfast to the homeless. He is also a published author. His most recent book, Those People, shares stories about his homeless friends. More about Bahr can be found on his website at www.richardbahr.com.


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Sheila Daniels

DIRECTOR

From Homeless to Faith – Following her experiences in dealing with both homelessness and chemical dependency, Sheila committed her life to Christ in 2004. As God began pulling the pieces of her life together, she began working for a non-profit homeless shelter in 2007, then earned her B.S. in Human Services in 2018. Following multiple promotions, she now is the Case Management Program Manager at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis.

Sheila is originally from Chicago and has resided in the Twin Cities since the late ’90s. She is married and a soldier in The Salvation Army. Her empathy for those struggling with addiction, homelessness, and mental illness has oriented her vocation and volunteering to step in to help those in need.


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Danell Gibbins

DIRECTOR

Danell is a hands-on executive with several decades of senior level experience in the wholesale industry. Born and raised in North Dakota, she has lived in the Twin Cities area for more than 30 years, and she and her husband call the northern suburbs home.

In addition to volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she supports a number of other organizations which reflect her heart for poverty, food and family insecurity, and homelessness: World VisionCommon Hope, and Unseen among them. She loves to cook, eat, and make others feel welcome. She translates this into preparing and serving food at Simpson Shelter, Minneapolis, alongside her friends from Grace Fellowship, Brooklyn Park, MN.


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Denise Morrisette

DIRECTOR

A life-long Minnesotan, Denise is married to John and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. She has spent her career as an elementary school teacher in a Title 1 school in a Twin City area school district.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, she has helped with several other homeless ministries. She sponsors children through World Vision and is currently a coach and mentor to the Girls on the Run organization, which promotes good self-esteem, positive role models, and moral education along with physical activity to girls in grades 3 – 5.


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John Morrisette

DIRECTOR

Also a life-long Minnesotan, John is married to Denise and has two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law. He has been an Environmental Scientist and has been operating his own business for 22 years.

Along with volunteering with Threshold to New Life, John has learned the joys of serving by being a Big Brother since 2012 and is currently a tutor at Sharing and Caring Hands. He has worked with at-risk teens at Maple Grove High School in the STRIVE program. He has also coached youth gymnastics and soccer for many years.


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Rob Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Rob was born and raised in the Minneapolis area and currently lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with his wife, Nancy. He has a B.S. Degree in Finance from Saint Cloud State University and has spent the last 30 years of his career in corporate financial management and planning.

In addition to his role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Rob is involved in several other non-profit organizations. He teaches financial literacy classes for several organizations, serves on the speakers’ bureau of Feed My Starving Children, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor. He is also involved in his church, Grace Fellowship in Brooklyn Park, where he serves as a church elder, men’s group leader, and small group leader.


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Nancy Van Beusekom

DIRECTOR

Nancy was born and raised in Wisconsin and has lived in the Twin Cities for over 35 years. She lives in the Northwest suburbs of Minneapolis with her husband, Rob. She has a B.S. Degree in Finance from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has spent the past 30 years of her career in business systems support and project management within the Financial Services Industry, where she recently retired.

In addition to her role on the Board of Directors of Threshold to New Life, Nancy teaches financial literacy classes for several non-profit organizations, ran the church bookstore for 4 years at Grace Fellowship Church, and is a Compassion International and Campus Outreach sponsor.


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