Homeless Day on the Hill

As we (Carla and Rich) endeavor to move into a more active role in dealing with social issues, we signed up for the first time for Homeless Day on the Hill sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. We arrived at a site near but off the capitol grounds along with 850 others – at least planned but not quite realized due to poor weather and driving conditions.

We listened to impassioned speeches, encouraging talks from a couple of legislators and received instruction on how to conduct our meetings with our senators and representatives. Then, we connected with other constitutes from our district and headed off for our mission.

Our team met with both our senator and representative separately – one was more open and receptive than the other. We received some good questions from each that our group wasn’t equipped to answer. The meetings were short – 15 minutes each – and we pray it was impactful. A large group remained for the afternoon to observe and be a physical presence at some of the meetings for both the senate and the house committees.

It is a bit of an empty feeling to leave not knowing anything more than when we arrived. No indication that our effort made a difference. No idea if our concerns will be remembered. No sense that funds will be applied to the critical issues related to affordable housing and the homeless.

So, we applied our effort. We reflected on the drive home on what our part might be going forward and things we might do differently if participating again. In any case, we will continue to press on toward the goal – of loving and caring for “the least of these” in the best and most effect ways we find possible. We’re grateful there are lots of folks in our community that care enough to raise their voices for those without one.

 

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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