With a name ideal for a season, accommodate St…. – TwinCities.com

December 10, 2016 - garden totes

With a final name like Lovejoy, Dec seemed all too suitable a time to accommodate and learn some-more about this giveaway St. Paul humanitarian.

Todd Walker
Todd Walker

Margaret Lovejoy is a owner and executive executive of The Family Place and has some-more than 20 years of knowledge operative with homeless families. Her grave preparation positively positioned her good for this subsequent section of her life. Lovejoy’s educational accolades embody a bachelor’s grade from Metropolitan State University in communications, a master’s grade from United Theological Seminary in sacrament and theology, and a doctorate in educational caring from a University of St. Thomas.

It is with good respect that we deliver we to Margaret Lovejoy. She has been famous by a encampment for her loyalty to amicable use including these honors:

  • 2009: Local Legend endowment by General Mills and a United Negro College Fund.
  • 2009: The Alumni of a Year Award from Metropolitan State University.
  • 2010: Inducted into a St. Paul Central Hall of Fame.
  • 2011: St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman designated Oct. 22 as Margaret Lovejoy Day for a city.
  • 2014: Community Partnership Award from a University of Minnesota.
  • 2016: Encore’s Purpose Prize Fellowship National Award.
  • 2016: 50 Over 50 Nonprofit Award.


Q. Please share with us how we entered into your career and what led we to starting The Family Place.

A. The seed of The Family Place came from a child seeking his mother: “How will we find we after school?” The 3 of us (mother, child and myself) stood in a behind of a church on a really cold Jan morning; his difference strike me like a ton of bricks. we illusory my possess children in turmoil, fearful of losing me, fearful that but a home bottom or address, they competence be mislaid forever. As those transformative difference left his tremor lips, my goal became transparent clear. That judgment non-stop a place in my heart and led me to know that a positive, new change was needed for families regulating a puncture night shelter. No child should have such worries; no mom should hear those words. It became transparent that Ramsey County was in need of a protected daytime place for families with children. After dual years of planning, many months of networking and seeking appropriation for a program, a doors of The Family Place non-stop in Oct 2001.

My family story and credentials is resolutely confirmed in stability. we live on a same skill on that my family’s home stood before Housing and Redevelopment “renewed” a neighborhood; clarification my family home was broken by a wrecking round in 1970 and a encampment was separate in half by a freeway. Having faith in a neighborhood, we rebuilt a family home in 1978 and have a same numerical residence on chronological Rondo Avenue.

I come from relatives who always baked an additional apportionment for cooking usually in box someone would dump in — there was always adequate for a visitor. we come from a family who desired and reputable one other, generally children. Thus, a concentration of The Family Place programming. we wanted to, purposely, raise a lives of children by enriching a lives of their parents. we did this by impactful services and programs meant to hospital stability.

Q. What form of families do we work with during The Family Place?

A. I work with families who are transitioning from one home to another. The Family Place is a overpass that spans their stream predicament of homelessness. The clarification of “family” is expanding during The Family Place. A family is an adult who has authorised control of a minor. Therefore, grandparents with grandchildren, one primogenitor and dual primogenitor families, siblings who have control of their siblings, aunts and uncles with nieces and nephews, etc. — all qualify.

Casa de la Bella Montessori during The Family Place in St. Paul. (Courtesy photo)
Casa de la Bella Montessori during The Family Place in St. Paul. (Courtesy photo)

Q. What are some of a needs of a families we work with during The Family Place?

A. The emanate of family homelessness needs a some-more extensive understanding. Families that we work with customarily do not live encampment spaces (the underneath swell of bridges and downtown alleys and business doorways). They are not hire on travel corners with signs. They are hidden. They live in their cars, state parks and in tents in someone’s behind yard. They are doubled up, relocating from one family member’s residence to another, one crony to another. They are experiencing some of a misfortune resources imaginable. The extinction of wintry temperatures in a winter and a oppressive feverishness of summer — thirst, sunburn and dehydration. Both seasons are laced with a hazard of predators. Families eat giveaway food, quick food or from gas hire break bars. They receptacle their belongs and keep a organisation hold on their children.

These stories need to be told so that they can be heard. Families wish a home. They wish good educations for their children. They wish peculiarity health care. Mostly, they wish livable-wage jobs, so they can finish their dependency on amicable services and rouse their customary of living, escaped ostracism from a “American Dream.”

What do we wish for a families? The disappearance of paternalism models that continue poverty. we wish to exterminate rapacious lending institutions. we wish peculiarity housing on movement lines, increasing training that enhances employability, glorious educational programs, a encampment that works toward a finale of steady and generational homelessness alongside The Family Place and other organizations on a forefront of homelessness. What we wish is for children to never knowledge what it is like to be but a home.

Q. How have we seen a city of St. Paul change over a years as it relates to a needs of families?

A. There have been really few certain changes since of a mercantile climate. we used to work on a bend and now work 365 days a year during capacity. The preserve complement in Ramsey County is always full with an unbelievably prolonged list of families watchful for shelter. As housing becomes some-more costly and prices of daily needs boost and a horde of other amicable ills go unchecked, some-more and some-more families tumble between a cracks of survival. Increasingly, children are of good concern. They are a future, and on many levels, we are unwell a children.

The nod used by a Massai people is, “And how are a children?” If a children are well, a whole encampment is well. If children are successful, so is a community.

Q. Being a lifelong proprietor of St. Paul, how would we report a community?

A. As in many cities there are dual sides, a one in plain perspective a other side hidden, purposefully or since of contrition or miss of understanding. we seemed to have straddled a two.

In my life, we have been arcane to a drop of a encampment by a widespread system. Last year, my daughter and we bought a lot located on Old Rondo. Our devise is to emanate a encampment garden and oasis: a place of rest, for families and children to grow food, to continue a work of revitalizing a community. Standing in front of a skill we call a Lovejoy Community Garden, we know that we am partial of a gateway that is joining a past, benefaction and destiny of a Rondo community. It is a area in that we grew up, in that we lifted my children and now my grandchildren. It is on a retard that has left by extreme changes — carrying both a disastrous and a certain history. It is a area that is in a routine of redefining a purpose.

From left, Susan Dyrud MacDonald, Casa de la Bella Montessoriguide and conduct of a school; Margaret Lovejoy, owner and executive executive of The Family Place; and Susanne Lovejoy, account developer for The Family Place. (Courtesy photo)
From left, Susan Dyrud MacDonald, Casa de la Bella Montessoribr /guide and conduct of a school; Margaret Lovejoy, owner and executivebr /director of The Family Place; and Susanne Lovejoy, account developer for Thebr /Family Place. (Courtesy photo)

When we grew adult on Rondo we knew a value of community. Community meant we bought your possess home, cut your possess grass, sent your children to area schools, knew your neighbors and took caring of any other. When things began to change in a 1960s and ’70s with a opening of a widespread and a intrusion of civic renewal, neighbors changed to a middle ring of suburbia, skill values fell, crime rose, family businesses fell apart, houses bought on conjecture deteriorated. In a ’90s, we saw a commencement of a genuine ambience of civic renewal; a face of a encampment began to change. The Hmong encampment found a place. Young Euro families bought a inexpensive properties and renewed a homes to their former well-intentioned glamour. The Rondo encampment was once again apropos a place to build a future.

The two-sided city still has many work to do. The Rondo encampment is usually one example. There is a homeless encampment appearing in a shadows, flourishing and melancholy to surface. we am a voice for this population. we wish there to be a improved governmental bargain of because it is needed to residence this issue. Acknowledge a problem, hurl adult sleeves to work toward a healthy abounding encampment for all, and once again know your neighbor.

Q. Describe a ideal day in St. Paul

A. we am a gardener. When my children were young, it was a grassy playground; as they grew adult my adore for flourishing things intensified. Instead of a yard being 90 percent grass, now it is 90 percent flowers and plants. The ideal day is 75 degrees, balmy and no humidity. we am in a garden on my knees, creation sequence out of a disharmony that can start when leaflet has ideal conditions for growth. That tough work transforms into a abounding pleasing oasis of colorful lush flowers, sketch a many appealing things inlet has to offer. It is perfect. It is desired and admired. It is assured in a purpose and extends wish with a pride.

This is an analogy for my work during The Family Place. A ideal day is when we can say, “This is a ideally pleasing garden.”

Q. What would we like to see for St. Paul in 2017?

A. Recently, The Family Place has incorporated Going Home: a comprehensive, patrimonial educational height for a whole family. It consists of 6 programs: Montessori, Youth Development and Leadership, Healthy Meals, The Lovejoy Community Garden, Adult Life Skills and Night Shelter.

This programming offers healthy living, peculiarity preparation for a children, and a adults a event to residence barriers to fortitude by study in a 16-week life skills program. At a same time, a few are invited to live in Casa Guadalupana, a really good home on a West Side of St. Paul. we trust this extensive programming is a biggest approach for a family in preserve to transition to a new home and perpetually sojourn stable.

I would like to see this indication upheld and replicated to finish steady and generational homelessness. By ancillary this effort, a encampment becomes a biggest beneficiary.

Q. During this holiday season, what are we many grateful for?

A. As a executive executive of The Family Place, we am always grateful for a munificence of a encampment to supply a module with gifts for all members of a families. we am grateful for a staff that understands a final of operative in amicable services that supports families who have gifted dire events, families traffic with detriment and families who demeanour to staff for care and assistance as they transition to a improved place.

Every day of my life we am grateful for my beautiful, amatory and friendly family. we am grateful for residence keys, health, preparation and discernment into what it means to be a encampment member. we am grateful that we have a goal and a strength to finish my goal of finale steady and generational homelessness.

Q. How will we be spending a holidays?

A. we always have dual Christmases, one during The Family Place, and a other with my possess children and their spouses, grandchildren and friends.

Q. What is a family tradition in a Lovejoy home?

A. The tradition has turn a poetic flashy tree, gifts for a grandchildren and stocking stuffers for a adults, an expanded Christmas Day brunch for 30 people and an dusk film during a internal theater. This year it is possibly a latest journey film or “Fences.” I’m anticipating for “Fences”!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to we all. we trust we pronounce for many of us when we contend this holiday deteriorate we am grateful that we live in a city with neighbors like Margaret Lovejoy.

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