In Lake Elmo's mobile home community of Cimarron, half of the kids and teens who live there spend more than 2,000 hours each year at FamilyMeans' free youth programs. They come after school and during the summer. They might spend time with friends, enjoy healthy snacks, take a karate class, or receive homework help. But half of the kids don't come. There just isn't enough room. And these kids are missing out on potentially life changing opportunities:

88% of the children in Cimarron are eligible for free or reduced school lunches. Many families in Cimarron work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and struggle with basic things, like having enough money for groceries for their family. Families are worried about having a safe, and meaningful place in their community where their children can go to learn, grow, and thrive. FamilyMeans' Cimarron Youth Center offers this safe place, but right now, we cannot offer it to everyone because there isn't room.

Cimarron youth center

That's why FamilyMeans is constructing a new building for its youth programs in Cimarron. There will be four times more space so more kids can participate. When more kids participate, good things happen:

  • Children who have access to programs after school and during the summer like those at Cimarron do better in school. 
  • Children who attend these programs frequently experience greater benefit.
  • Children do better with more positive adults in their lives, like the staff and mentors at the Cimarron Youth Center.

More space will allow for more activities, and more opportunity for children to learn. The new building will include:

  • Space for activities such as dance and karate
  • Quiet rooms for studying, thinking, or talking in confidence with adults
  • Areas for playing games, creating art, or listening to music
  • A kitchen to prepare healthy snacks, including fresh veggies grown in the Cimarron garden
  • Oportunities to share space with groups like early childhood, senior programming, and more.

FamilyMeans has raised 90% of the funding needed to complete construction, but your help is needed to finish the building for the kids. Please consider making a contribution by calling or donating online to make your gift.

The Katherine B. Andersen Fund of the St. Paul Foundation will generously match your contribution.

Thank you for supporting the future of kids in Cimarron, and for supporting this community of families. Your gift makes a difference.

*Learn more about donations to FamilyMeans*

FamilyMeans is a nonprofit agency inspiring trust, clarity, confidence and hope since 1963.