Sparking passion in youth!
FamilyMeans Youth Development serves youth ages 5-18 in the Cimarron manufactured home community in Lake Elmo and the city of Landfall, both eastern suburbs in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis region.
Our free, year-round programming equips youth to learn, thrive, connect, and contribute throughout their lives.
We have been committed to the Landfall community since 1993, and Cimarron since 2008. Staff build strong relationships with youth through caring, commitment, responsiveness, and respect. Diverse, accessible, and engaging programming enable our young people to increase knowledge, skills, and connections. Our work is strengthened from collaboration with local and county government, nonprofit organizations, business, the faith community, local and higher education, and awesome volunteers.
In 2019, we served 341 youth across both Cimarron and Landfall program sites. A 22% increase from the year prior.
In response to the pandemic uncertainties of 2020, we shifted some of our focus. First, we helped youth adapt and succeed in the virtual/hybrid academic environment; this included more homework help sessions and emotional health check-ins. It also meant bridging the digital divide for our learners by securing a grant from ConnectedMN to gift Chromebooks and improve home broadband connectivity. We worked with Comcast to designate the youth centers’ as Lift Zones, receiving upgraded high capacity, high speed Wi-Fi connections.
Secondly, we advocated for resources to enable families to meet basic needs including partnerships with school districts and food shelves for on-site meal distribution and with county public health on Covid-testing and education.
In 2021, following public health guidelines, we are returning to our traditional service models, including Ready to Be programming.
Survey data confirms that, even though challenges that came with Covid-19, our impact on youth and families is felt within the community.
Of those that participated in our survey:
- 92% of families agree that receiving support and resources from FamilyMeans made it less stressful to deal with life during COVID.
- 100% of teens agree that FamilyMeans staff have taught them how to better communicate with teachers.
- 67% of teens report that because of support from FamilyMeans staff they are doing ‘much better’ in school.
“One of the coordinators really helped me to value school more than I did. I really appreciate her for that. I am the first one in my family to go to college and that’s a really big deal”