Mission and Vision
Peace House Community (PHC) is a weekday gathering place to belong for economically challenged and marginalized women and men in the Twin Cities. PHC achieves its mission by offering services that:
- Nourish the community members’ bodies;
- Nourish our community members’ souls; and
- Enrich the lives of our visitors, volunteers and students.
Peace House Community strives to build a supportive environment where the wounds of economic and social dislocation are mitigated by the establishment of caring relationships with one another as well as diverse volunteers.
The following guiding principles enable us to create an atmosphere of cooperation and fairness:
- Ensure all voices are given an opportunity to express themselves.
- Respect the diversity of opinions and experiences in the community.
- Listen to other people with a mind that is open to wisdom from all sources.
- Practice non-violence through self-restraint, encouraging words, compassionate actions and respectful listening.
- Accept difficult situations with grace and serenity as we work towards conflict resolution.
“I like the volunteers here. They ask you how you’re doing. It makes your day.”Ed
“People accept me with my [mental] illness.”Mike
“I feel accepted. I always feel good by the end of the day.”Mary
“A community that says YES to hospitality, conversation, affirmation, acceptance, celebration and hope …”Anonymous
“[Peace House Community is] a community that shares stories, tears and laughter, prayer, reflection, wisdom and chores.”Anonymous
PHC serves over 16,000 meals a year and hosts over 12,000 community member visits. Each year, your donations also provide:
- 200 hand massages
- 150 bike repairs
- 170 haircuts
- 400 hygiene kits
- 100 neck and back massages
- 400 tickets to Minnesota Twins games
- 150 nurse consultations
If you do not see the services here that you need, please call 211 or click here.
Leadership and Staff
Peace House Community truly needs a village to keep its doors open. Since 1985, volunteers have shown up to volunteer with the right set of skills, knowledge and spirit to keep us moving forward.
Is Peace House Community Making a Difference?
Nourishing the bodies and souls of economically challenged and marginalized women and men in the Twin Cities since 1985.
The community members know that at Peace House Community they will be honored as human beings, known by their names, and not judged because of how they look, their mental health, or what they have done in the past. Peace House Community is a place of safety and respite from the streets.
About Our Leadership
The ministry continues to operate with an all-volunteer Board of Directors, all-volunteer Leadership Team, and approximately 40 volunteers in total – serving from less than one year of service to more than 28.
In addition, we have a Director who overseas our day-to-day operations.
The board members have proven experience in areas of nonprofit administration, finance, legal, spirituality, and volunteer development.
With the contribution of community members and all volunteers, Peace House Community developed and maintains a three-year strategic plan that guides the organization’s work.
Peace House Community 2020 Board of Directors include:
Clockwise from left:
- Catherine Mamer (Honorary Board Member)
- Mary Robinson
- Mary Cassioppi (Co-Chair)
- Trisha Gilbert
- Deborah Dapkus (Secretary)
- Rachel Kennedy
- Susan Oeffling (Vice-Chair)
- Marti Maltby (Director)
- David Scott (Co-Chair)
- John Gries (Treasurer)
- Jane Murphy
- Jen Vetter
Peace House Community grew out of one woman’s desire to meet the deepest emotional and relational need of the disenfranchised people she saw around her. Sister Rose Tillemans, a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondolet, had run a free store on Nicollet Avenue for 10 years, but her conversations with her customers convinced her that they had deeper needs than just clothes or cookware. She realized that they need a safe place of community where they could share their thoughts, hurts and experiences with others who cared for them. On October 17, 1985, Sister Rose opened the door of Peace House Community at 510 East Franklin Avenue, a building that would quickly become known as ‘The living room on Franklin Avenue.’ For those who would never be invited over for dinner, it became a welcoming space to meet with friends and escape the chaos of everyday life.
Rose recognized that people’s spirits and souls needed to be nourished and healed. This became a ministry of listening to the stories of those who had no one to listen to them. It would provide a place for the most misunderstood and least loved in our society to call ‘home.’ It would be about what people need after they have been fed and clothed. Since the beginning Peace House Community has striven to understand and love each person.
In 1999, Peace House Community became a nonprofit corporation. At the same time, the building owner donated the property to Peace House Community. Although PHC was flourishing, it suffered a blow when Sister Rose died on July 5, 2002 at the age of 79. Determined to carry on her vision, the volunteers and board took over the operations and ensured that PHC continued to reach those most in need.
A new opportunity arose when a non-profit housing developer proposed building low-income housing on the land where PHC was located. After negotiations that benefits both agencies, PHC sold its building in exchange for a custom-built facility two blocks away. On July 12, 2013, Peace House Community opened its current facility at 1816 Portland Avenue S.
In 2017, PHC took another step in its development when the Board created the Manager position, moving the agency to a more professional structure. The Board hired PHC’s first Manager in April, 2018, bringing more consistency to the day-to-day operations while improving PHC’s ability to support other groups that supported its community members.