Articles About Past Wells Foundation Activities

(Click on the red to see each article)

♦  Wells Foundation Grants Awarded in 2016

♦  Wells Foundation Grants Awarded in 2015

♦  Wells Foundation's Annual Concert Honoring Veterans at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral ~ November 9, 2014

♦  Wells Sponsors Bato Bato Appearance at St. Mark's Cathedral ~ April 21, 2013

♦  The Wells Foundation: A New Focus on Social Innovation ~ OUTLOOK: The Magazine of Saint Marks Episcopal Cathedral ~ January/February 2010


Wells Foundation Grants Awarded in 2016


Alliance Housing, Inc. $5,000Offer supportive family housing program on the North side

Avenues for Homeless Youth $5,000Provide shelter, transitional housing, and support for homeless youth in Minneapolis and suburban Hennepin County

Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative $5,000Deliver on-site support services for young adults transitioning out of foster care at Nicollet Square (Minneapolis), Prior Crossing (St. Paul) and 66 West (Edina)

BLIND $5,000Help blind adult students transition into housing and competitive employment

The Bridge for Youth $5,000Support core programs for homeless youth including crisis intervention, shelter and services through new Text-for-Help line

Circle of the Beloved – Episcopal Service Corps $10,000Cover costs of a program director to launch a new intentional community addressing root causes of poverty and isolation for young adults in North and Downtown Minneapolis

Emerge Community Development $5,000Provide North side after school programs and housing addressing educational disparities facing families struggling with chronic homelessness

Four Directions Family Center $5,000Support Native American holistic child/family services including preschool and child-development assessment and therapies

Full Cycle Bike Shop $5,000Help homeless youth build employment skills and give back to their community

The Link $5,000Deliver supportive housing at Lindquist Apartments for formerly homeless and/or disabled young adults

Midwest Children’s Resource Center $5,000Expand runaway teen nursing services to Hennepin County

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans $7,000Assist Minnesota veterans and their families who are homeless or who are experiencing life crises that could lead to homelessness (all funds for this grant come from our annual fundraising concert “Honoring Our Veterans”)

Neighborhood House $5,000Offer family services link to education, housing, and services in the East Metro

People Serving People $5,000Deliver K-12 programs of educational support and enrichment for youth staying at their family homeless shelter

Project for Pride in Living $5,000Provide housing and onsite services for Cabrini Supportive Housing Program

St. Stephen’s $6,165Support Street Outreach Team to locate people experiencing homelessness and help them find housing and other services (includes $1165 for Veterans Outreach funded by our annual fundraising concert “Honoring Our Veterans”)

Simpson Housing $5,000Deliver services and programs serving children and youth experiencing homelessness

Urban Homeworks $5,000Offer urban housing construction training for low-income and at-risk youth

YouthLink - $5,000Support one-stop Youth Opportunity Center for homeless youth at tipping point of success and long-term homelessness

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Wells Foundation Grants Awarded in 2015

Alliance Housing Inc. • $5,000 - Northside Supportive Housing for Families program.

Avenues for Homeless Youth • $5,000GLBT Home Host Program, Suburban Home Host Program, and Minneapolis Home Host Program.

Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative • $7,500Nicollet Square: housing, support services, and employment program for young adults.

Emerge Community Development • $6,000Emerge Link Program to help formerly homeless K–12th-grade youth advance socially and academically.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans • $6,000 (All funds for this grant come from our annual fundraising concert "Honoring Our Veterans") - Direct assistance for Minnesota veterans and their families who are homeless or experiencing life crises that could lead to homelessness.

People Incorporated • $6,000Community-integrated services and support for homeless people with mental illnesses.

Perspectives, Inc. • $5,000Housing and support services for women and children.

Pillsbury United Communities - $6,000Full Cycle Program: employment skills for homeless youth.

Project for Pride in Living, Inc. • $6,000Stability and Growth Project in North Minneapolis.

Second Chances • $3,000 - Group home for boys and K-9 rescue center.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral - $1,000 - Sandwich-making for MCTC students.

St. Stephen's Human Services, Inc. - $7,500Street outreach team to locate people experiencing homelessness and help them find housing and services.

The Link • $6,000Supportive housing at Lindquist Apartment in North Minneapolis for formerly homeless youth.

Urban Homeworks, Inc. - $5,000Urban Construction Company - construction training through housing construction.

YouthLink • $6,000Youth Opportunity Center offering critical services and housing to youth.

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Wells Foundation's Annual Concert Honoring Veterans at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral

November 9, 2014

smcThe Wells Foundation, along with its musical partner, the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Orchestra – with special guest piano soloist Elise Molina - presented its third annual concert honoring veterans of all services.

Musical pieces included works by Beethoven, Gregory Sylvester and Morton Gould, closing with America the Beautiful. The yearly event was attended by 300 people. All proceeds donated both at the concert and by event sponsors are in turn donated to agencies supporting veterans, particularly those struggling with issues of homelessness.

During the last three years, the Foundation has raised over $20,000 for this specific purpose.

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Wells Sponsors Bato Bato Appearance at St. Mark's Cathedral

April 21, 2013

Bato2Wells Foundation sponsors an appearance by Bato Bato, a marimba band comprised of students from Breck School. Both the band and Wells have supported one of the same shelters for homeless youth.

Bato Bato's lively music and joint work with homeless youth program offered St. Markans a chance to further acquaint themselves with the work of the Wells Foundation. [Return to top] 




OUTLOOK: The Magazine of Saint Marks Episcopal Cathedral

January/February 2010

The Wells Foundation: A New Focus on Social Innovation by Anna Clark

In the 1880s, Annie Wells, the wife of Saint Mark’s Rector T.B. Wells, allowed a German immigrant neighbor to use her sewing machine and gave her lessons in “modern” sewing. Soon, more nearby immigrant women asked for lessons, so that they could earn money and support their families. Annie was soon overwhelmed, so the other women in the parish stepped up and established courses not only in sewing, but in typing, English, and Civics. Eventually, they established the Wells Memorial Settlement house in 1908 to serve the surrounding community. Neighborhood people, including immigrants, could send their children to kindergarten, find books in the library, search for work, and obtain treatment for illness there. At its height it served 150,000 clients a year. The settlement house services eventually were merged with other community service organizations, but the Wells Foundation incorporated as a separate non-profit in 1926 and is still going strong.

As this history shows, the Wells Foundation has always stated that it wants to address the causes of poverty and misery in the community by helping people to help themselves. Recently, the Wells Foundation has been re-focusing its mission on social innovation. This means Wells Foundation aims to provide financial support to entrepreneurial organizations that attempt social innovations that are measurable, cost-effective solutions to unmet needs in our community, and to initiate lasting change by addressing the causes.

The Wells Board decided to implement its new vision by taking homelessness as an initial focus, working with Heading Home Hennepin (HHH). This city-county partnership wants to eliminate homelessness in Hennepin County by 2016. Heading Home Hennepin realizes that what homeless people need is a home. Once they have a decent place to live, then social workers and others can get them the treatment they need for mental illness and addiction issues. Wells was the first private foundation to contribute to the project and paved the way for funding from other foundations.

We help to fund an outreach worker in the downtown. Saint Mark’s Warm Space program frequently calls the outreach worker in order to get case worker services for their clients. Since its inception, Heading Home Hennepin has gotten more than half of the targeted 250 chronically homeless - who have lived on the streets for over a decade - into housing with services.

The Phoenix Project is another good example of social innovation funded by the Wells Foundation. In Minneapolis, some young Indian women have been forced into prostitution or want to leave prostitution but can’t. This program helps these young women by connecting them with counseling and supportive housing. For instance, the Phoenix Project works with the police to make sure that these young women can report violence committed against them without getting arrested for prostitution.

Wells also will take donations and use designated funds or restricted gifts to continue its commitment to more established programs of outreach in the community such as feeding the homeless.

For instance, this year Wells is funding Project for Pride in Living, the Neighborhood Involvement Program, Episcopal Community Services and the ECS Covenant Program, the Groveland Food Shelf, Horizons Unlimited Food Shelf, and Our Savior’s Outreach Ministry.

The Wells Foundation continues to fund Sunday Night Supper and Monday Night Supper at Saint Mark’s, but we are currently working as a partner with Saint Mark’s on these important programs, rather than serving as the main source of funds.

As for all foundations, the economic downturn and increased need means that Wells risks depleting our capital and running down our assets. To solve this problem, we are planning to raise funds to replenish our assets so that we can continue to fund valuable social programs for another hundred years.

For more information on the Wells Foundation, contact the president of the Board, James Davies, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  [Return to top]