RECLAIMING HOPE | Hope is the starting point for Urban Homeworks, the force that brings together low-income families, young professionals, job skill trainees, and volunteers from all walks of life into an exchange that restores homes and creates a space for neighbors to engage.
I grew up all around South Minneapolis and enjoyed living in the urban neighborhoods of Minneapolis. When I was younger, I played hockey for a team called Dinomights. Dinomights is a inner-city hockey team that serves the families of the Phillips, Powderhorn and Central Neighborhoods and teaches hockey to low-income families. Their Mission Statement is PASS (Physical, Academic, Social and Spiritual excellence.) Dinomights isn’t just hockey. Coaches have the pleasure of taking kids camping in the summer and teaching 1st graders at Green Central, Anderson Elementary and Hope Academy. My connection with Dinomights started years ago and is intertwined with Urban Homeworks. Our relationships go way back.
I started Dinomights on a team called “Squirts.” Through my Dino-days I’ve had coaches who were Urban Neighbors/Workers. I have a special friend who taught Squirts, and who is still a staff member on Urban Homeworks, Cody Schimelpfenig. He was an Urban Neighbor during his coaching time and Dinomights was part of his volunteering scope. Back in the day, Coach Cody picked me up from practices and games...he may have even tied my skates once or twice!
Looking back at that time, I remember a special bond with Cody. He wasn’t the coach that would yell in players’ faces or coached the scoreboard. He was very peaceful and approachable. We both remember stories and funny quotes from over the years, but I truly came to appreciate his coaching upon stepping into the same position he and my other coaches were in.
Now, I am a coach at Dinomights and an Urban Neighbor with Urban Homeworks. Walking into the office to sign my lease, Cody greeted me with open arms. I love that I am back here with Dinomights and Urban Homeworks. It is my hope that I can fully give back to these neighborhood children all that was given to me.
Urban Neighbors live at the intersection of faith and action. Love where you live, and live with purpose by loving God and learning what it means to be a neighbor in an the urban neighborhoods of Minneapolis or St. Paul. Click here to learn more about the Urban Neighbor Program.