Solid Ground was founded by a group of dedicated women in suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties who wanted to help low income mothers in their community, East Metro Women’s Council was incorporated in 1989. In 1993, East Metro Place opened its doors, providing affordable housing and supportive programs to twenty families experiencing homelessness, where they could stay for up to two years while they worked towards self-sufficiency. The location, right next to Century College, was chosen so that parents could have easy access to education, which is a key component in escaping poverty. Though initially envisioned to serve only women and their children, the organization has housed all family structures, including single fathers and two-parent families, since the beginning.
Since first opening its doors, the organization has expanded to house over 50 families at a time in suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties, providing not only affordable housing but also the support that families need to find themselves on solid ground. In 2013, East Metro Women’s Council legally changed its name to Solid Ground, to capture the organization’s work in helping families build a strong foundation for their future.
Solid Ground and our supporters have received many local and national awards for innovation and excellence in service, including:
- 2011 Minnesota Nonprofit Award for Excellence in a Small Organization
- Oprah Winfrey’s Live Your Best Life Award
- Bruce Vento Distinguished Service Award
- Award of Excellence for Innovation from the National Association of County Community Development
- Vi Russell Awards for Excellence in Volunteer Leadership (for Jan Bakke, Carol Bryan, and Cheryl Schindler)
- WCCO Good Neighbor Award
Solid Ground has also been a nominee for several awards, including a Best Practices Award from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was written into the Congressional Record for Excellence and Innovation in 1995 (as East Metro Women’s Council).