Help for Families in Transition


East Metro Women's Council
Solid Ground (formerly East Metro Women’s Council) founding mothers standing in the site that they would eventually develop into East Metro Place.

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 and incorporated as East Metro Women’s Council in 1987.  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.

East Metro Place
East Metro Place

Since first opening its doors, the organization has expanded to house over 660 individuals 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).



Formation of East Metro Women’s Council


Groundbreaking of East Metro Place, 20- unit apartment building on Century Avenue in White Bear Lake


East Metro Place open its doors


After-school tutoring program begins at East Metro Place


Expanded scattered-site housing and services to suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties


Founding Executive Director leaves and Trisha Cummins-Kauffman joins organization


HomeAgain housing program launches to provide families with rental assistance and supportive services in Washington County


Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network Awards Solid Ground the “Live Your Best Life” Award


Opening of East Metro Place II permanent supportive housing for families with disabilities and/or histories of long-term homelessness


Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training begins to help clients address past trauma and behaviors


Solid Ground is awarded the Nonprofit Excellence Award, presented by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and MAP for Nonprofits


HomeSafe housing program launches to provide scattered-site housing for families in suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties


Formerly called East Metro Women’s Council, the organization changes its name to Solid Ground to capture the importance of our supportive programs in helping families find stability and strength


Solid Ground celebrates 25 years of service to the community, helping 4,000 people at risk or experiencing homelessness to find stability


Solid Ground Endowment Formed St. Paul Foundation to create sustainability for our housing services


HomeFront Program opens in Maplewood to house long-term homeless military veterans and their families


Homework Starts with Home collaborative launches to prevent and end homelessness for Pre-K through 12th grade students and their families in suburban Ramsey school districts


Day 1 Families Fund awards $1.25M grant to Solid Ground for its work in “moving the dial” to end homelessness