Solid Ground Announces Next Executive Director

Solid Ground is Pleased to Announce Diamond Hunter as its Next Executive Director

Solid Ground, an award-winning nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce Diamond Hunter as its next Executive Director, leading our mission to prevent and end homelessness for families with children in Ramsey and Washington Counties. She begins her position on February 5, 2024.

Diamond Hunter joined Solid Ground in February 2022 as the Director of Programs following her role with Merrick Community Services leading their Family & Integrative Services team. As a licensed social worker, with progressive Social Services experience, Ms. Hunter brings an in- depth understanding of the challenges families face, together with a special generational passion for the work of preventing and ending homelessness. Ms. Hunter led her team in increasing the number of families served by 75% in the last year alone.

“It is an honor to take on the role of the next Executive Director of Solid Ground. I want to thank the Board of Directors for giving a person with lived experience an opportunity to lead this amazing organization. My vision is for us to work together to build a hopeful, vibrant community that’s healthy and thriving. We will continue the work to ensure every family has a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home,” Ms. Hunter said.

Working in partnership with the search firm WJ Flynn & Associates, the Solid Ground Board of Directors conducted an expansive executive search, which included stakeholder input from staff, current and past Board members, volunteers, and major stakeholders. “The search process led us back to one of our own – we saw in Diamond her vision for the mission and her leadership drive, combined with her personal story and life experience – Diamond Hunter exemplifies the values of Solid Ground and sends a strong message of commitment and hope to those experiencing challenges,” said Lynnette Becker, Solid Ground Board Chair.

Diamond Hunter succeeds Trisha Kauffman, who announced her retirement in August 2023, after leading the organization for 26 years, helping thousands of families break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for the next generation. “I am thrilled that Diamond will succeed me – her passion, her vision, and community connections, combined with her ability to deeply connect with our staff and families, positions her to lead,” said Trisha. “Solid Ground is in a strong position, with depth of programming and sound financials, so it’s a great time for new leadership to take the organization to the next level.” Solid Ground will be hosting a retirement event for Trisha on March 7, 2024, from 5:00–7:00 PM at the Charleston Event Center, 4525 White Bear Parkway, White Bear Lake, MN.

Solid Ground (formerly East Metro Women’s Council) was founded in 1987 by a dedicated group of women living in Ramsey and Washington Counties who wanted to help low-income mothers in their community. In 1993, East Metro Place opened its doors close to Century College, providing affordable housing and supportive programs for 20 families. Over the years, Solid Ground continued to grow to meet the housing and service needs of the community. Minnesota has the second worst housing gap in the country between people of color and white people (according to Habitat for Humanity), and the number of homeless families in Minnesota grew 27% in 2023. Lack of housing has an outsized ripple effect. That’s a problem for all of us, and especially for children.

Today, Solid Ground provides four different kinds of housing assistance: Prevention, Rapid Rehousing, Transitional Housing, and Permanent Supportive Housing, serving over 340 families annually. In this strategic time of transition, Solid Ground remains committed to our mission, continuing our work to prevent and end homelessness for families through housing and supportive services.