Reflections on 26 years at Solid Ground

Trisha Cummins-Kauffman, Executive Director

Working for Solid Ground has been such an important part of my life for the past 26 years.  I first came to the organization in 1997, when my husband and I moved to Minnesota for his new job.  I had been working for a domestic violence organization in Ohio – a job I really loved – and wasn’t sure I would find something that I cared about as much as that work.  I was wrong.  I found Solid Ground (then East Metro Women’s Council), which allowed me to continue my passion to ensure that children and families have a safe place to call home.

When I took this job, I was newly married and without children.  Now our son is 24 years old!  I certainly never thought that I would be at Solid Ground for such a long time, but when you ‘re fortunate enough to “find your people”, you stay.  I have met so many wonderful people during my time with Solid Ground – coworkers, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants and community members.  The work has been challenging, but it’s so worth it when you know that you’re making a difference in your community, and you get to work alongside such kind and generous people.

Deciding to retire from Solid Ground has been an emotional journey for me; there is so much going on right now.  The organization is in the middle of a capital campaign to renovate East Metro Place building to add a new front entry and improved program and office spaces.  We are expanding our prevention assistance program to help more families avoid eviction.  We’re also launching a new permanent supportive housing program, Welcome Home Washington, that will provide permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless families.  In a few more years, we’ll open Gladstone Crossing, a new supportive housing development in partnership with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative.  That program will provide housing for young parents aged 18-24 and their children, giving us a better chance to break the cycle of homelessness for two generations.  How can I walk away now?

But it’s time.  We have an amazing staff and leadership team in place.  A dedicated Board of Directors who share our commitment to preventing and ending homelessness.  The work will continue.  And I’ll be watching from afar, cheering them on.