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.