BROOKLYN PARK, MN (May 7, 2014) — Todd Kardell, youth pastor of Redeemer Covenant Church, and Tim Ruscher youth pastor for Blue Oaks Covenant Church, camped on the roof of a local congregation with nine other area youth pastors for 48 hours to raise awareness and funds to build a shelter for homeless youth.
The facility will serve as a transitional housing program where young people can live as they gain stability in their lives. The Oseo School District has identified 400 homeless youth and there still may be others, says Kardell.
Kardell explains that 48 hours is a significant number because that is the typical window of time before a young person on the streets is solicited for drugs or human trafficking.
The youth pastors started camping on the roof on Sunday and packed up their tents on Tuesday. Kardell says they were not trying to replicate the experience of homeless youth, but they did hope the fundraising event would bring attention to the great need. So far they have raised nearly $9,000.
Homelessness in Brooklyn Park has been an ongoing concern Redeemer Covenant. For the past four years, Pastor Steven Larson has worked with churches, police departments, schools, and local community organizations to start a task force to address the problem in their community.
Each of the four full-time ministry staff members at Redeemer is expected to spend 25 percent of their time in the community, which winds up equating to a full-time position dedicated to community ministry and outreach.
People can still contribute to reaching the $50,000 goal set to help fund construction.
Avenues for Homeless Youth is constructing the shelter and will manage it. The nonprofit provides emergency shelter, short-term housing and supportive services.