STEP Has a New Van


In response to the increased need to pick up and deliver groceries to neighbors in need during the pandemic, STEP has purchased a cargo van. The vehicle was made possible thanks to the timely response of community leaders. We look forward to putting on many miles getting food around town!

The van’s cost was completely covered by the following supporters:

Previously, STEP has relied on volunteers’ personal vehicles and an arrangement with Reddy Rents.
In an effort to support the work of hunger reduction, Reddy Rents provided a cargo van to STEP four mornings a week at a significant discount. That arrangement was essential for STEP to bridge the need until this point of time. STEP thanks Reddy Rents for the years of support!

Donating during the pandemic

Donating during the pandemic
Thank you so much to those who have donated food. We are so grateful! STEP is continuing to accept food and paper bag donations at Vista Lutheran Church through at least the duration of the stay-at-home order.

Please bring your food donations to Vista Lutheran Church at 4003 Wooddale Ave S.  Vista is accepting donations on behalf of STEP on TUESDAYS (until 5:00pm) and SATURDAYS (until 3:00pm) only. Donations can be brought to the door entryway facing the church’s parking lot.  A special thank you to Vista Lutheran Church for helping us during this time!

Currently most needed items:

  • Cereal
  • Jelly
  • Tuna
  • Canned chili
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Toilet Paper
  • Shampoo
  • Bar Soap
  • Dish Soap
  • Baby Food
  • Pasta
See our Amazon wishlist to purchase items and have them sent directly to STEP. Thank you!

Information and Resources for Workers Affected by COVID-19

Information from the MN Employment and Economic Development  DEED’s Unemployment website can be found by clicking here

Information and Resources for Workers as of March 17, 2020 is listed below.

Information and Resources for Workers

DEED’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program assists workers who can’t work, have their hours reduced or lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. The UI program is prepared and ready to assist these workers. If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, you may apply for unemployment benefits by visiting

If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, please apply for unemployment benefits by going online to

Please use the website to submit your application, because this is the most efficient way to serve applicants.

The website can accept applications Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. We are working to add Sunday hours.

Given the volume of expected applications, we are asking for applicants’ patience as we ramp up to meet demand in this unprecedented situation.

What else should workers know?

We encourage workers to talk to their employers about any health concerns. If ANY worker finds themselves unemployed or with significantly reduced hours, they should apply for benefits at

Information for people who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut because of COVID-19.

  • If you are a bar, restaurant or other worker affected by temporary closures under Executive Order 20-04, effective 5 p.m. on March 17.

    Businesses ordered to temporarily close include:

    • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption. This excludes institutional and in-house food cafeterias for businesses, hospitals, and long-term care facilities;
    • Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation that offer alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption;
    • Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption;
    • Theaters, cinemas, museums, and indoor and outdoor performance venues;
    • Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoors sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas;
    • Places of public amusement, including amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities;
    • Places of public accommodation, including the facilities of country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.

    If you are unemployed or have your hours reduced, please apply for unemployment benefits by going online to The website can accept applications Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. We are working to add Sunday hours.

  • If you’re unable to work due to being sick with COVID-19 or having been exposed to COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. If your illness from or exposure to the virus has made it medically necessary to quit your job, you should apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

  • If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. If you need to quit your job in order to provide necessary care because of the illness, injury, or disability of an immediate family member, you should apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

  • If you are a healthcare or other emergency worker, school districts are directed to provide care for your children age 12 and under. School districts and charters will handle the verification of students, which may include securing a letter from the employer or showing an employment badge. The Governor also encourages school districts and charters to also provide extended care – before and after school hours – to students of emergency workers. You can see list of emergency workers on the Minnesota Department of Education Website.

  • If you had to quit your job due to a lack of child care, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. If you made reasonable efforts to find alternative child care and you requested time off/other accommodations from your employer, but your employer denied those requests, you should apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

  • If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you should apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks should stay in touch with their employer and be prepared to return to work as soon as it is available again.

  • You may be eligible for workers compensation if you become sick on the job and you have the right to other protections to care for yourself and your family. See more information on the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Worker Protections page.

Outstanding Community Partners

Recently, STEP’s Board of Directors recognized the 2019 STEP Outstanding Community Partner, Richard and Meta Webb of the Webb Group.

Richard and Meta Webb have long been involved in multiple facets of the St. Louis Park community. They have contributed to and supported STEP’s mission to empower lives and restore hope in multiple ways. The Webb Group has been the lead host sponsors of the Holiday Train stop in St. Louis Park all four years.

Whenever their company sells or purchases a house in St. Louis Park, they donate $500 to the clients’ choice of a  St. Louis Park charity or school. Often clients have chosen STEP. Meta has volunteered on the committee organizing the annual STEP Up Breakfast. Both Richard and Meta volunteer together at STEP on a regular basis, usually sorting incoming clothing or food donations.

What a wonderful example on how two busy small business owners can still make a big impact on the community they care about!

Volunteer Spotlight

STEP is so fortunate to have incredibly supportive volunteers. Over the years, our organization has moved from building to building and staff have come and gone. Many of our long-term volunteers have witnessed these transformations and have continued to volunteer.

Cindy Jurgenson, a STEP supporter and transportation volunteer, has witnessed our growth and change over her 23 years of volunteering. Cindy went out on her last ride with us in December and we are so sad to see her go!

Cindy was attracted to the flexible volunteer schedule that our transportation program offered and the ability to create meaningful connections through conversations over each trip. She mentions that our transportation program provides an invaluable service to this community.

Last fiscal year, STEP’s transportation volunteers provided clients with just short of 1300 medical or food shelf rides. Cindy appreciates STEP’s commitment to easing the transportation burden of our neighbors. Cindy and her husband, Curt (pictured above) are incredible STEP supporters and urge you to become involved with STEP’s transportation program! If interested, please reach out to Mari, our Volunteer Coordinator.

Holiday Toy Update & Thank You

Thank you to the many donors who helped make this year’s Toy Program a success! We were able to serve over 550 kids in total with toys or gift certs this year!

Thank you to Peace Presbyterian Church for hosting and for our volunteers who worked so hard to make this happen. Special thanks to Eileen Unze, Camille Schroeder & Carita Dahlberg for your leadership and dedication!





25 Years of Social Work at STEP

Juile Lapointe recently marked her 25th year of service as STEP’s Social Worker & Program Manager

In celebration, we would like to share this video made about Julie and her dedication to social work, her clients and the long lasting effect of building relationships.

Click for Video

Creative Giving

We love seeing the creative ways that community members contribute to STEP. From birthday bags to collection drive competitions, we enjoy the enthusiasm we see to help our SLP neighbors. With the holiday season quickly approaching, please consider hosting a collection with your coworkers, faith community or neighbors to improve the lives of community members.


We have many collection opportunities: winter clothing in Octobertoys in November & December, school supplies in August, and nonperishable food throughout the year.


Even better, coordinate a full-circle experience and organize a collection and stock the collected items as a group here at STEP.


Take a look at our website for ideas on organizing a food drive. Connect with our Volunteer and Community Relations Coordinator so that we can share the good that you are doing!


Coats and Winter Wear Available


The Clothes Closet is ready for winter! We may not want the cold weather to come yet, but we are ready for it! We have coats, snow pants, boots and mittens to make sure everyone in SLP is able to stay warm!

  • During the month of October STEP provides winter coats and other winter clothing items to residents in need living in St. Louis Park. Residents may access this program as they would the clothing closet.
  • This program is in partnership with the Coats for Kids Program sponsored by Pilgrim’s Cleaners. Donations from the community are also welcomed.

STEP Receives Highest Rating

STEP has been given the highest, four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a national watchdog of nonprofit charities.

The group rates charities for their accountability and transparency, as well as their financial health.

STEP is one of 39 small Minnesota nonprofit organizations to receive this top rating! Click here to see our profile on Charity Navigator.