COVID-19: Ways to Help

Updated April 3

Our programs and services continue to operate (with some modifications), and we are committed to maintaining these essential services for as long as we can safely do so. The people we serve are at greater risk of physical and economic consequences from COVID-19 and its ripple effects, and we will do all that we can to help individuals and families navigate these challenges. For the latest updates on our operations, visit this post on our COVID-19 response.

We need your support to keep our clients connected to critical services. As the pool of available resources shrinks for people experiencing homelessness, our programs are especially important in the role of meeting people where they’re at and providing a safe refuge. 

How You Can Help St. Stephen’s Right Now: 

1) Make a financial donation. Your online gift will go to work immediately providing financial support for our program operations and allow us to respond to emergency needs -- including expanding shelter operations to 24/7, and street outreach operations to seven days per week.


2) Volunteer in Your Own Home to prepare meals for our shelter guests. Eighty percent of our shelter meals are normally purchased, prepared, and served by volunteer meal groups, and we have added an off-site option to create social distance. You may have seen a frozen meal opportunity listed here before. We are currently pausing on frozen meals, and pivoting to focus our asks on specific breakfast and lunch items. Learn more about this special opportunity here.


3) Be a Virtual Volunteer by supporting shelter meals in other ways. Looking for a way to support a local restaurant that is limited to take-out? Talk to us about ordering and donating a catered meal. Here is a list of local restaurants that are operating for take-out. Or, you can virtually serve a meal by making a gift online. In the Designation menu, select “Shelter,” and then type “Shelter Meal” in the optional comment box at the bottom of the form. If you are able, $200 to $250 translates to approximately one meal for 50 shelter guests. But, gifts of any amount are welcomed and can be designated for shelter meals.


4) Donate specific items that we can distribute immediately to the people we serve. We are temporarily narrowing our wish list to critical items (click the arrow below to reveal that list). Please schedule drop-offs of these items in advance with Amanda (AHancer(at) or 612-481-9501). 

In order to focus resources on items that can immediately be distributed to the people we serve, we are temporarily narrowing our agency wishlist to the following items (click to expand):

  • Respiratory masks
  • Hand sanitizer (60%+ alcohol, travel-sized preferred)
  • Tents
  • Tissues (regular boxes and personal size)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Underwear for all bodies
  • Tarps
  • Thermal underwear for all bodies
  • Wet Wipes (individual packs)
  • Travel-sized toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap & lotion
  • Infrared thermometers
  • Plastic spray bottles (32oz or 16oz preferred)
  • Gift cards for fast food or gas
  • Cell phones
  • Traditional thermometers with disposable covers
  • Cereal
  • Breakfast Bars (Individually packaged)
  • Healthy Snacks (Individually packaged)
  • Ramen Packets (Chicken flavor)
  • **IQ Game or other individual puzzle games that can be sanitized
  • **Decks of cards
  • **Small sketch pads or adult coloring books
  • **Markers/colored pencils
  • **Puzzle books (Sudoku, crosswords, etc.)

Please schedule drop-off's (of these items only) in advance with Amanda, Volunteer & Giving Coordinator (AHancer(at) or 612-481-9501). We deeply appreciate your support.



**Our friends at Barnes and Noble have offered a generous 20% discount on the starred items purchased to benefit our shelter guests. To take advantage of this opportunity, please follow these steps: 

  • Use to “window shop” for the items you would like to purchase for the shelter. 
  • When you are ready to make a purchase, call the store at 612-922-3238 between 9am-4pm. You will hear an auto message explaining that the store is closed, but after that, an employee will answer the phone.  
  • Let the staff know you are calling to make a purchase for St. Stephen’s Human Services. The 20% discount will be applied.  
  • The Barnes and Noble team will ship the items to us! 


Together, we can work to protect some of our community's most vulnerable members. Thank you for being a part of our efforts.


Do you have other questions about ways to help? We'd love to connect with you. Please email us at development(at)

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