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History of Stevens Square Foundation History of Stevens Square Foundation

History of Stevens Square Foundation


In 2006, Stevens Square made its first series of grants in support of children and elderly persons. Until the closing of its nursing home in 2004, Stevens Square had been in operation for 125 years as a direct service organization. Formed in 1881 to provide a home for children orphaned or displaced by the typhoid epidemic which struck Minneapolis in that year, Stevens Square, known initially as the Society for the Relief of Homeless Children, was the 7th charitable organization created in Minneapolis. Within 5 years of its opening, the Home had moved to a new location and accepted as residents, both children and elderly women in need of a home. Both populations were accommodated at the facility until 1935 when it was determined that there was no longer a need for children's lodging given the widespread use of foster care.

From 1935 to 2004, Stevens Square continued to provide shelter to an increasingly frail, elderly population. During the final decade of its operation, the cost of caring for the Home's residents rose sharply while government reimbursement declined or remained static. Stevens Square funds were called upon in ever increasing amounts to subsidize the operating deficit. It became evident to the Board that the endowment funds would soon be exhausted if the organization were to continue to deliver the same high standard of care to its client population. In 2004, the Board decided to close the facility because it was financially unable to maintain the historic level of service at the Home.

In its next chapter, the Stevens Square Board intends to pursue the same goals of service to the elderly and to children in the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area by making annual awards to non-profit agencies which serve the needs of these populations.