Shelter & Housing

Shelter & Housing

A loss of a job, mental or physical illness, a crisis, and bad choice willingly or not can all snowball and lead to a housing crisis for any individual and family.  Regardless of the reason being homeless is never a good thing.  With nearly 25% of the population of Mankato living under the poverty line, plus high rent costs means more and more people in our city struggle to find affordable housing.  But it doesn’t have to stay that way.  Here are some tangible ways to help now and to also look into the future to how can we prevent this.


Emergency Shelter At Crossview

Crossview will be hosting an emergency shelter for up to 25 individuals (men, women and children) during the weeks of Feb 4-11 and Mar 25-Apr 1.

Volunteers are needed for:

  • Set up Team
    • 2-3 volunteers (6-7pm)
    • Set-up rooms with cots and blankets
    • Guests arrive around 7:30pm
    • Might be once or several times during the week we host
  • Meal Team
    • 2 or more volunteers (6-9:30pm)
    • Provides the snacks or simple meal. Snack providers: it is possible that snacks/meals could be dropped off at church ahead of time.
    • Serves food as guests arrive
    • Cleans up food and trash
    • Volunteers may do it every night or for a few days or the whole week.
  • Hospitality Team
    • 3-8 volunteers (7-9:30pm)
    • Issue cots and bedding
    • Assign and directs guests to their spaces
    • Provides an evening activity (games, craft, books, movie, etc.)
    • Keeps building secure
    • “Passes the baton” to shelter staff at 9:30pm
  • Overnight Hosts
    • 2-3 volunteers (9:30pm-6am---shifts can be split)
    • Assist with building and guest needs,
    • Work with Connections Shelter staff to supervise guests: there must be at least one volunteer on site with the staff person at all times.
    • These volunteers should not expect to sleep, as they will conduct a facilities check every 45 min-1 hour throughout the night
  • Morning Team
    • 3-5 volunteers (6am-8:30am)
    • Direct guests in how to clean up (wipe down cots, clean up space): this should be done every morning after guests leave about 7:30 a.m.
  • Bedding 
    • We will need people to purchase: 30 new pillows, and 30 new twin-sized fitted sheets. 
    • At this time, we have enough pillows, sheets, and blankets.  
  • Welcome Bags
    • We want our guest to feel welcome.  Therefore, we are making bags which can be placed on their pillow.
    • On Thursday, Nov 9 (6:30-7:30pm we will have a shelter training and 7:30-8:30pm we will be making welcome "bags" at church).
  • Laundry
    • Volunteers will take used bedding to the cleaners as needed, or at the end of the week, then returned for storage until the next time Crossview hosts.
  • Pets
    • Shelter guests might arrive with a pet…host families might be needed.

Cooperate with Partners for Affordable Housing

Partners for Affordable Housing provides shelter for homeless families and individuals, and helps them to secure economically viable long-term housing. It would not be possible to do what we do without the help of our amazing volunteers.

  • Build benches and tables for residences to encourage socializing and help prevent isolation.

For more information contact: Community Life Pastor Aaron Thompson

Food & Clothing

Food & Clothing

PACT (People and Christ Together) ministries started by individuals from Crossview in the 1990s. PACT has two goals: providing food and clothing for people in need. They accomplish those goals by:

  1. The Neighborhood Thrift Store, which operates a retail space.  Earnings from The Neighborhood Thrift Store are then used to feed those in need at Food for All.
  2. Food for All is the food distribution which happens on the second Saturday of every month, which serves about 150 individuals.  Food for All complements other food shelves in the area by providing mainly fresh fruits and vegetables.

Volunteering at The Neighborhood Thrift Store or at Food for All both help give people clothing and healthy, wholesome food. Any help or financial gift makes this happen.  Here are ways to help below:



Volunteer with Pact ministries

  • Food For All volunteers: second Saturday of each month, 8:30am-10:30am at Goodrich Construction.
  • Picking up bread and bakery items at Cub Foods and HyVee: once a month either a Saturday or a Sunday 8am-9am.
  • Donate food for Neighborhood Thrift Store food shelf, once a month, at your convenience.
  • Volunteer at Neighborhood Thrift Store:
    • Cashier, 2-5 people, 1 shift each
      • Thursday 10am-4pm
      • Friday 10am-2pm and 1pm-5pm
      • Saturday 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm
    • Vacuum the store, 2 people, 1 shift each Tuesday and Thursday morning.
    • Special projects--Wednesday and Friday, at your convenience.

For more information contact: Ruth Koestler, The Neighborhood Thrift Store Manager

Immigrant & Refugee

Immigrant & Refugee

Imagine living in a foreign country.  The culture is different, the food is different, and the language is different.  Simple tasks like filling out a normal form for your child to go to school can be daunting and nearly impossible. “Simple” tasks to natives find easy become difficult tasks for immigrants.  Being an immigrant or refugee isn’t easy.  And figuring out life in a foreign country alone is even harder.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Having a native walk with you and talk you through those “simple” tasks can make living in a different country enjoyable and even life giving. God said to His people in Exodus 22:21 “…Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Here are some tangible ways to help immigrants in our community:


Help Adults Learn English

Volunteer with Clarice Esslinger in her Adult English class at Lincoln Center by being an assistant (like a para) in the class. This can be a limited about of times or ongoing—you choose.

  • Come once and observe
  • Then see if you want to help out regularly (once a week for a set length of time)


Help People Learn How to Drive

Immigrants may have learned how to drive in their culture, but it might be different here in Minnesota with snow, culture, car care etc.  This is also a great way for immigrants to get to know the locals.

  • One hour a week
  • Until you and the student decide

For more information contact: Clarice Esslinger

Seniors & Inmates

Seniors & Inmates

Gentle Shepherd Ministries reaches out to seniors in care facilities and inmates in county jails throughout south-central Minnesota. They are currently providing Bible studies, worship services, mentoring and more in nine senior care facilities and three jails.  Training is provided for all volunteers through Gentle Shepherd Ministries.

Serve Seniors in Greater Mankato

  • One-to-One Friendly visits
  • Sunday Church Service Helpers (bring residents to church service, help turning pages, musicians, etc)
    • 9:30am Hillcrest, Primrose, and New Perspective (formerly Keystone)
    • 9:45am Oaklawn
    • 10:00am Oak Terrace
    • 10:45am Monarch Meadows and Laurels Edge
    • 2:00pm Crystal Seasons in Lake Crystal (pianist needed)
  • Weekday Services Volunteers
    • 2nd & 4th Mondays
      • 10:00am Cottagewood (Memory Care Church Service)
      • 11:00am Vine Respite Care
    • 1st & 3rd Tuesdays
      • 10:00am Monarch Meadows (Singing and DVD Presentation)
      • 1:00pm Water's Edge (Church service every Tuesday)
    • 2nd & 4th Tuesdays
      • 10:30am Heritage Meadows-St. Peter (Group leader for Holy Land DVD's)
      • 11:00am Pheasants Ridge in St. Peter 
    • 1st & 3rd Wednesdays
      • 9:30am Brookdale in Mankato (Bible Study)
      • 1:30pm Central Health Care-Le Center


Broken Chains Fellowship (prison ministry)

  • Get trained as a one-to-one visitor or pen pal and combat the loneliness associated with incarceration
  • Become a faith sponsor for someone reentering and come alongside a new brother/sister for the first 6 months post incarceration.
  • Join the team of ministers and lay-ministers who go into the facilities and share the Gospel in Broken Chains Fellowship programming groups

For more information contact: