Last month St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, located in Minnetonka, announced that it will become the on-site, direct service mission partner in the new wing of Westminster Presbyterian Church, currently under construction on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
The Session of Elders and Trustees of Westminster Presbyterian Church voted to approve the partnership with St. David’s Center after a two-year discernment process.
“We wanted a nonprofit that shared our vision and mission, and St. David’s fit the bill perfectly,” said Westminster’s senior pastor, Tim Hart Andersen. “St. David’s Center focuses on early intervention with children, we could see their desire for a downtown location, and that fit nicely withour desire to serve the city in our downtown location. St. David’s is doing groundbreaking work in the Somali community, and that is important to us as we make interfaith connections.”
The new wing is part of the church’s multi-faceted Open Doors Open Futures campaign, aimed at increasing support for local and global needs as well as expanding the church’s historic building. Open Doors Open Futures specifically calls for 25 percent of the new wing to be dedicated to a direct service provider that aligns with Westminster’s mission of service to the community.
St. David’s Center serves 3,000 children, teens, and young adults annually through its early community- and center-based programs. The Center’s multidisciplinary approach integrates early childhood education, pediatric therapies, parent-child attachment, children’s mental health, and autism treatment.
With a new presence in downtown Minneapolis, St. David’s Center will focus on the developmental outcomes of children who have faced significant adversity and trauma, who are in and at risk of out-of-home placement, and who need easier access to services. The center at Westminster (named Center for Child and Family Wellbeing) will primarily serve children birth to age five who have experienced relational trauma within their families and homes.
Services will include an infant team to assess and treat families with children in out-of-home placement, children’s mental health services and pediatric rehabilitative therapies, a clinical training site for graduate students in mental health, and a new home for the St. David Center’s day treatment program for young Somali children diagnosed with autism.
St. David’s Center will occupy approximately 8,000 square feet of space on the second floor of the new wing, which is the work of James Dayton Design.
“This partnership really is about addressing accessibility and barriers for families,” said Julie Sjordal, executive director of St. David’s Center. “Whether they are at risk of out-of-home placement or have children who need a comprehensive set of services, we are working for lasting relationship change for parents and children. Having a downtown center lets us address relationship and developmental needs that may have come from traumatic situations.”
The expanded wing is expected to be completed by early 2018. The approximate move-in date for St. David’s Center’s services is April 2018.