The Link, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that works with impoverished youth and families, is raising money to buy the building that it leases for its Passageways program in Prior Lake.

The Link is working with nearby Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church to meet the $385,000 purchase price, said Beth Holger, CEO of the Link. About $121,000 has been raised so far, and officials hope to raise the rest by year’s end.

The Link wants to buy the building from the nonprofit that leases it to them. Holger said it hasn’t been decided whether the Link or the church would have formal ownership.

In 2014, the Passageways Shelter and Housing Program became the first in the state to provide shelter for girls, boys and transgender youth who have been sexually exploited.

Erin Adler

Spring Lake Park

Dircks named to fill City Council vacancy

Lisa Dircks, who has served on the city’s Planning Commission for six years, was appointed to the Spring Lake Park City Council to fill a vacant seat through 2020.

Dircks, a project civil designer for a Lake Elmo engineering firm, was unanimously chosen by the City Council to replace Bob Nelson, who was appointed interim mayor after Cindy Hansen resigned.

Dircks said her top issues are infrastructure and aging housing, attracting businesses and amenities, encouraging public engagement and improving public safety.

Hansen stepped down as mayor in July after announcing she was moving to Lino Lakes. The council appointed Nelson to serve as mayor until a special election in 2020.



$1 million grant will go to aid homeless

The Hennepin County Board has signed off on a $1 million state grant for its program to prevent family homelessness and assist in finding permanent housing.

The funding will help the county serve 400 additional households, meeting its target goal of 2,150 households over the next two years. The grant comes on top of about $4.5 million the county gets every two years from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

The money also will be used to work with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center on rapid rehousing services, such as working with landlords and finding affordable housing.

The program helped 93% of its clients to find permanent housing in the past two years.


Ramsey County

County adds four food compost sites

Ramsey County is expanding its organics composting program by adding four suburban sites where residents can drop off food scraps, bringing the number of drop-off sites to 13.

The new sites are the Maplewood YMCA Community Center, 2100 White Bear Av.; New Brighton City Hall, 700 5th St. NW.; Roseville Leaf Recycling Center, 2580 Dale St.; and Vadnais Heights City Hall, N. 3595 Arcade St. All are open 24 hours a day.

Accepted food waste includes vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, dairy, eggshells, fish, fruits, grains, meats, poultry and bones. It also includes soiled paper that can’t be recycled curbside, such as pizza boxes and paper towels. For more information go to

Shannon Prather