Homeless nonprofit raising money to meet increased demand

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May 25, 2014
By: Michelle Bruch
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Michelle Bruch

Lyndale resident Terre Thomas — best known as the Fairy Godmother — is working to raise $29,000 to help outfit the homeless for new jobs.

Thomas' nonprofit Small Sums is on track to double the number served this year to 600. Thomas said that's partly because more people experiencing homelessness are landing jobs in the improved economy, and partly because of Small Sums' outreach.

"We've been kind of under the radar for a lot of people that serve the homeless," Thomas said. "We've just been doing good work quietly for many years. We're not so quiet anymore."

The organization pays for things like certification fees, work clothes, uniforms, steel toe shoes and bus passes.

Small Sums is based at a Cheapo Records warehouse in St. Paul, and partners with Downtown groups including Catholic Charities, Salvation Army's Harbor Light Center, People Serving People's family shelter, and the Dignity Center in Loring Park.

"We want people to make enough money that they're stable enough to live at their own homes," Thomas said.

The fundraising campaign runs thru June 1. Shay Berkowitz, Phyllis Wiener, and Still Ain't Satisfied Foundation have offered a $5,000 matching grant for the campaign.

For more information, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-278-homeless-workers-start-back-to-work-with-small-sums