STEP changes location

Mary Musilek

Although still serving the same area and providing the same necessities, the St. Louis Park Emergency Program (STEP) has moved to a temporary new location, well suited for fully serving the residents of St. Louis Park. This change has been made because the location on Wooddale was only temporary and STEP originally leased it for one year and the extension to four years was up.

The old building has been destroyed and there will soon be road construction to help alleviate some of the traffic congestion at that particular intersection, said Jackie Olafson, director of STEP.

Now temporarily located at 2239 Edgewood Avenue South, STEP’s new warehouse, although not as large as the last, is perfect for the time being. “We have less square footage to work with in the warehouse, but we are able to make it work for us,” said Olafson.

“Our food shopping area is spacious and allows for four people to shop for food without bumping into each other,” said Olafson. Not only is the warehouse area an improvement, but the offices are beautiful and parking works well for the clients, said Olafson.

Because this non-profit based organization helps St. Louis Park residents meet their basic needs during difficult times, the need for donations and help is huge at this time. When more families are struggling in tough economic times, STEP’s need goes up. “Our greatest need is in the area of food donations and financial support for food,” said Olafson, “because we have experienced over a 25 percent increase in the people who turn to STEP for food support.”

The hope is that with the support of the community, the organization will be able to continue to support as many residents as they can by providing them with necessities from the food shelf as well as seasonal support, clothing, transportation, crisis support, and financial assistance.

There are numerous volunteer opportunities within this organization as well as many donation opportunities, and with STEP’s hope of owning a permanent location soon, the need to raise money is even more prevalent.