• COVID-19 pandemic response


A message from Jeff Mortensen
President & CEO

The pandemic has caused increased levels of uncertainty and anxiety across communities. Dakota County experienced a 3,000% increase in unemployment applications, with more than 37,000 people seeking help in just the last 30 days. Although COVID-19 presents an extraordinary crisis in recent history, families who struggle through hardships have always been here. It is precisely why 360 Communities exists. Indeed it was what birthed the organization in the early 1970s. We will trust in our 45 years of experience, the strength of the community, and the resiliency of people to overcome this challenge together.

Read more.


The COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges for 360 Communities. But as we have done throughout our history, we are adapting and innovating to fulfill our mission. Below are just some of the steps we have taken in our program areas to ensure that we are meeting the need.

  • 360 Communities is participating with a group of metro area domestic and sexual violence shelters to provide two different hotel options to help house victims of domestic and sexual violence during the COVID-19 crisis.  Violence Free Minnesota is leading the work and has obtained funding to pay for 50 hotel rooms to be used as expanded bed space for shelters who are at capacity. Shelters will also be able to move victims they are currently housing who fall into high-risk categories to this hotel as congregate living may not be the safest option for them during the pandemic. There will also be an additional 32 rooms available at another hotel for victims who need to be quarantined because of COVID-19 or other illnesses.
  • Before COVID-19 hit, Community Educator Shelly Peters worked out in the community, delivering presentations to students in schools and to other community groups. Now she has taken her curriculum and resources online, hosting Zoom classroom webinars. The 360 Communities website has a form for schools and other organizations to sign up for a presentation that suits them.
  • The Violence Prevention and Intervention team has created new online resources for clients, including an anonymous chat room hosted in partnership with RAINN. People will now have another option to reach an advocate for support with sexual and domestic violence. Our team is working to open more pathways for people to access help during a time when victims are especially isolated.

Food shelf volunteers pack and distribute food during COVID-19 pandemic.

Burnsville Food Shelf volunteers pack and distribute food.

  • 360 Communities’ network of five food shelves have all converted to pre-pack models, where families drive up to load their groceries. The doors to our facilities are shut to the public, but we remain open. Scheduling food shelf appointments can be done by phone. Our volunteers wear masks and gloves and practice social distancing. We have distributed 54% more food at our food shelves since the beginning of the crisis.
  • We have entered a new partnership with DARTS to help deliver Second Harvest Heartland emergency food boxes from the Rosemount Family Resource Center to the elderly living in senior housing complexes. St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in West St. Paul has stepped forward to fund initial transportation costs. To date, we have delivered more than 240 emergency food boxes to housebound seniors. The plan is to expand this service from our Burnsville Family Resource Center as well.

Child Care Aware staff distribute cleaning products to providers during COVID-19 pandemic.

Child Care Aware staff distribute cleaning products to providers.


From the onset of this crisis, the community has delivered an outpouring of support, with an influx of donations and volunteerism. Community members have found creative ways to inspire their neighbors to give back with online fundraisers and food drives. Others have sewn face masks to keep clients, volunteers, and staff safe and healthy. Read stories.


The health and safety of people is more than a priority for us, it is our mission: 360 Communities delivers safety and stability that improves lives. We have already acted to ensure that our clients, our volunteers, and our staff are as safe as possible. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have instituted measures that:

  • Eliminate and/or limit social contact

  • Maintain “clean areas” where volunteers and staff are working


For those who need assistance, phone numbers for our sites are listed below.

For food shelf support, you will need to contact our food shelves ahead to schedule a pick up of an order.  Our volunteers will pack your food order and bring it outside to a designated location.

  • Shepherd of the Valley Food Shelf  – Apple Valley
    Call (651) 322-5113
    Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 12:30-6:00 pm
  • Burnsville Family Resource Center & Food Shelf
    Call (952) 985-5300
    Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am-4:30 pm
  • Farmington Food Shelf
    Hours: Mondays and Thursdays Noon-4 pm
    Call (952) 985-5300
  • Messiah Community Food Shelf – Lakeville
    Call (952) 985-5300
    Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 12-6:00 pm
  • Rosemount Family Resource Center & Food Shelf
    Call (651) 322-5113
    Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm

For those outside of our service area, below is a resource that will provide you with information on how to locate your local food shelf.  

The Minnesota Food Helpline answers questions about eligibility for SNAP and makes referrals to your local food shelf.  If you or someone you know is struggling to put food on the table, call 1-888-711-1151.  The Minnesota Food Helpline is open Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm.  You can also search for your local food shelf online at http://www.hungersolutions.org/find-help/ .

The Family Resource Centers in Burnsville and Rosemount will be closed to in-person visits during this time, but will still be providing services over the phone.

Burnsville Family Resource Center
Call (952) 985-5300
Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Rosemount Family Resource Center
Call (651) 322-5113
Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Both Lewis House domestic and sexual violence shelters will continue to provide regular services.

  • Lewis House, Eagan: Call (651) 452-7288, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Lewis House, Hastings: Call (651) 437-1291, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Sexual Assault Services: Call (651) 405-1500, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


You can be the difference for many neighbors in need. Please, if you are able, support 360 Communities in the following ways:

Donate during COVID-19 pandemicDonate money. Financial donations are the easiest and safest way to support your neighbors in need.

Share resourcesShare your resources.   We have seen runs on household essentials at our local stores. Many families and individuals do not have the means to stock up on these items. They will rely on nonprofits for help. Food and personal care items are needed. There are most needed items lists here.

volunteerVolunteer. If you are not in a high-risk category and feel healthy, please consider volunteering at a local nonprofit. Many volunteers at nonprofits fall in high-risk categories and may need to step away from their volunteer roles during this time. We need others to step up and help. Fill out a Volunteer Interest Form here.

Watch for DV and SVWatch for domestic and sexual violence.  We anticipate that the need for these services will increase with the introduction of more stress in the home. Call our 24-hour hotline (651) 452-7288 to reach a Lewis House advocate if you or someone you know needs help. Learn more about what we offer.