In January 1985, we established the first Hotel/Motel safe housing program in Minnesota. During the 1990’s the agency implemented many more innovative services that were firsts in the state for victims and their children. In 2001, due to service demands and agency growth, our Board of Directors made the decision to conduct a capital campaign to build a facility that would house both a 35-bed Emergency Shelter and our community-based services. After a successful campaign, we moved into the Sheila Wellstone Center in 2004. We retired our mortgage in 2005. The same year we acquired Day One®, which provides a statewide referral system to people seeking help from violence.
in 2014 our geographic footprint widened into Northwestern Hennepin County at the request of community leaders. Cornerstone now serves ten target cities: Bloomington, Richfield, Eden Prairie, Edina, St. Louis Park, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Maple Grove.
Recognizing the intersections between domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking, we expanded our mission to formally broaden the population we serve. As the Neighborhood Involvement Program prepared to close its doors, we were asked to acquire their Rape and Sexual Assault Center (RSAC). As of January 2015, RSAC is now a program of Cornerstone and we are maintaining its south Minneapolis location.
Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities. When a plane crash took the lives of Paul and Sheila Wellstone and their daughter Marcia in the fall of 2002, a group of executive directors from battered women’s programs gathered together to share memories and stories about Sheila. Her passionate advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence was inspirational and we all wanted to find a way to honor her memory. Cornerstone had just launched a capital campaign to build a new facility. With encouragement from our sister programs, Cornerstone decided to honor Sheila in a meaningful and lasting way by naming our new building the “Sheila Wellstone Center.” Her spirit is with us every day.