The Link was founded in 1991 by former Minnesota Vikings players, Jim Marshall and Oscar Reed, who wanted to support youth in North Minneapolis who were being victimized by crime, getting involved in crime and who were struggling with poverty and homelessness.
The Link is still based in their original vision and in North Minneapolis. The Link has grown from a two staff member organization with three programs to an organization that has 28 programs across the Twin Cities area, employs over 150 adult and youth staff members and supports over 2,000 youth and young families each year. The Link offers programming in three areas:
HOUSING & SERVICES DIVISION: housing and supportive services for youth and young families experiencing homelessness
YOUTH ADVOCACY DIVISION: positive alternative programs for youth in the juvenile justice system
SAFE HARBOR DIVISION: emergency shelter, housing and supportive services for youth who have been sexually exploited
EDI Commitment Statement: The Link will promote ongoing learning to better serve youth and families, broaden staff knowledge base and cultural awareness/competence resulting in equity, diversity and inclusion visible at all levels of the organization.
Mission: The Link works with youth and families to overcome the impacts of poverty and social injustice
Vision: A community supporting all youth in having equitable access and opportunity
Values: Our work is guided and informed by our beliefs and commitment to:
- Youth: We value and incorporate youth voice into all we do
- Inclusion: We respect all people, value diversity and are committed to equity
- Quality: We strive for program excellence through continuous improvement and evidence based practices
- Advancement: We aspire to lead through innovative and cutting edge programming