Photo by Andy Rogers

Area politicians helped break ground on the Rosemount Family Resource Center expansion last week. From left: Dakota County Commissioner Joe Atkins, 360 Communities COO Jeff Mortensen, Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste, state Rep. John Huot, state Sen. Greg Clausen, and Rosemount City Council Member Paul Essler.

Facility serves several cities in south metro

What if there were no food shelves? No domestic violence shelters?

“Imagine if there were no 360 Communities?” said Ed Kearney, president of the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce, during the Rosemount Family Resource Center expansion groundbreaking ceremony last week. “Your police department would have more problems. The courts would have more problems. Everybody would have more problems. The schools. You’re lifting Rosemount, and the entire south region here.”

Used by residents of Rosemount, Lakeville, Apple Valley and Farmington, the Rosemount Family Resource Center serves thousands, according to 360 Communities COO Jeff Mortensen.

“There’s no boundaries on sexual assault,” Kearney said. “No boundaries on violence. No boundaries on sexual abuse. No boundaries on hunger. There’s no boundaries on lifting somebody up in school.”

It’s such a large area that politicians felt like it was due for an expansion. Approximately 3,000 square feet will be added on using funds from both the city and the state.

Mortensen also gave credit to the members of the community, volunteers, area businesses and faith communities for helping make the project a reality. The Well will house the food shelf during construction.

Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, said it was a bi-partisan effort to secure funding thanks to Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester,

Clausen was able to get $450,000 from the bonding bill to help pay for the expansion.

Rosemount Mayor Bill Droste gave credit to the Rosemount City Council for its efforts to fund the city’s share.

The city originally built the facility in 1997 for $214,000 and 360 Communities has been operating it since it opened in 1999. The total cost of the expansion is about $977,000.

The expansion will triple the size of the facility and will help the center “provide safety and stability to people’s lives,” Mortensen said.

“The expansion is going to allow us to improve community health by providing more fresh and nutritious food,” Mortensen said. “It’s going to allow us to do more programming to support victims of domestic and sexual violence. It supports kids being successful in school and on time graduation rates.

“It’s going to increase our long-term stability work preventing homelessness.”

The food shelf hours at The Well will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays. The Well is a United Methodist Church located at 14770 Canada Ave. W. It’s only a few blocks from the current Family Resource Center at 14521 Cimarron Ave. W.

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