TWIN CITIES COMMUNITY VOICE MAIL

Rating: 5 stars   14 reviews

Issues: Job Training, Homeless & Housing, Human Services

Location: 1821 University Ave Ste N-184 St. Paul MN 55104 USA

Mission: MissionTwin Cities Community Voice Mail: facilitating communications services to encourage self-determination and stronger community connections for people in need.  We lead in finding innovative ways to use communications technologies to provide opportunities for people in need to forge new connections to the community and to one another. These connections enhance dignity and independence and contribute to success. The foundation of our work is the unique model of active involvement of our participants and our community partners. They are encouraged to have a voice in the continued operation of the organization.  
Geographic areas served: State of Minnesota
Programs: 1) Twin Cities Community Voice Mail free, individualized voice mail services to low income and homeless people so that they are able to put their own telephone number on resumes as they see jobs, apartment and housing application, and leave it with health care professionals, their children's schools, family and friends. This is done in partnership with over 350 non-profit and government agencies across the state of Minnesota. Over 53,000 people have used this service since we began in 1994; 2) Linkages is a no-cost transitional program to assist those who achieved their goals while using TCCVM, but who still need short-term help until they can afford phone service. Over 1000 people have used this service since it began in 2001. 3) Through our voice mail system, we are able to offer people who are homeless in the Twin Cities Metro area the ability to access information on available emergency shelters and transitional housing through our toll-free Metro Shelter Hotline.About 10,000 calls are made to this hotline ech year.

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

TCCVM provides a basic communication tool to enable individuals to help themselves. The statewide service area involving 100's of local community agencies and serving over 50,000 people since its inception is operated by fewer than 4 FTE staff! Beyond the basic service TCCVM also sponsors several outreach activities important to the health and welfare of its constituency. I'm proud to be a supporter. Keep up the good work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their outreach events specifically: Stand Downs that help veternas/homeless veterans and their families; Project Homeless Connects in both Minneapolis and St Paul.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a fundation or donor to donate money for their day to day operantions including staff.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to help those who need voice mail the most.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

current and former users of voicemail, staff and board of directors. Sometimess their friends and family would also volunteer.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bridge the technological gap. Meaning provide not just cellphones but laptops to help those who are low income and homeless receive messages and e-mails from potential employors. Soemthing most of us take for granted.

Ways to make it better...

no changes. They're very organized and are usually one of the last if not last agency to leave the events.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of funding for day to day operations including staff.

One thing I'd also say is that...

they are unique and forward thinking. They are always thinking of how new technolgy can also benefit those who need it the most and either have limited access to it or no access at all.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I have worked on the Board of Directors for over 10 yrs., and I personally can tell you it has been a pleasure working for and with TCCVM. I wish I could've stayed with them longer, but atleast this way, thru e-mails, I can still be kept in touch with them. If I could go back I would do it in a heartbeat! They are a great team to have fun and be around with and I wouldn't change anything about them!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Fun and honest to be with. They really are and I would'nt have it any other way. They're perfect for TCCVM!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Before I was able to get and maintain a cell phone for personal and business usage. Twin Cities Community Voice Mail gave me a number to use. Also I want to mention that Edward Petsche has always sent me ontime e-mail confirmations on what details were going on with this organization. Thank You!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

contact other major cities throughout the country and help them use the same system.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I've been helping TCCVM with their technology for two years. I know Their service really helps people get out of poverty because they actually evaluate their services. They even have focus groups with their clients to find out how to improve their services

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the results of their client focus groups

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They really care about what their clients need

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very helpful and very dedicated

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create a great program to provide pre-paid cell phones for people who are homeless. This would help them get jobs, get housing and stay in touch with their families and support networks.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

This is a terrific organization that is providing a simple, but much needed service to the members of our community most in need.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing the stories of those whose lives have improved as a direct result of this service.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the total commitment of all of the staff and volunteers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide cell phones to all those in need and at risk for homelessness, unemployment, and safe living.

Ways to make it better...

we had more volunteers and more money to cover all of the need.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

staying funded in tight economic times - like all other very critical services.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this organization is run well on a very small budget - the impact is really significant.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Prior to getting a cell phone the free voice mail service provided by TCCVM was my primary phone number. It proved invaluable in countless ways including helping me secure employment and stay in contact with friends and relatives. I am now a Board member and I can see that that the service provides for others the benefits I received.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways; as a client I had a much need phone message service. As a Board member I have enjoyed the openness of the TCCVM leadership.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Better technology

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Participating in policy decisions.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, friendly, encouraging

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

pursue issues of Media justice and work to combat negative, inaccurate stereotypes of the poor and homeless. Institute a cell-phone and internet access program for low-wealth and homeless people. Continue its efforts to promote political advocacy.

Ways to make it better...

Cell phone service as well as voice mail were available

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Keeping up with rapidly expanding technological needs

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I'm an attorney who has provided legal advice and services for homeless people at events such as Project Homeless Connect. In the course of addressing legal issues, we urge phoneless clients to sign up for voice mail services through TCCVM. This simple communications tool helps them stay in touch so that they can receive information and messages about their case and their legal rights.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting and working alongside clients who have used (and are using) the service, as well as professionals from other agencies that partner with us.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated, knowledgeable, egalitarian, enthusiastic.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been signing our clients on to voice mail through TCCVM since its first day in 1994. To this day it is a simple and essential service that connects them with vital services, job and housing leads, and supportive community. That bit of 'normalcy' provided by a phone number of their own is invaluable.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they are entirely focused on the clients. The staff goes out of its way to make voice mail available and to listen to the needs of the people, too.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have worked with people returning to the community from prison for 12 years. TCCVM is one of the first services I get a client enrolled in. They need to be reachable by phone and without a job they can't take on a bill for a cell phone. It is so easy to set clients up and help them with this free service. They have the phone number for six months and it is their voice on the message.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Clients will contact us after they have found a job. Our Re-Entry agency provides bus cards and clothing vouchers to clients that have been in our programs while in prison or the local jail. This phone service can help them stay in contact with parole.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It dream is to be able to provide cell phones to clients. The pay telephones are quickly disappearing from our Twin Cities area. Many business no longer have them and it is hard to find them on the sidewalks. This would provide men and women a phone.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I moved to Minnesota in 12/05 into a battled women shelter. I came here with only the clothes on my back. Soon after I moved here I was introduced to TCCVM, which provided me with a voice mail. This voice mail connection helped me in obtaining employment, the rest is history. Now I'm on the Advisory Board committee. I know this is a great organization thru experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

obtaining employment.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

networking.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very positive and informative.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach more people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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