Skip to main content

Simpson Housing Services Records

Identifier: M/A 0400

Description of Contents

The records include print photographs, promotional video footage, board of directors’ material, committee memos and minutes, administrative and financial documents, event and meeting files, correspondence, pamphlets and other promotional material, and publications created or compiled by Simpson Housing Services (SHS) between their inception in 1982 to 2016.

The records include named subject files and three series, the largest being the Media series, which contains a large collection of print photographs documenting the shelter space at Simpson United Methodist Church, the people receiving service from SHS, the yearly homeless memorial service and march, construction and renovation to the shelter space, SHS outreach events, and multiple SHS “Kids First” activities. The 1992 shelter facility renovation is especially well-documented.

Items not organized into series consist of advertisements, pamphlets, printed outreach materials, permits, applications, zoning agreements, newsletters from 1994-2010, and newspaper clippings pertaining to Simpson Housing Services.

Additional descriptive information is included at the beginning of each series.


  • Creation: 1982 - 2016



The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours.


Founded in 1982 in the basement of Simpson United Methodist Church (2740 1st Ave S, Minneapolis), Simpson Housing Services (SHS) is a nonprofit organization and emergency shelter that provides assistance to people experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. The majority of their service recipients live in Hennepin County. Since 1982, SHS has offered a breadth of betterment and improvement programming focused on providing shelter, rehabilitation, and ongoing counseling to those experiencing homelessness. SHS’s “Kids First” program involves after-school childcare, student events, and field trips. SHS also works to increase visibility and understanding of homelessness, distributing a quarterly newsletter and organizing a yearly Homeless Memorial Service and March, where participants carry signs with the names of those who have died while homeless.

SHS is led by a small core team of employees, an executive board of directors, and a network of volunteers. SHS often works with community organizations and local companies including realty firms and mortgage banking providers for fundraising events (silent auctions, comedy nights, donation drives) and more direct volunteer events (sandwich-making crews, cleaning teams, food drives).

In 2019, Simpson Housing Services became the official owner of the Simpson United Methodist Church building. They plan to tear down the existing structure to build a 5-story shelter with offices more suited to the needs of those they help and their employees.


5.53 Linear Feet (11 boxes, 1 oversized folder, negatives)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

This collection was donated by Simpson Housing Services in April 2021 as accession accession 2021.33.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Michael Valdez in June 2022. Processing was financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Simpson Housing Services Records
Michael Valdez
July 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.