Love without strings: TreeHouse Youth Outreach aims to make a positive impact in teens’ lives across the Twin Cities
Nearly 40 years ago, Robbinsdale Area Schools teacher and man of faith Fred Peterson left his position in search of going even deeper with students and formed TreeHouse Youth Outreach, a nonprofit organization designed to provide a safe environment while mentoring at-risk teens.
In 1984, the first location opened in New Hope. Today, there are eight other locations across the Twin Cities, including Plymouth, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Brooklyn Park, Chaska, Eagan, Bloomington, and Mahtomedi.
“It doesn’t matter what neighborhood you live in, there are hurting kids all over,” said Andy Swanda, TreeHouse’s vice president of advancement.
Swanda identified TreeHouse’s four main goals: reduce at-risk behaviors, build healthy relationships with God, self and others; graduate high school and pursue an educational or vocational track post-high school.
Youth between the ages of 13 and 18 come to TreeHouse, either through word-of-mouth from friends or referred by school counselors, explained Heather Carufel, area director for the TreeHouse-Plymouth/Wayzata location.
This August, TreeHouse Plymouth/Wayzata will celebrate 10 years at its home at Peace Lutheran Church in Plymouth.
This location serves an average of 20 to 25 teens each week, and more than 150 teens throughout the year.