Rebuilding lives, together

Thanks to a supportive community, we can work to rebuild lives and help men build a better future.


Better Futures was established in 2007 by a team, including Steve Thomas, then-president and CEO, and leaders of Minnesota agencies in the areas of health care, housing, workforce, community corrections, and human services practitioners. These leaders came together to answer one simple question: Which group of participants did they have the poorest outcomes serving? Overwhelmingly, the answer was men, primarily but not exclusively African American, who were chronically unemployed, chronically homeless, had multiple experiences with felony incarceration, and had untreated mental and behavioral health challenges.

Better Futures Minnesota was designed specially to work with this population to help propel these men toward a Better Future.

National Investors

Better Futures Minnesota’s development and success is due in large part to the financial support and advice provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and more recently, The Kresge Foundation.

RWJF was the first private funder to invest in our social enterprise and the Foundation has contributed funds to build and evaluate our integrated care model. Nancy Barrand, Senior Advisor for Program Development at RWJF says, “Through connecting former inmates to the jobs, housing, health services and social supports they need, Better Futures Minnesota is a powerful social enterprise that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and delivers better results.”

The Kresge Foundation is the second prominent national foundation to invest in our social innovation. Andrew Gatewood, Program Officer for Human Resources at Kresge states:

“We are deeply committed to increasing the capacity of high-performing, multi-service organizations in their ability to be innovative and effective. We are particularly impressed with Better Futures’ efforts to assist minority males upon release from prison by providing safe and affordable housing, behavioral health services, primary health care, employment, education and community engagement. We are hopeful that our support will assist in the further development and training of staff and introduce Better Futures Minnesota’s innovative social enterprise model to a national audience.”

We are grateful for the generous support from these two national investors.

Support our endeavor

You can help us transform lives and make an impact in the community.

Ways to support us