Meet the Team
There's a lot of heart that goes into making A Place For You everything that it is today. Here's a glimpse into the heartbeat of APFY!
Team Lead / Resident Advocate
I work at A Place for You in Pine City, Minnesota. My official title is Team Lead. Under this position, I act as the shelter manager and offer support to the staff and residents.
I also live in Pine City with my wife and four children. In the summer our family enjoys getting outside and visiting state parks and in the winter we enjoyed playing video games and watching Netflix. I grew up in central Minnesota an hour north of the Metro. Growing up my family experienced some of the same barriers that the clients I work with today are experiencing.
In 2006 I graduated highschool. I lived and worked in the same area I now serve. It wasn't until 2017 that I started school at Pine Tech in Pine City Minnesota. I then transferred over to the Cambridge Community College where I finished my associate's degree. Currently, I'm working on my bachelor's degree at Concordia Saint Paul. My major is psychology. I do not know what the future holds as far as education is considered. I do know that I am fascinated by people and that I will continue to learn and grow in this field.
My approach is building relationships. When it comes to any part of my job the relationship I have with the person I am working with determines my success. I strive to create a safe place for people to talk and express themselves without fear of judgment. Once there is a level of trust established then the real work can begin. This looks different for every person. I also call on my team at the shelter along with other agencies and the community to help remove barriers. There is no way to succeed alone, by building relationships and asking for help when it is needed I have found some success in my work.
Mental Health Practitioner
I have been married since July of 2020 to my husband Mason. We have 10 chickens, 3 dogs, and 3 cats. I originally grew up in rural Hutchinson, MN with my younger brother. I also have 3 stepbrothers and a wonderful stepmom who join our family in 2017.
Education: I have my Bachelor's of Science in Social Work from the University of North Dakota, and I am working on my Master's in Leadership and Management with the expectation to graduate in Feb 2021. I have future plans to get my doctorate but would like to take a break for a couple of years before pursuing more education.
Philosophy/Approach: I like to take the approach of mental health is important and they have to want it. I can't want it more than they do, but I'm here to provide resources when they do. I also believe that mental health is part of the person as a whole. If the body is out of whack it's hard to focus on the mind, and if the spirit/soul is struggling then aligning that is equally as important as the mind or body. I like to tell the residents I am the "connector ''. I will help connect them to a doctor, religious organization, addiction services, or therapist if they need/want it. I also tell them I am not a therapist. I am here to check in and make sure they have some to talk to about the transition because everyone has a story and I want to hear it
Bio Coming Soon...
Bio Coming Soon...
Kim Brubaken is a retired senior high guidance counselor. She retired from Pine City High School after 20 years. Prior to that, she was the director of the Employment & Training Center at Pine Technical College, which delivered welfare reform programs in a five county area. Kim has been a lifelong resident of Mora where she has been actively involved in youth mission trips and providing foster care for adolescent teenage girls. Kim has been an advocate for youth and adults while serving on several boards including her church and advocacy organizations in the Twin Cities.
Michelle grew up in White Bear Lake, MN and briefly lived in Michigan before making her home in North Branch with her husband and three children, where she's been for the last 25 years. She has degrees in Elementary and Secondary Education and nursing, as well as a Master's degree in Psychology. Michelle often calls herself a professional student! Early on, she taught middle school English, but now spends her time doing volunteer work in both the community and in her church. Michelle's passion is working with vulnerable populations, whether they be local or in other parts of the world. She is excited to be a part of such a great organization as A Place For You.
Deb grew up on a farm near Gonvick, a small town in northwestern Minnesota and has lived in Pine City since 1969. She has a degree in accounting from St. Cloud State University and recently retired from East Central Energy after a 24 year career in their finance department. Deb has been involved in volunteer activities within the community and church throughout the years. One that is very special to her is the Image Project. Through the efforts of all those involved the Masaii girls in Tanzania are getting an education. It was this group that inspired Deb to become involved with A Place for You.
Bio coming soon...
Tracy grew up in Pine City and currently resides in North Branch with her husband, two children, and three cats. She is the Planner for the Energy Assistance Program at the Minnesota Department of Commerce and teaches at Metropolitan State University. Previous work experience includes various positions with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Affairs Office and Case Manager with the Employment & Training Center at Pine Technical and Community College. Tracy has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Saint Thomas and a master’s degree in public administration from Metropolitan State University. She has also volunteered with several community organizations.
Bio & Picture Coming Soon...
Bio coming soon...
We Have Openings for Board Members!
Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings
Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work
Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time
Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports
Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus
Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts
Participates in fund raising for the organization