Featured Charity: The Camden Promise


What role does food play in inner-city community transformation? Simply put, it is the central component of this North Minneapolis nonprofit, which is addressing the needs of their neighbors, one person at a time.  The Camden Promise weekly Summer BBQ and daily Summer Awesome Summer Kids lunch and enrichment program have become important focal points for the entire Camden Community.

Nutritious food, happy kids, good jobs and safe, affordable homes...these are the key components of a thriving neighborhood. Subtract even one component and the neighborhood suffers. Add to it a leadership vacuum and a culture of disempowerment and the effects of urban decay take their toll on our North Minneapolis streets.  Here at The Camden Promise, we do more than make a stand against poor health, violence by our own against our own, lack of employable skills and condemned houses.  We advocate and provide for full tummies, we encourage successful kids, we help people recognize and develop their employable skills and we explore ways to bridge the home- ownership gap. We do all of this through the catalyst of community: People knowing and trusting each other working together for the good of our neighborhood.


We believe that we can build hope together. We believe that God has plans to give us a hope and a future and that with us and through us God will prosper all the Camden community.  We believe that together, we will fan the flames of community until Camden is transformed into a parish even more beautiful than it is

History: The Camden Promise began in 2011 as an outreach ministry of three congregations with shared worship space. Currently TCP has several partner congregations, community businesses and key community leaders who provide support and leadership for outreach efforts. The Camden Promise is located in the Camden Community of North Minneapolis. Boundaries are Lowry to the South, 53rd to the North, Xerxes to the West and the Mississippi River to the East. It is NOT part of the Northside Achievement Zone.

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The Camden Promise Programs

  • Client Choice Food Shelf - The only food shelf in the Camden Community, serving more than 400 families monthly. In addition, lunch is served to clients and their families.  
  • Perishable Food Distribution – Four times per week, families benefit from fresh food through surplus food donations from Target, Cub Foods, Rainbow, Bobby and Steve’s. 
  • Clothing Closet – Families served by the food shelf can “shop” for gently used clothing and other items they need.
  • “Breakfast and A Bag” – A weekly breakfast builds community and an additional food bag for each family helps put food on the table.
  • Hot Dog BBQ’s – A weekly community cook-out during summer provides food, a community gathering place and activities for children. 
  • Annual Block Party – Attended by over 350 people, this annual event has become the community’s favorite activity. Community residents now provide leadership.
  • Awesome Summer Kids (ASK) program – A summer educational program for 35 kids includes lunch.
  • Jobs Readiness Pilot Project 2012 - Using an existing jobs readiness program called HopeMakers, five people participated, of whom four are currently employed full-time, one part-time and one in school.
  • Wednesday Night Programing – Brings people together for a hot meal, tutoring for kids and activities for adults.
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Launching Summer 2014: The Camden Promise Opportunity Center is a unique, collaborative, four-part pilot program with the goal of addressing the chronic barriers to underemployment and unemployment. This approach brings together existing programs to: 1) establish an Employment Network, 2) expand capacity to reduce barriers to employment, 3) use life coach training and 4) put clients in contact with trained Opportunity Mentors.

This pilot will work with up to 20 clients from Camden and up to 20 Opportunity Mentors from two areas: Clinical Pastoral Education faith leaders/seminarians in Community and Social Justice settings and community lay leaders. The program will encompass group process learning, individual assessments, goal setting, accountability, training, life and jobs coaching, mentoring and site visits. 


The Camden Promise envisions a safe community filled with hearts willing to serve one another. We help our neighborhood move from a life of anxiety and scarcity to one of abundance, connection and community.


The Camden Promise mission is to meet people where they are at – one person at a time. We freely and abundantly offer nourishment for the body, mind and soul, fortified by God’s love.

Our annual fundraising event, The Spirit Moves was held Saturday, March 1 and brought together a diverse community of supporters, both suburban and urban, raising over critical funds for of the year. Lead for the past four years by Mary Cederberg and other well known community leaders, this event is currently identifying their leadership team for 2015. For additional information contact mary@thecamdenpromise.org.


The Camden Promise Board of Directors


Ben Knaus, Chair

Linda Omark, Vice-Chair

Bonny Wald, Secretary

Stephanie Steiner, Treasurer

Margit Lund

Joyce Turner

Pastor Jeff Nehrbass, Executive Director

Roxi Mork, TCP Program Director



For additional information contact: 

Pastor Jeff Nehrbass, TCP Executive Director at "mailto:prjeff@thecamdenpromise.org" ="mailto:prjeff@thecamdenpromise.org" rjeff@thecamdenpromise.org or (612) 521-5216.

The Camden Promise is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit serving the Camden Community of North Minneapolis. It is located at 4656 Colfax Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN, 55412.