Sam Blackwell Sr. Program Officer, Household Stability

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Inspiration: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

What working in this community means to me: “I love living in the Twin Cities and all the amazing opportunities it offers, but we also know that the success of our region isn’t felt by many. I believe that we are up against people-created problems, and that solutions to those problems are community-created. I am so grateful to be able to support and be part of those solutions.”

Sam oversees all of United Way’s program and systems work related to preventing and ending homelessness. He partners with donors, community organizations, government, coalitions and community members to support people who are experiencing homelessness in achieving their goals. Sam also works on United Way’s Arise Project, one of the largest pools of funding for LGBTQ issues in Minnesota which supports LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.

Prior to joining United Way in April of 2014, Sam worked at a number of United Way’s nonprofit partners in education and supportive services, and he brings that direct service experience into his work today. Sam has also volunteered for many local political campaigns, including a long-term volunteer gig with the OutFront Minnesota PAC. He is a co-founder of the Better OUTcomes Initiative, which aims to increase the amount of philanthropic funding for LGBTQ communities and people, and is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. Sam graduated from the University of Minnesota.

Outside of work, Sam enjoys running around the lakes, cooking and baking, and watching and re-watching episodes of Star Trek. He hosts a weekly relationship advice podcast, and otherwise spends his time reading, learning, and with friends and family. Sam and his partner, Peter, live in Minneapolis.

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