Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to your questions!

In Swahili, Ujamaa means “familyhood” and “cooperative economics.” At Ujamaa Place, its meaning refers to a brotherhood dedicated on taking care of each other through programming that stabilizes and transforms the lives of the most marginalized population in society, African American men aged 18-30.

Ujamaa Place has served primarily African American men aged 18-30 from the Twin Cities’ seven-county metropolitan area since 2010. A significant number of these young men come to Ujamaa Place living at the lowest end of the socio-economic spectrum, due to a variety of factors, but particularly in the areas of education, employment training and workforce development. Ujamaa Men are committed to working collectively to improve their situations in these critical spaces.

The Theory of Transformation™ is a journey focused on education, stabilization and sustainability through wraparound services that help to reverse the systemic trauma of being born into generations of poverty and inequality.

Enrolling into the program model, each Ujamaa Man begins with stabilization services by having a high-context coach assigned to them. Initial mentoring and coaching sessions result in an Individual Transformation Plan (ITP) that gives the men access to 37 support services at no charge.

Ujamaa Place draws a straight line from education disengagement to homelessness and joblessness. Ujamaa Place serves a population of extreme disadvantage living in extreme poverty concentrated areas where over 40% of the population lives below the federal poverty guidelines. Poverty is the root cause of increased crime in communities served by Ujamaa Place. Ujamaa Place knows that the living wage is over $18.00 for basic needs for a Ujamaa Man who cares for at least one child.

Enrolling in the Theory of Transformation™ is a dedication to obtaining the education, resources and awareness necessary to combat these factors and lead away from poverty, crime and other limiting factors.

Enrollment in the Theory of Transformation™ is a voluntary commitment to participate in stabilization programming starting with foundational elements rooted in African American culture.  Ujamaa Men interact with determinants of self-transformation that follow a pathway of academic and employment skill and life skills development, leading to ultimate outcomes due to the Ujamaa Place experience. All men attend an information session to learn about the program commitment and to meet the coaches in person to understand their commitment. Info Sessions are every Wednesday at 10 am.

Transformation is unique to each man enrolled and depends on the needs required to stabilize each participant. Many factors dictate transformation, including housing, family, community, employment, education, health and wellness.

The community can support Ujamaa Men through donations and support services, from mentoring and tutoring to childcare and hygiene products. Just as important, providing second chances through employment and housing partnerships makes a critical difference. Contact us today to discuss how to help!

Per a 2022 report by the Constellation Fund, Ujamaa generated $4.22 for every dollar invested.

This return comes from more than $9 million in increased wages and improved health for all participants through various educational programs. Returns also come from mental health referrals and assistance in achieving GEDs. The cost of generating these additional earnings, health and education benefits is approximately $2.2 million. Based on existing evidence, we assume that employment training programs impact future earnings as far as three years after participation. All earnings are estimated, accounting for employment and wage rates of sub-populations served by the program (e.g., previously incarcerated, disability, and race). Estimates also account for the expected or observed duration of employment and hours worked. Benefits are also derived from mental health care services and educational programming, leading to increased earnings and improved health.

With your help, Ujamaa Place provides programming within a holistic, community environment that assists men with mental and chemical health wellness, achieving stable housing, re-engaging with their families, attaining work and life skills essential to self-sufficiency, with a strong focus on education, work-entry programming, specific skills training, employment retention and personal financial management.

Still have questions? Contact us today!