People in Action: Sue Rosendahl, social worker
Written by Kassi Swiontek, Writing Intern for The Salvation Army Northern Division
Sue Rosendahl has been using her faith and compassion to make an impact for more than 30 years.
Rosendahl is a social worker at The Salvation Army’s satellite office in Blaine, Minn., where she oversees a food shelf and a host of programs that support people and families who are experiencing homelessness in Anoka County.
Her work is not easy, but it is highly gratifying.
“It is rewarding to see people go from a bad situation to stability,” said Rosendahl, adding that working with people in deep need has allowed her to see God’s power and grace.
One of Rosendahl’s favorite parts of her job is leading an Anoka County-funded program that helps homeless families to receive rental assistance.
“It means the world to me when families are finally back on their feet,” Rosendahl said.
She also enjoys distributing food from the food shelf – especially fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which are donated by the nearby Church of St. Timothy.
“They give squash, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other fresh foods,” said Rosendahl, noting that the food shelf serves about 25 people every weekday. “Fresh food is important – the people who come to this food shelf need to eat nutritious food.” (Help The Salvation Army offer more fresh produce.)
Rosendahl grew up in Stillwater. Her dad was a pastor and she attended church every week.
Her compassionate spirit and faith in Jesus led her to obtain a degree in social work from Bethel University. She loved her career choice, but after college she didn’t know what route to take – until she read a local newspaper and discovered a job posting from The Salvation Army. She applied for the job and got it. She was thrilled to be pursuing a career she loved, while working for a God-honoring organization.
Rosendahl started working for The Salvation Army of Minneapolis in 1985. In 1991 she took a break from working for The Salvation Army in order to raise her daughter. She returned to The Salvation Army in 1995, this time working as a social worker in St. Paul. Soon she was transferred to Anoka, where she’s been ever since.
Rosendahl couldn’t see herself working anywhere else. She is often moved to tears, she said, “when that personal connection happens and finally you see that people’s situations are changed.”
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