ABOUT US

Down Home serves families in Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota, who are transitioning from homelessness into housing.  Down Home works with community agencies to refer families who qualify for Down Home's service. Down Home works closely with the referral agency and the client in preparation and anticipation of the move in date.  Down home gathers all the necessary items to transform an empty space into a home to embrace, well suited for family security, comfort, and time together. Each client creates a Pay It Forward Plan to be involved in the community and continue to make connections for success.  Down Home is empowering lives one home at a time. 

During the first year after the reveal, Down Home remains in communication with each family.  Every family served over the year is invited to our Down Home Christmas celebration in December. Families experience the sites, smells, activities, and laughter of the joyful season, and they even get to go home with a tree package.      Down Home is committed to continuing the empowerment of family security and involvement in the community.  

Meet The Team

Jake & Jenessa Fillipi Family

Co-Founders & Directors

Down Home Followers, Supporters and Visionaries,

Down Home has been a long time coming. Jake and I both grew up on farms and enjoyed small town living. Our basic comforts provided a down-home feel.  We grew up in Christian homes, listening to the band Alabama and seeing down-home values being lived out, "Where they know you by name and treat you like family."  

Jake and I married in 2002, and even from our first years, we have felt called to combine our gifts and talents to serve others. Fast forward 15 years, 4 children, and 3 homes later, we shared a Divinely-inspired vision with our children that forged forward into action, and Down Home became an official non-profit in November 2017. By trade, Jake is a handyman. He is practical, innovative, sincere, hard working, faith-filled, perseverant, patient, and he believes in the power of the human spirit. I, Jenessa, love being an elementary school counselor, and there has been a tug at my heart to take one of my other loves, interior decorating, and do something with it to serve others. We definitely don't claim to have it all figured out, yet we claim inner strength and conviction to be bold and push ourselves to leave a lasting legacy for our family, community, and other families who are called to join in Down Home's mission.  Come be movers and shakers with us as we empower lives and transform empty spaces into comfortable homes for families transitioning from homelessness into housing in our community.

Sincerely,

Jenessa & Jake Fillipi

Hannah Cody

Social Media & Connections Intern

Hannah has lived in Fargo for about 10 years and is currently a senior at NDSU studying to become a teacher. When she's not in class you can find her staying active, spending time with family/friends, as well as trying out local places around town! Hannah has always had a soft spot for non-profits  and once she heard about Down Home, she couldn’t wait to get involved somehow. She has enjoyed getting to know both the team and clients. She is excited to continue to impact lives and fulfill a great need in the FM area.

Jill Waslaski

Board of Directors

Bio coming soon!

Deb King

Connections & Committees

Bio coming soon!

Matthew Bye

Warehouse Coordinator & Guru

Bio coming soon!

Charlene Kuznia

Administrative Assistant

Charlene's position is to help with the Down Home mission in creating relationships with our donors and clients, being the face of DH when folks walk in the doors with donations, organizing donated furniture and décor, managing records and bookkeeping, coordinating volunteers, arranging and creating home furniture and décor for our clients new home move ins. As you can tell, Charlene wears many hats in a given day. She looks forward to every one of them as an opportunity to serve another person in need. Dignity of each person is as the forefront of her work.

Charlene is originally from the farming community of Argyle, MN and has recently moved, along with her husband, to Frazee, MN.  She was employed as a Personal Banker at KodaBank of Stephen, MN for over 40 years before becoming a part of the Down Home team and its mission. Charlene served many customers over all those years, and she took pride in being able to help them with their financial and banking needs. Yet, she states, "I have to brag even more that serving and helping the homeless and less fortunate in our community is very humbling and rewarding. It surpasses all feelings of gratitude." She is quoted as saying to our clients, "It is our honor to serve you."

Melissa Anderson

Board of Directors

Secretary

Growing up in this community, Missy graduated from Moorhead High School and MSUM. In 2008 she received her master’s degree in School Counseling and works at Shanley High School. She is married to her husband Kyle and has 3 children. As a family they enjoy time at the lake- relaxing, taking golf cart rides in the country and time on the water.  It is an honor to be a member of the Down Home team and to have the opportunity to make an impact in the FM community.

Kristie Eid

Board of Directors

Kristie is an active volunteer in the Fargo-Moorhead community and has been a Down Home Board Member since 2018. Growing up in a small central Minnesota town she experienced the importance of helping others in your community and has learned how rewarding that can be.

Since working in marketing and interior decorating for Eid-Co Homes, Kristie understands the need for families “to have a home to embrace” and grow together. When she discovered Down Home, she was immediately drawn to the organization and it’s founders, and knew it would be a good fit for her to help out the community.

Kristie has M.A. in Speech Communication from NDSU. She has lived in the F-M area for 20 years and is married to Jason. They have 3 children: Emily 22, Paige 15, Thomas 13. Kristie’s favorite activities include spending time at the lake, traveling, working on projects with friends or family and decorating.

Kristie has been involved with the American Heart Association, has held various positions within her church and children’s schools, and is currently is a trustee for the Home Builders Care Foundation of Fargo-Moorhead.

Chris Welsand

Marketing & Development

Chris moved to the Fargo area in 2013 with her husband and daughter. She has a B.S. in Corporate and Community Health from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a Master's Degree in Communication from Bethel College. Her professional experiences have been in fitness, health education, fundraising, communication, management and photography. Chris enjoys combining her education, experiences, skills, and passions into volunteer work for non-profits in her community.

Chris is thrilled to be a part of the Down Home team, helping make a difference to families transitioning out of homelessness into permanent housing.

Bill Bienek

Board of Directors

Bill has been a resident of the Fargo community since 1998. He attended NDSU where where he earned his bachelors degree in human performance and fitness and a masters degree in Business Administration (MBA). Bill served in the North Dakota Army National Guard from 1997-2006 with one deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004.  After returning from overseas in 2004, Bill started a career in real estate and later in 2009 became an insurance agent with Farmers Union Insurance and has been with Farmers Union Insurance for 10 years.

Kyle Froslie

Board of Directors

Treasurer

Kyle grew up near Barnesville MN and graduated from MSUM with a business degree in 2002 before entering the banking / finance industry where he continues to work.  Kyle is currently VP of Agribusiness and Capital Markets at AgCountry Farm Credit Services in Fargo ND. Married to his wife Desiree since 2004, the couple has three active children.  Hobbies are very much centered around the many youth sporting activities his 2 boys and 1 girl are involved in including hockey and baseball.  Any leisure time is spent with family, reading or strength training.  Kyle adds value to his board position at Down Home through a knowledge of accounting, budgeting, and finance.  “Down Home is a great opportunity to give back to those that are less fortunate and find themselves in difficult circumstances. The experience of providing beds and furniture to a family that has none is very rewarding.”

Kirstin Schiotz

Connections & Committees

"DH Junkie"

Kirstin has lived in Fargo since graduating from Concordia College with a degree in elementary education.  She delights in teaching and molding the lives of her Super Stars at a local elementary school.  When Kirstin isn’t laughing and hanging out with family or friends, she enjoys reading and stamping.  Being a Down Home Junkie has given her an extraordinary way to live out her faith.  For her, there is no greater high than helping the Down Home Team “transform an empty space into a place to embrace” for another one of God’s children.

Down Home is a 501(c)3 organization.

© 2019 by down-home.org

Down Home

2102 12th St. N.

Fargo, ND 58102

701.532.1488