Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Letter from the Director

April 2015

Dear Dakota House friends and community, 

Thank you for your support of Dakota House, where we continue to love kids and families in one of Fresno’s most challenging neighborhoods. We have been here for fifteen years, now; sometimes I think about how many kids have walked through our door, and it’s astounding to consider. 

I want to give you an update of our staff and volunteers. I’m feeling very good about DH these days, and am grateful for the people God has called to our community center to love and serve our neighborhood.  


Our Resident Staff is comprised of two incredible young men: Andres Martinez and Christan Williams. 

Andres has been with us for a couple of years now, but has recently moved into the lead Resident Staff position. He has a great capacity for loving and nurturing our kids—especially our young men who see him as a role model and a trusted friend. Christan is newer to DH and is already establishing close and valued relationships with our kids. With the help of some volunteers like Luke Freeman and others, Andres and Christan run After School Club, Youth Group, DH Disciples, and more.

I have a new grandson, Mason, who lives in Oakland and needs his grandma sometimes, which is a wonderful new experience for me.  I graduated in May of 2014 with a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Fresno State, where I learned so much about writing, and the art of telling other people’s stories as well as my own. As you might well imagine, I have many great stories of the resilience of humanity after working all these years at Dakota House, and also recently teaching writing at the Fresno County Jail. I am beginning a new season of living and working part time in the bay area--I will be doing a lot of driving back and forth, still overseeing DH and also teaching and tutoring English in the city.

We have a faithful board of directors who have been with us for many years, now, and we are in need of and actively searching for new members. Please consider whether you are interested in joining our DH team. It is a privilege to be a part of Dakota House; I never tire of walking through that front door.  

We are also seeking more female volunteers, as we have recently lost some wonderful young women who are moving on to college or life in other cities and places. 
We need your financial support and prayers. We can’t continue to serve and love the kids that come to us without you.  

Thank you for continuing to uphold the children and families who want more for their lives, who need loving and prayerful encouragement, and who teach me more about life than I could ever have imagined. I am grateful for all the joy (and even the heartaches) in these many years; I look forward to more. 

In love,

Jamie Barker, Director and Founder 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thank You to Poverello House

Poverello House donated 8 new bikes to us! Not only that, but every Monday and Wednesday, they will be providing snacks for our after-school program. We are beyond thankful to God for this beautiful partnership.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Birthdays at DH After School Club

Birthdays are the besssst at Dakota House! Cake for snack time, everyone sings for you, you get to choose the game of the day, you get to close
prayer time... and last but not least, the cupcake smash!

Thank you for gyving to our kids to make these celebrations possible. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

DH at City Summit 2015

Dakota House had the honor of being highlighted at ‪#‎CitySummit2015‬ this weekend! There, we learned more about our city, were inspired by some amazing urban ministry leaders, and, of course, shared the heart of Dakota House.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jamie Barker, our amazing director, surprised us at after-school club today! Plenty of hugs, laughs, and lots of love all around Dakota House today.

Friday, January 16, 2015

After School Club

After School Club is one of the most consistent things we do here at DH, and for many of our kids it is their anchor, their safe place. Thank you so much for your support that provides this security for so many.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

We have much to be thankful for at Dakota House. Our Thanksgiving meal was possible only through the generous donations of you, our wonderful community. Because of you, we were also able to bless some of our neighbors with a turkey for their own Thanksgiving celebrations. Thank you. From the Dakota House family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow-Go 2014: Our Youth Group Thanks You

Thank you to those of you who supported our youth group; they had a great time at Calvin Crest's Snow-Go. The speaker was great, our kids amazed everyone (as usual), and they came home with wonderful memories and some important stuff to think about. It was more than just a weekend away from all they face at home. It was a weekend that infused hope.

Your support is crucial to the survival of Dakota House. If you would like to donate toward camp or After School Club supplies, or to help us stay in our facility, please send checks to: 

Dakota House
5132 N. Palm #62
Fresno CA  93704 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Every year at Dakota House we have a Christmas party. The kids go to the home of Brad and Jamie Barker (the director and her husband) where they sing Christmas carols to the passersby on Huntington Blvd, have pizza, homemade cookies and wassail, and just enjoy being together. Then we give the children gifts, and it is great fun to watch. 

Since some of these children will not receive anything else for Christmas, we try to make it as special as possible. We would like for each child to be handed a small gift and a shoebox. This is where we need your help.

For the kids' individual gifts, Target gift cards work best. We know the kids, and we can buy them something we know they will like. 

Please see the shoebox information below for instructions on how you can give a gift to a child who will hold in his or her hands a gift of love prepared by you and your family. 

Call DH at 559-230-1622 to set up a delivery time. 


Christmas Shoebox Project

Fill a shoebox with treasures and bring joy
to a needy child this Christmas.
Suggested Items:
{Your own ideas are welcome, too!}
No toy guns, knives, or candy that will melt. Food items must be individually wrapped.
gloves/mittens caps/stocking hats scarves underwear/ t-shirts/ socks flashlights/batteries small camera/film gift certificatesgum/hard candy/suckers nuts/sunflower seeds pencils/pencil case/small notepads/ rulers/ erasers
calculatorsbooks/coloring bookspens/markers/colored pencils/crayonsstickershair accessoriesshampoo/lotion/bath soapperfumebracelets/rings/ earrings/necklaceswrist watchsmall jewelry boxballs/jacks/marblesstuffed animalscomputer gamesplay doughslippers

Please wrap the lid and box separately and mark:

Boy • Girl


3-5 • 7-9 •10-12