Open Hands Foundation is in Good Hands: Meet the New Executive Director Denny Laufenburger


Denny Laufenburger may already be a familiar face to you. He recently served as the mayor of Chanhassen. He is also the public address announcer for Chanhassen High School. Denny has volunteered in many capacities here at Westwood including as Leadership Board Chair and interim Executive Pastor following the unexpected passing of Jim Anderson two years ago. 

In March, he was named as the Executive Director for the Open Hands Foundation. The Open Hands Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify the unmet needs of the southwest Twin Cities area and meet them. 

The first pressing need they identified was homeless youth. On any given night, it is estimated that at least nine young people are homeless in the community. Often this is due to family conflict, substance abuse or mental health issues.

The Hope House opened in 2016 in response. It is located on the Westwood Chanhassen campus and provides counseling, services and shelter for teens ages 14-19. It can accommodate 6 teens overnight.  Since opening in 2016, Hope House has positively impacted the lives of over 1,300 teens. 

For Denny, being involved with Open Hands Foundation is a perfect fit. “It is my joy and my honor to serve others. In this new role, I am excited to be on the front lines of ensuring the work of the Open Hands Foundation continues to serve the community well,” he shared.

Denny says he relies on God for guidance and wisdom, and he is confident in what is ahead. “The future of the foundation is bright! Over the last three years we’ve clearly shown the importance of serving the needs of teens that are looking for a safe place to stay. These same teens also need coaching and mentoring to face issues related to careers, life issues, mental health or addictions. Now we have a great opportunity to meet additional challenges that they face.”

Volunteers, donations and financial gifts are all needed. “More than anything, we covet your prayers for the staff of the Hope House and for the lives of the young people that come. God is doing a great work,” Denny said. If you’d like to learn more about the ways you can help, visit or contact Denny: 612.327.6800,

Provide a Merry Christmas at Hope House

Help make the holidays bright by giving a gift to Hope House. 

ALL donations accepted at Westwood Community Church.  Please deliver to the main entrance visitor desk.  Label all donations for Hope House.  Thank you!
Household Needs:

  • 4 Slice Toaster

  • Coat Rack

  • Wall Clock for Bedroom

  • Pencil Sharpener

  • Dish Towels and Cloths

  • Muffin Tin

  • Flash Light

  • LED LightBulbs

  • New Pots and Pans

  • Bedroom Night Lights

    Teen Needs:

  • Back Packs

  • Black Leggings for Girls 

  • Underwear for Boys and Girls

  • Hoodie Sweatshirts for Boys and Girls
    Boys/Mens's T-Shirts, Polo Shirts
    Most of the teens who arrive at Hope House have no possessions with them.

    Activity Needs:

  • Arboretum Membership

  • Chaska Community Center Passes

  • Chanhassen Cinema Passes

  • Gift Cards to Restaurants

  • Gift Cards to Salons

  • Gift cards help create some normal activities for teens staying in the shelter.

    General Gift Cards:

  • Target
    Cub Foods
    These gift cards help the staff meet specific needs within the shelter.