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

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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 openhandsfoundation.com or contact Denny: 612.327.6800, denny.laufenburger@openhandsfoundation.com