Good Leadership & a Little “Magic” Inspire Kathy & Doug Andrus to be Journey Home Circle Members — 

Last week Doug and Kathy Andrus, Clare Housing volunteers and Journey Home Circle members, received an unexpected invitation.

It was Kathy who answered the phone. “Hey Kathy, is Doug there?” Sam Granum, lead caregiver at Agape Dos asked. “Alicia would like to invite him to a Twins’ Game.” For Doug and Kathy, this was a very special invitation.

Twelve years ago, it was Kathy who first connected to Clare Housing. She was interested in joining a board, but she was discerning about who to get involved with.

Doug and Kathy Andrus

Doug and Kathy Andrus, Clare Housing Journey Home Circle Members

It wasn’t enough to have a great cause, Kathy was looking for excellence — an organization that meant well, and also did well in terms of its leadership, programming and financial management. Kathy reports that she found all that in Clare Housing.

“Both through my board service and our personal connection to residents through our supper club volunteer work, Doug and I have seen firsthand what stable housing and medication management does for residents.

“Clare Housing has demonstrated that they know how to do housing, and Doug and I hope to attract more people to support this cause as Journey Home Circle members,” Kathy says.

As Journey Home Circle members, Doug and Kathy have made a commitment to making a yearly financial investment in Clare Housing for a total of 5 years.

So why was the call that Doug and Kathy got last week so special? It was one of those wonderful instances where a resident is able to treat a volunteer to an outing, thanks to the generosity of another donor who recently gave residents tickets to some upcoming Twins baseball games.

“Doug and Alicia have a connection in part thanks to the Twins,” Kathy reported. That connection didn’t come easy. As Kathy disclosed during our interview, their relationship with Alicia, a resident at Agape Dos did not come easy. It was many months after Kathy and Doug began volunteering as cooks at the care home that Alicia finally began to spend time with them.

Doug performs a magic trick with staff member Lori at the 2015 Holiday Party.

Doug performs a magic trick with staff member Lori at the 2015 Holiday Party.

“From what I know life hasn’t been easy to Alicia,” Kathy explains. “She’s dealt with a lot of obstacles in her life, and she’s understandably not a happy camper sometimes. It took a while to establish a rapport.”

What helped Alicia come out of her shell? Magic. As it turns out, Kathy’s husband Doug is a “fledgling magician” as Kathy describes it.

“Doug performs three different tricks each month,” Kathy shared. “Alicia always eyeballs Doug’s hand and tries to figure out what’s going on. Sometimes the tricks work very well…sometimes they don’t. Alicia always gives an honest critique,” Kathy laughed. “They’re also both Twins Fans, so each month they’re able to catch up on that.”

“We have a really deep affection for all the residents we cook for at Agape Dos. Our volunteer time is just two and a half hours a month, but the genuine connection we get out of that time is priceless. We truly receive more than we give,” Kathy says.

Thanks so much to Kathy and Doug Andrus for being supporters of Clare Housing for over a decade, and making the commitment to be Journey Home Circle members. We are so grateful for the Andrus’ for having such faith in the power of affordable, supportive housing to make positive outcomes for the men and women living with HIV here at Clare Housing.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Journey Home Circle member, please contact Jim Seas, our Director of Community Engagement, at or 612.236.9517.