Somali Multi Service is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to promote the Somali communities in Minnesota assistance in their educational, cultural, health, housing, and employment needs. Through partnerships with local community groups and volunteers, Somali Multi Service provides social programs and services. Core annual programs include neighbourhood Tours and integrating into the American society.
Along with programs that SMS is actively creating, is one that is an outgrowth of a successful ten-year grassroots volunteer-driven recreation program, providing a positive alternative for Somali youth that deters involvement in unhealthy and unlawful activities. The Somali Basketball League (SBL) is offered year-round to youth (ages 6-18) Monday through Friday between 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The recreation program, formerly known as Somali Youth Development Center (SYDC), is intended to teach Somali youth about nutrition (dinner is served) and other healthy habits that support a positive lifestyle and educational enrichment. Over 200 participants have received coaching and organized playing time in basketball and soccer games in addition to an annual tournament. The SBL has benefitted from past support from the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities, Somali Action Alliance, Phillips Community Center, and local businesses. It has had a relationship with the Stearns County Juvenile Court system, in which Somali youth involved in the court system have been referred for participation. The volunteer-led program has in its past been characterized by a decrease in the number of Somali youth involved in criminal activity, and an improvement in school grades. This was measured and tracked by probation officers regarding the number of youth participating in the outreach program that were subsequently not involved in the criminal justice system again, and included feedback from teachers and parents.