Minnesota Community Action Agencies Recognized for Innovative Programs to Address Poverty

Written in partnership with Minnesota Community Action Partnership & Rae Tamblyn, Research Assistant, NASCSP

Even after 50 years of service, Minnesota’s Community Action Agencies are developing new and innovative ways to provide opportunities for low-income families. The Minnesota Community Action Partnership – a consortium of Minnesota’s 26 Community Action Agencies – bestows Best Practices Awards bi-annually to agencies breaking new ground in the delivery of services to low-income people. The awards program is a model for other states seeking to coordinate community-based anti-poverty efforts and university systems. Eight agencies were honored March 11, 2014 for creating new initiatives designed to help people facing a wide array of issues, including chronic disease, lack of transportation and affordable housing, food insecurity, and recidivism.

The awards underline the urgency of creating innovative and efficient ways for Community Action Agencies to support families living in poverty and “recognize the extremely effective family-strengthening work of Community Action Agencies statewide,” said Catherine A. Solheim, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota College of Human Education and Human Development. “The hallmark of these programs are the tangible outcomes that demonstrate how people living in poverty are improving their lives.” The 2014 award-winners were singled out for creating initiatives that provide measurable outcomes, innovation and replicability, and focus on community collaborations.

For the full press release, criteria used for selection of the Best Practices awards, and a brief description of each winning Community Action Agency, please click here.