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MinnCAP 2013-2014 Best Practices Awards

Minnesota Community Action Partnership

Community Action Agencies develop new ways to battle poverty

MinnCAP 2013-2014 Best Practices Awards

The Minnesota Community Action Partnership collaborates with the University of Minnesota College of Human Education and Human Development, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Office of Economic Opportunity for the Best Practices awards - read the MinnCAP Press Release.

What is a Minnesota Community Action Partnership Best Practice?

A Minnesota Community Action Partnership Best Practice is a program, project, process, procedure or strategy that has been deemed by a University of Minnesota College of Education & Human Development evaluation team to meet the following criteria:
  1. Measurably improves the efficiency or effectiveness of customer service or support systems;
  2. Is an innovative or creative solution to the problem addressed by the “practice”;
  3. Has a reasonable plan for long-term sustainability in funding and community support;
  4. Exemplifies true collaboration with community partners; and
  5. Is replicable with modification in other Community Action Agencies.

A Promising Practice has met the same criteria but has existed for less than one year, therefore has not yet obtained the significant measurable results of a Best Practice.

2013-2014 Award Winners

The judges for the awards reviewed nominations based on documented outcomes, innovation and replicability. Bonus points were awarded to projects involving community collaborations.  Eight agencies were honored 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 2014 award-winners were singled out for creating initiatives that provide measurable outcomes.

Read a brief description of each practice and its impact: MinnCAP 2013-2014 Best Practices Awards.

Best Practice

Caries Away! - Oral health initiative focusing on low-income, high-risk infants, toddlers, and pregnant women across rural northeastern Minnesota.
Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency

Financial Opportunity Center – Bundled approach to providing services, which has allowed our program participants to ultimately have better outcomes.  Main services coordinated are employment services and coaching, green jobs, financial services and coaching, free tax prep, income supports, and community engagement.
Community Action Duluth

Focus Lease Program - Enables working but low-income people to lease new, economical autos at low cost.
Minnesota Valley Action Council

Housing Development - Spring Creek Townhomes in Northfield - A new 28-unit family rental townhome development was a collaborative project, which fulfilled community goals of utilizing a distressed property, adding much-needed affordable rental housing for families with children, and creating a model development that demonstrates attractive, energy efficient design.
Three Rivers Community Action

WCMCA Institutional Community Work Crew – WCMCA partnered with the Department of Correction and the Douglas County Jail to provide Minnesota State Inmates with carpentry experience to assist in the transition to life on the outside.  The Work Crew built 115 affordable and numerous other community projects.
West Central Minnesota Communities Action

Food Security Program – Western Community Action has taken a stand against hunger. In the last five years, Western Community Action has implemented multiple strategies that incorporate the utilization of existing resources while dramatically increasing capacity to serve those in need.
Western Community Action Inc.

Promising Practice

Fatherhood Partnership Program – Resources and programming are made available for dads to support their role as a parent in their young children’s lives.
Anoka Community Action Program Inc.

Executive Director Services Agreement – A unique partnership between the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) and KOOTASCA Community Action for shared services, culminating in shared Executive Director services, has the potential to strengthen regional Community Action services, conserve resources, and increase efficiencies across both organizations.
KOOTASCA Community Action

Lincoln Park Farmers Market – Lincoln Park is a "food desert" by USDA definition, meaning that it has a poverty rate over 20% and no supermarket within a mile.  Because of this, their low-income neighbors struggle to purchase food for their families.  In response, Community Action Duluth’s Seeds of Success urban farming program started the Lincoln Park Farmers market in June 2013.
Community Action Duluth

Food Hub – MVAC is launching a food hub to make fresh, healthy, locally grown food readily available to institutions, retailers and consumers in its nine-county region.  This new, self-sustaining initiative will create jobs, boost the income of dozens of small-farm families (one quarter of which are low-income), and provide support for the regional economy. In addition, it will increase the flow of local food to food shelves and school backpack programs and enable SNAP recipients to maximize their benefits.
Minnesota Valley Action Council

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