Meet Our Grantees



Community Health Assessment and Planning Process

The Community Health Assessment and Planning (CHAP) Process is a collaborative community effort led by Olmsted County Public Health Services, Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic Rochester and partnerships with multiple community organizations.  It is a continuous, triennial cycle that assesses our community's health; prioritizes our top community health needs; and plans, implements, and monitors/evaluates strategies to improve our community's health.

Partner: Olmsted County 

Independent Living Servives

The Bear Creek Independent Living Services (BCILS) program supports people who have disabilities to live in locations of their choosing, with people of their choosing. BCILS staff assist individuals in many areas of their lives, depending on the person's goals and needs at the time. For example, staff may assist clients with housekeeping, cooking, budgeting, personal hygiene, and healthcare management. Staff also help clients access public transportation so that they can connect with other community members. As a person’s needs change, the area of focus for the staff can change. This program allows for smoother transitions in schedule changes with our on-call 24-hour emergency assistance service. Bear Creek staff teach skills that allow people to do more things without staff assistance, so each person can be empowered to live as independently and safely as possible.  

Partner: Bear Creek Services  

Dental Home for Underserved Children   

The program serves children who lack dental insurance and who otherwise could not afford routine exams, dental cleanings, and comprehensive care. Staff use both school-based clinics and the CDHS office in Rochester to ensure that time, money, and transportation are not barriers to receiving care. By providing a full suite of free dental services during school visits and office follow-ups, CDHS is removing barriers to care and improving health equity for the youngest members of our community. 

Partner: Children’s Dental Health Services  

Pediatric Services  

The Pediatric Services program will provide routine vaccinations and other preventative care, acute medical care, and wrap-around social services for children in Olmsted County. This program will establish a pediatric clinic at CHSI's Rochester office with oversight from a board-certified pediatrician. They will also host monthly pediatric clinics with a special focus on children of immigrants, seasonal farm workers, and other uninsured patients. CHSI employs a diverse and dedicated group of clinical and support staff who understand the barriers to healthcare and actively work to make patients feel welcome and safe.  

Partner: Community Health Service, Inc 

Medical Transportation Program  

Each year, Elder Network staff coordinate approximately 1,850 rides for clients, prioritizing clients who live in low-income households and/or in rural areas of Olmsted County, those who are immigrants, and seniors who are BIPOC. Transportation is provided by volunteer drivers to and from crucial health care appointments such as medical, dental, and mental health appointments, medical equipment fitting appointments, and the pharmacy. Elder Network's Medical Transportation Program is tailored to the needs of seniors by breaking down typical logistic and financial barriers to service for seniors. Clients can book an affordable ride for a specific day and time and trust that a friendly volunteer will call to remind them the night before and be there to walk them door-to-door on the day of service. 

Partner: Elder Network  

Auxiliary Services for East African Women  

Pamoja Women offers monthly health education programming on health issues facing East African women, assists with navigation through healthcare resources, offers interpretation and provides transportation. Often, the people served by Pamoja Women don't understand how to access the healthcare they need, face language barriers that prevent them from receiving healthcare and particularly elders don't have transportation to access healthcare. The goal of the Pamoja Women Auxiliary Services program is to ensure that women and children of East African descent can understand and access the health and wellness resources available to them without barriers. The program offers monthly health education groups, individualized medical navigation services, interpretation, and transportation for medical appointments.

Partner: Pamoja Women (fiscal sponsor: Rochester Area Foundation)  

Street Medicine  

The Zumbro Valley Medical Society (ZVMS) Street Medicine Initiative brings healthcare out of the traditional clinical setting and directly to people experiencing unstable housing. It involves caring for individuals in their own environments, rather than requiring them to adapt to medicines conventional settings and structures. Central to their program is a recognition of the need to build trust and gain rapport in serving a population that has faced trauma and stigma. To achieve the ZVMS Street Medicine Initiatives goal of offering high quality, compassionate healthcare to people experiencing houselessness, they provide direct care through visits to encampments, under bridges, on street corners, and in other locations where people might be; and through specialized one-day clinics in the community throughout the year.  

Partner: Zumbro Valley Medical Society Foundation  


Partners in Early Childhood Education

We work with community partner that provide high-quality early childhood education and childcare, because positive early educational outcomes drive success later in life.

GNCC Early Learning

GNCC Early Learning provides high-quality childcare and early education to a diverse group of Rochester area families. United Way funding helps provide scholarships for families facing financial barriers, so every child has equitable access to the best start in life.

Partner: Good News Children’s Center

School Readiness

The School Readiness program provides preschool opportunities to prepare families and children for school success. School readiness offers benefits for families who may not be able to access quality early childhood educational opportunities on their own, including preschool scholarships, parent education, community referrals, and home visits. Partner preschools receive curriculum and assessment support.

Partner: Families First of Minnesota

Byron School Readiness

Byron School Readiness gives 3-5 year-old children access to preschool education, creating affordable education and childcare through tuition scholarships. Wrap-around care options ensure that children and families get the support they need to succeed.

Partner: Byron Public Schools

Gage East Early Childhood Program

The Gage East Early Childhood program is a two-generation model working with homeless parents and young children to meet social, emotional, and developmental outcomes early on, when the chance of having a deep impact is the greatest. Developing early relationships with parents builds a strong foundation that promotes healthy brain development, builds social and emotional skills, and supports language and literacy development. Interventions including parents are as important as focusing on children themselves to achieve positive health outcomes for children and increase stability for the whole family.

Partner: Center City Housing

Partners in Youth Empowerment

Our Youth Empowerment partnerships with middle and high school youth development programs were born out of a community driven process. We invite you to learn more about how members of our community identified youth development programming as an opportunity to support Black students and families, as well as meeting with applicants and recommending programs for partnership.

Junior CERT  

Junior C.E.R.T develops young leaders and supports them in getting involved in improving their community and schools, while growing their capacity to become agents of change. This program is about building a pipeline of leaders that will invest their strengths back into the Olmsted County community. Youth will participate in weekly group mentoring sessions and have the opportunity to learn from inspirational Black community members. 

Partner: Barbershop & Social Services  

Change You  

Change You’s programming provides one-on-one and group mentorship to middle and high school youth through sports and puts an emphasis on academic achievement. They meet twice a week for tutoring, workshops, and basketball practice. Through the game of basketball, youth will learn to trust others, communicate effectively, build self-confidence, and work towards common goals together. 

Partner: Change You (fiscal sponsor: Sports Mentorship Academy   

8 Steps to Promotion  

The 8 steps to promotion program is about equipping Black youth with the life skills they need to be successful. This program was designed from the leadership’s life experiences and what she wished she knew as a young Black woman. This program includes an 8 week workshop, mentorship, and resource navigation for youth and their families. Throughout participation, youth learn about themselves, their community, and how to build and maintain positive relationships.  

Partner: Journie (fiscal sponsor: Propel Nonprofits)   

After School Academic Program   

Life and Community Development Corporation’s after school program educates and empowers youth and their families for successful careers, healthy lifestyles, and well-balanced relationships. Their program provides tutoring, mentoring, educational advocacy support for families, and opportunities for middle and high school youth to be creative. They ensure Black students and their families have support navigating the school system, learning and celebrating their culture, and exploring the arts.

Partner: Life and Community Development Corporation    

Community-Based Sisters Save Sisters  

Sisters Save Sisters’ mission is to increase the on-time graduation rate of Black girls and other girls of color in Olmsted County and set them up for successful post-secondary opportunities. Their community-based program provides volunteering, mentoring, and career exploration activities for middle and high school girls. Through one-on-one mentoring alongside group learning, these young women are building healthy relationship skills, coping skills, and improving their grades and attendance. 

Partner: Sisters Save Sisters (fiscal sponsor: Barbershop & Social Services)   

Sports Mentorship Academy Rec Center  

Sports Mentorship Academy Rec Center furthers the mission of SMA which is to enhance academics, athletics, life, and leadership skills. The community center is designed to serve Black youth all over Olmsted County but is especially relevant to the youth in the Gage and surrounding neighborhoods. The center will offer opportunities for basketball, tutoring, STEM programs, workshops, and more. These opportunities are aimed at increasing the number of positive role models Black youth have in our community. This center will be a hub for kids of color and the organizations that serve them. 

Partner: Sports Mentorship Academy   

Channel One Food Shelf

Channel One Food Shelf provides a five-day supply of food once per month to eligible residents of Olmsted County. Household shoppers choose what they need from an array of items in a store-like setting. The Channel One Supplemental Food Shelf system serves an average of 3,500 different households each month and distributes over 3 million pounds of food each year.

Partner: Channel One

Noon Meal

Noon Meal offers a hot, nutritious meal five days a week to anyone in the community who feels they need one. The program primarily serves very low-income people, including many who are homeless or precariously housed. Many lack either the facilities or the ability to prepare a proper meal for themselves. In addition to a good meal every day, the Noon Meal program provides socialization and community connections to people who may not experience this otherwise.

Partner: The Salvation Army

Head Start Food Stations

Head Start and Early Head Start families gain improved access to healthy foods including fruits, vegetables and whole food. Food is available through Food Stations as well as through Home Visitors who bring it directly to families’ homes. Food Stations highlight different healthy, culturally diverse meals and have the meal ingredients with recipes for families to prepare at home.

Partner: Families First of Minnesota

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides hot, nutritious, home-delivered meals to seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals recovering from injury. Meals on Wheels supports individuals in maintaining health and living independently in their own home.

Partner: Family Service Rochester

Housing Stability Fund

The Housing Stability Fund helps domestic violence survivors secure and retain safe, affordable housing. The Fund helps survivors with move-in costs, such as first-month rent, damage deposits, and utility costs. Survivors who already have housing get assistance avoiding eviction by receiving support for overdue rent payments and utility expenses.

Partner: Women’s Shelter and Support Center

Access Home

Access Home is a rapid re-housing program that serves homeless individuals and families. The program provides help with housing search and placement, rental application fees and deposits, and an ongoing rent subsidy that gradually diminishes as household income and independence increases. As the program ends, people remain in their current home where they can now independently pay rent.

Partner: The Salvation Army

Eviction Prevention Program 

The Eviction Prevention Program clinic is the only civic legal aid resource providing legal representation for low-income tenants facing eviction in Olmsted County. Staff attorneys help tenants defend their eviction cases by negotiating settlements, taking cases to trial, and seeking expungements. With legal representation, many tenants are able to maintain stable housing. Through expungements, the program helps tenants avoid a record of eviction that would make it more difficult to obtain housing in the future.

Partner: Legal Assistance of Olmsted County 

Shelter Prevention and Diversion 

Shelter Prevention and Diversion prevents families from needing to access emergency shelter by providing services to help families maintain their housing when they are at imminent risk of becoming homeless or avoiding a shelter stay when a family has already lost their housing. Prevention services can include paying delinquent rent or utilities, helping with vehicle repairs so they can continue to work, assisting with childcare, or other interventions that help to stabilize the family. Diversion services include making down payments, security deposits, or utility payments so families can secure stable housing in lieu of accessing Family Promise’s emergency shelter services.

Partner: Family Promise Rochester