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Category : Poverty

Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County: Research as a Tool for Planning and Partnership
A group of six sits around a table having a discussion.Most researchers and evaluators do the work they do hoping it will be used to improve the lives of others and not end up sitting on a shelf. So I was thrilled when Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) said they wanted to host a series of community forums to share results of the recent community needs assessment they contracted Wilder Research to conduct. Needs assessment will inform work in expanded service area At the direction of Governor Dayton, Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) grew out of the organization formerly known as Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County (CAPSH) to serve Minneapolis in addition to suburban Hennepin County.   Community Action Partnership agencies are federally mandated to conduct a community needs assessment every...
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Dental Therapy Increases Access in Rural Minnesota
Many states across the U.S. are exploring expanding who can provide dental care in an effort to expand access in rural areas and to low-income households. In 2009, Minnesota became the first state to pass a law allowing for the establishment of midlevel oral health professionals who provide preventive, diagnostic, and restorative care for children and adults. These providers, known as dental therapists or advanced dental therapists, can practice in settings that serve low-income, uninsured, and underserved patients.   Dental therapy is still an emerging profession and there are many unknowns about how best to incorporate dental therapists into dental teams. Some people in the dental community believe that dental therapists are an innovative advance in the profession, while others question the financial viability and worry...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Chong Lee
​Wilder employees have the opportunity to apply for Kingston Fellowships, an honor awarded annually based on accomplishments, commitment to human services and leadership potential. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. In “Hello, Fellows,” we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Chong Lee. What is your role at Wilder? I’m a program manager for the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood. I manage our partnerships. I manage contract agreements and provide logistical supports to partner programs. One of the roles that the Promise Neighborhood plays in all of our partnerships is support for infrastructure and capacity building....
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Making the Invisible, Visible
Low-wealth families possess abundant strengths: Self-determination, resourcefulness, and a network of friends and family. All too often, however, they are defined by their lack of money rather than their abilities. The Family Independence Initiative (FII), a national model just launched in the Twin Cities by Wilder, focuses on these invisible strengths. FII Twin Cities emphasizes the proven abilities that low-wealth families possess to move themselves out of poverty, as well as becoming the ingredient to positive change within their own communities. Rather than providing top-down direction, FII Twin Cities partners with low-wealth families to create an environment where families can come together and improve their lives by taking their own self-directed path. There are three features that FII Twin Cities identifies as essential for families...
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Hello, Fellows: Meet Bobby Morrow
The Kingston Fellowship is an honor awarded to Wilder employees annually from the Kingston Fellowship named endowment fund established with a lead gift from retired Wilder President Tom Kingston and his wife Mary, and contributed to by many friends of the Wilder Foundation. In March 2016, Wilder awarded fellowships to 11 employees spanning a variety of professional backgrounds. The fellowships help these professionals to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and develop innovative programs to address community concerns. "In Hello, Fellows," we introduce the 2016 Kingston Fellows. This week, we catch up with Bobby Morrow. What is your role at Wilder? When I started at Wilder I worked with children in our Family Supportive Housing Services. Now I’m a family case manager for Wilder’s rapid rehousing program, the...
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Addressing Hunger and Health Equity: The Open Door’s Healthy Food Policy
A woman stocks fresh vegetables at a food shelf.​The Open Door is a food shelf located in Eagan that is tackling hunger in Dakota County by improving access to healthy, fresh food for its clients. To meet this goal, The Open Door adopted a Healthy Food Policy in 2013 that commits the organization to: removing food with low- to no-nutritional value; offering healthy food choices at staff meetings, events, and volunteer engagement activities; and engaging the public in changing policy and the food system to address barriers to healthy food access at the community level. Why create a Healthy Food Policy? A 2013 survey revealed that 70 percent of respondents’ households served by The Open Door have a family member with at least one chronic diet-related disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure....
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6 Things You Should Know About Poverty in Minnesota: Myth-Busters Edition
​​The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual American Community Survey data recently, including official poverty estimates. While not a perfect measure, it is indexed for household size ($12,071 for a single-person household and $24,230 for a family of 4) and gives us some guidance about levels of poverty and those who are among our poorest residents. Minnesota Compass Project Director Craig Helmstetter uses information from the estimates to bust some commonly-accepted myths.   Myth #1: Minnesota’s economy has fully recovered and poverty rates are back down to pre-recession levels By 2013 Minnesota had recovered the number of jobs lost during the Great Recession – but the economy has not fully recovered by other measures. Minnesota’s official poverty rate now stands at 11.5 percent.         While this is statistically lower than the...
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Seven Online Resources for Food Access
What are food deserts? And what can we do about them? Through Twin Cities Mobile Market, Wilder uses a retrofitted bus to bring fresh, affordable foods to under resourced neighborhoods in Saint Paul. (Soon, we’ll have two buses!) Food access is a large, complex issue facing many lower-income rural and urban areas of the United States, and our grocery store on wheels is just one part of the solution.   In this blog, Wilder Library staff compiled links to research about food access, including characteristics of areas that lack food access and resources for organizations that work to increase the availability of healthy foods for all.   1. Healthy Eating Research: Food Access Robert Johnson Wood Foundation http://healthyeatingresearch.org/focus-areas/food-access/ Improving access to healthy, affordable foods can help prevent and reduce obesity...
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Take the Wilder Tools for School Success Campaign Challenge
​Most people remember the first day of school. For many of us, late summer brings to mind crayons with untouched tips, fresh pencils and new backpacks. Going back to school should be time of excitement and promise. The Wilder Foundation knows that not all kids get to experience that excitement because they do not have the tools that they need to succeed in school. As part of Wilder's mission focus to prepare and enable low-income children and their families to succeed in school, children who are served by Wilder receive school supplies and backpacks because of the Tools for School Success campaign.  Tools for School Success is driven by donations from employees, businesses and individuals, and it’s no small task. Since the first backpack drive...
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A Story of Impact: Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity partner family​Habitat for Humanity helps families in Minnesota, and across the globe, make the dream of homeownership a reality through creating simple, decent, affordable housing. In addition to providing a roof overhead, Habitat homeownership gives homeowners and families so much more. I’ve had the privilege – first as a Habitat volunteer and now as an outside evaluator – of helping document the extent to which Habitat impacts their homeowners. Quality of Life Impacts In 2011, as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, the state support organization for Minnesota’s 31 Habitat affiliates, I worked on developing a pilot study examining how Habitat homeownership impacts homeowners’ health, education, social connectedness, family interactions, personal well-being, economic situation, and feelings of safety. In my year there, I helped...
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Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104 Phone: 651-280-2000
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