The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services serves Minnesotans in all 87 counties and 11 tribes. More than one million Minnesotans receive some sort of help from our department. Among these are our grandparents, neighbors, friends, relatives and classmates.
Many of the people we serve only need assistance for a short period of time, while others need longer-term assistance. At DHS our goal is to meet people where they are at, and focus on outcomes to improve life situations, and to get people the help they need so they can reach their full potential.
Here is one of their stories:
Bobbi Smith was a few credits shy of graduating from college when her husband became severely disabled. In need of employment to support her family, the mother of three from Stevens County went to her local Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (CEP) office.
The non-profit organization funded by federal, state and county dollars prepares people for work in 19 northwestern Minnesota counties – Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Douglas, Grant, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wadena and Wilkin.
As a Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) recipient, Bobbi was eligible for education and training services. MFIP, administered by the Department of Human Services, helps low-income Minnesotans with children achieve self-sufficiency through temporary job counseling, financial assistance and nutrition assistance.
At Rural Minnesota CEP, Bobbi received job search, résumé and interviewing assistance. The organization also provided help with gas vouchers, a car repair and work attire to make sure Bobbi would be successful in her job search. Bobbi said the staff was “amazing to work with – kind, helpful and outgoing all the way!”
After learning how to showcase her abilities through her résumé, she had a phenomenal first interview with a law firm. While she was not selected for that job, they recommended her to another firm that was hiring. Rural Minnesota CEP contacted that agency following her interview to offer an on-the-job training contract. The contract defrays the cost of training for applicants without previous experience in the field.
Bobbi landed the position and the firm is excited to have her on board as an executive legal assistant. In December 2011, she graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota, Morris, with a Bachelor of Arts in management. Her family is no longer receiving MFIP assistance and moved out of subsidized housing to a home just blocks from Bobbi's new job.
“We now live in a house. I work full-time…and life is great,” Bobbi said.