St. Cloud Regional Office

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Office (SCRHRO) Questions and Answers

Why was the SCRHRO (St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Office) created?

The SCRHRO was created to increase freedom from discrimination for persons in the state and specifically in the St. Cloud area. It is a satellite office of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR), which enforces the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and was created by MDHR at the request of, and in partnership with, the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Joint Powers Board, which provided the funding for the office.

What services does the SCRHRO provide?

The SCRHRO provides outreach, education and intake functions for those in the Saint Cloud and Saint Joseph areas of Minnesota on a year round basis. Some specific activities within those functions include:

  • Providing training on the provisions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act;
  • Providing other education and outreach services;
  • Coordinating forums and cultural diversity events that may be conducted by other entities or consultants;
  • Conducting complaint intake;
  • Conducting pre-investigative dispute resolution;
  • Forwarding complaints to the State Office in St. Paul when necessary;
  • Providing assistance to regional human rights offices and the Regional Human Rights Advisory Commission.

What type of discrimination charges does the SCRHRO accept?

MDHR accepts charges of discrimination that allege a violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Under the Act, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, disability, public assistance status, age, sexual orientation, familial status, among other basis. Discrimination is prohibited in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, education, credit and business. (Not all basis are protected in each area. For example, familial status is protected only in housing, and age is protected only in employment and education.)

If I don't live in St. Cloud or St. Joseph, should I contact the St. Cloud office, or the St. Paul office of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights?

We encourage those who live in the cities of St. Cloud or St. Joseph to contact the SCHRHO, and others to contact the St. Paul office.

Does MDHR have offices in other locations?

The SCRHRO is the Minnesota Department of Human Rights' only regional human rights office. The Department's main office is located in the Freeman Building at 625 Robert Street North, Saint Paul MN 55155.

How is the SCRHRO or St. Cloud office different from human rights agencies or commissions in other cities?

Human rights commissions in other cities are not part of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, but are formed by units of local government. They conduct human rights education and outreach and may offer other services such as mediation, but they do not enforce the Minnesota Human Rights Act or investigate charges of discrimination.

The SCRHRO is a satellite office of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR), which enforces the Minnesota Human Rights Act. SCRHRO staff are employees of MDHR.

When did the St. Cloud office open?

The office opened on September 1, 2010.

How can I contact the SCRHRO?

You may contact the SCRHRO...

By phone:
320-650-3133 (Main)
320-650-3223 (Fax)

By U.S. mail:
MN Department of Human Rights-St. Cloud
City Hall
400 2nd Street South
St. Cloud MN 56301

By email:
Richard.Cousin@state.mn.us

Online on the SCRHRO's page on MDHR's web site:
www.humanrights.state.mn.us/stcloud

Or in person by making an appointment

Where is the SCRHRO located?

The office is located in St. Cloud City Hall. It's address is:

MN Department of Human Rights-St. Cloud
City Hall
400 2nd Street South
St. Cloud MN 56301

How many staff people work at the SCRHRO, and who are they?

There is one full time Enforcement Officer, and a half-time Administrative Assistant. The Enforcement Officer is J. Richard Cousin; he may be contacted at Richard.Cousin@state.mn.us.

Does the SCRHRO investigate complaints?

The SCRHRO accepts charges of discrimination filed under the state Human Rights Act, and may assesses allegations to determine whether the conduct alleged would potentially violate the Act. Charges are forwarded to the Department of Human Rights main office in St. Paul for investigation, mediation or other action as necessary.

What communities does the SCRHRO serve?

The SCRHRO was created to serve the cities of Saint Cloud and Saint Joseph, Minnesota.

What are the SCRHRO's office hours?

Currently, the office is staffed from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

Does the SCRHRO have a web site?

The SCRHRO has its own page on the web site of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, where you may find information about upcoming SCRHRO events, services, a complaint form, and contact information. The page is located at www.humanrights.state.mn.us/stcloud.

Is the SCRHRO planning or participating in any major public events?

See the SCRHRO web page at www.humanrights.state.mn.us/stcloud for the latest information.

Can the SCRHRO provide a speaker for my company, school, or organization?

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights provides speakers on subjects related the Minnesota Human Rights Act — availability depends upon resources. For more information, contact the St. Paul office with the details of your request at Richard.Cousin@state.mn.us.

Does the SCRHRO provide showcases or training?

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights provides showcases and training in locations throughout the state, including the St. Cloud area. See the department's web site at www.humanrights.state.mn.us for the latest information.

Does the SCRHRO provide mediation services?

The office conducts pre-investigative dispute resolution — when a complaint is brought to the office's attention, the office may attempt to negotiate a resolution prior to an investigation. Mediation may occur and is encouraged by the Department of Human Rights at any stage of a case or case investigation. Mediators are generally assigned by the Department of Human Rights through its St. Paul office.

If I'm a member of the press, how do I obtain information about activities related to the SCRHRO, or to its role in human rights issues in the Saint Cloud/Saint Joseph area?

All questions, requests for interviews, data requests and other public information inquiries — whether related the Saint Cloud/Saint Joseph area or to other MDHR activities — should be directed to the Department of Human Rights' Communication Director, Jeff Holman, 651-296-2173, jeff.holman@state.mn.us.

How may individuals with disabilities access the SCRHRO?

The office in St. Cloud City Hall is wheelchair accessible and equipped with other assistive technologies. One may contact the Department of Human Rights' main office via TTY at 651-296-1283. In addition, the Department of Human Rights' web site has been designed to be accessible, including the SCRHRO page at www.humanrights.state.mn.us/stcloud.