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Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards

Commissioner's Awards emblemThe Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards recognize excellence among human services providers, counties, tribes, advocacy groups and other organizations that work in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to help people meet their basic needs so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential.

Nominate an organization for the award >> 

Organizations recognized with Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards demonstrate significant initiative and/or innovation in serving human services program clients. See below for additional criteria. While individuals also make marked differences in the lives of Minnesotans, these awards celebrate organizations. Please do not nominate an individual.

Award criteria:

  • Supports the DHS mission to help people meet their basic needs so they can live in dignity and achieve their highest potential
  • Contributes to current DHS goals and priority projects
  • Demonstrates best practices
  • Achieves results that impact clients
  • Partners with others in the human services system

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, 2020.


Past Commissioner’s Award winners

In 2019, the Minnesota Department of Human Services recognized the following programs from across the state with Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards:

  • Clare Housing
  • Horizon Homes 
  • The Leech Lake SNAP-Ed Program 
  • The Open Door Pantry and Dakota County Human Services 
  • Sourcewell 

Learn more about their outstanding contributions to human services clients in a news release about the 2019 awards.

Clare Housing in Minneapolis
3:20
Clare Housing in Minneapolis provides supportive housing to some of the community’s most marginalized individuals – primarily people of color, living in poverty and struggling not only with HIV, but also mental illness, chemical dependency and criminal backgrounds.
Sourcewell in Staples
2:37
Sourcewell in Staples has been partnering with Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties to streamline childcare licensing processes and ensure the availability of qualified childcare providers in the area.
The Open Door Pantry and Dakota County Human Services
3:21
The Open Door Pantry and Dakota County Human Services partner to provide fresh and healthy food to nearly 6,000 low-income residents across Dakota County each month.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Cass Lake
2:22
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program administered by The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Cass Lake offers nutrition education for low-income individuals and families on or near the Leech Lake Reservation. The curriculum incorporates traditional foods and language and involves tribal youth in growing, harvesting and preparing the food.
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