Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards
The Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Awards recognizes 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.
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.
- 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
2020 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award winners
In 2020, the Minnesota Department of Human Services recognized the following programs from across the state with Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards:
- American Indian Community Development Corporation (Minneapolis)
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud
- CHUM (formerly known as Churches United in Ministry)
- FamilyWise (Minneapolis)
- Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
- United Community Action Partnership (Marshall)
Learn more about their outstanding contributions to human services clients in a news release about the 2020 awards.
2019 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
Learn more about their outstanding contributions to human services clients in a news release about the 2019 awards.
Clare Housing in Minneapolis
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.
Horizon Homes in Mankato
Horizon Homes in Mankato has expanded its capacity to serve children and adults in need of mental and chemical health care. Services include a new South Central Crisis Center and a partnership with law enforcement, the Yellow Line Project, that provides access to a Mobile Crisis Team.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Cass Lake
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.
The Open Door Pantry and Dakota County Human Services
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.
Sourcewell in Staples
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.