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Awards honor excellence in human services

Winners achieve successful results for Minnesotans through partnerships, innovation

11/4/2019 11:07:23 AM

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has announced the winners of its Circle of Excellence awards, which recognize organizations that have partnered with DHS and done an exemplary job of providing food, shelter and other assistance to Minnesotans in need. 

The winners, who will receive their awards at special events in the weeks ahead, are:

  • Clare HousingClare 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 HomesHorizon 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 SNAP-Ed Program – 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 in Eagan and Dakota County Human ServicesThe 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.
  • SourcewellSourcewell 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.

“These organizations go above and beyond each and every day to improve the lives of Minnesotans,” said Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “We are grateful to them for leading the way through their creativity, innovation, skill and commitment to the people we serve.”

This is the eighth year of the Circle of Excellence Awards. Winners were selected based on how well they met the following 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.


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