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New community hubs connect families with resources

$6 million in federal grant money will fund hubs through 2022

3/25/2021 3:53:16 PM

New federally funded Community Resource Hubs are now available to help pregnant and parenting families with children age 8 and younger navigate Minnesota’s fragmented early childhood system. This shifts the burden of finding help from those seeking services to organizations that connect them with the supports they need. The $6 million outlay is part of a $26.7 million total investment that will occur over the next two years.

Minnesota is partnering with multiple organizations across the state in an effort to provide culturally appropriate assistance to the state’s increasingly diverse families. It has awarded Community Resource Hub funds to nine organizations so far, and is finalizing contracts with additional organizations.

The hubs are spread out across Minnesota to maximize the geographic coverage of this pilot program. They include:

  • Baby’s Space, Little Earth, Minneapolis.
  • Fraser, Minneapolis. 
  • Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, various locations. 
  • Tri-City Connections, Austin, Faribault and Northfield. 
  • Northland Foundation, Northeast Minnesota. 
  • NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Inc., North Minneapolis. 
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji.
  • Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Grand Marais.
  • Guiding Star Wakota, West St. Paul.

To support the creation of the hubs, the state will use $6 million from the Preschool Development Grant, a federal grant that works to remove barriers so families with young children can access life-changing early childhood programs. The grant is a partnership among Minnesota’s departments of Health, Education and Human Services, along with the Children’s Cabinet. Over the next two years, $26.7 million in Preschool Development Grant funds will be used to align early education and child care systems across the state while closing gaps for children facing racial, geographic and economic inequities. 

“These new hubs will support our continued efforts to streamline the navigation of services for our families throughout Minnesota,” said Bobbie Burnham, assistant commissioner for the Office of Teaching and Learning at the Minnesota Department of Education. “Through these partnerships we will have the opportunity to work side by side and learn from local community organizations that are truly leading the way in helping families navigate early childhood programs and services.”

The Community Resource Hubs will aim to:

  • Help families narrow down the number of places they need to go to apply for services. 
  • Reduce the amount of travel required for families to access needed services.
  • Grow community engagement and support community-developed solutions.
  • Provide relationship-based, culturally appropriate assistance by partnering with people in the communities being served.

“These organizations are cornerstones in their communities,” said Lisa Bayley, acting assistant commissioner for Children and Family Services at DHS. “We’re looking forward to partnering with them to help young Minnesota families thrive.”

Investing in local hubs allows the state to build on solutions that are already working for communities instead of spending money to develop new initiatives. 

“The Community Resource Hubs will be working together and sharing information to find what works best for families, and what has the biggest impact,” said Northland Foundation’s Vice President, Lynn Haglin, who is also director of KIDS PLUS, which is running one of the hubs. “I am confident that the relationships and practices that grow out of this program will benefit young children and families well beyond the grant period." 

Information about the organizations that will operate the hubs can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education website,


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