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Working Together: The Archives

Working Together: The Archives


A new highlight in Vox of the career of Robert Greenstein, capitol hill’s “lobbyist for the poor”, is not only a fascinating read about a storied political career, but also acts as a sort of history lesson . . .

Back in September, Community Action issued a call for nominations for our new employee recognition program, the Staff Spotlight. Senior Leadership asked folks to nominate staff members . . .

Last week, Minnesota Community Action Partnership executive director, Bill Grant, issued an impassioned and detailed call to action published in the MinnPost . . .

Community Action is partnering with Keystone Interpreting Solution and the Deaf Community Support Center to host a free Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic on Tuesday, November 15 . . .

In 1954, at the urging of major US veterans organizations, November 11 officially became a federal holiday called Veterans Day, a day for honoring the service of all US military veterans . . .

As Minnesotans, we all know about Give to the Max Day, which lands on Thursday, November 17 this year. But many might not be aware that Early Giving is already underway . . .

November is National Native American Heritage Month, and there are many ways that you can celebrate across the Twin Cities . . .

We’re one day from Election Day for the 2022 Midterms, so—if you haven’t already—now is the time to make a plan how you will vote this November. Here’s a step-by-step of what you’ll need to do before November 8, 2022 . . .

The rising cost of housing in Minnesota has been swirling through the news lately . . .

In early October, Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that congress had allocated $18 million in federal funding to help Minnesota families pay their heating and utility bills this winter . . .

Xcel Energy, like many energy service providers across the country, is making a push towards electrification. This is a huge part of their goal of being 80% carbon-free by 2030 and 100% carbon-free by 2050 . . .

We have been following the City of St. Paul’s People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot Program on this blog for about a year, including recently released data that demonstrates the program’s success . . .

Now that applications are open for the Student Debt Relief plan the Biden Administration announced on August 24, there’s a lot of information to sort through for potential applicants . . .

Community Action will be partnering with our friends at the American Red Cross Blood Services to host a blood drive on Thursday, November 3, 2022 from 10 AM to 4 PM . . .

We are happy to follow up on on our blog from July 19, 2022 and share the news that more than one million frontline-worker Minnesotans will begin to receive payments this week . . .

With congress recently passing a lot of large, complex legislation, it’s hard to sort out how funds will be allocated, where the funds will go, and how these funds will affect our communities . . .

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule goes into effect on October 1, 2022 and will be in place through April 30, 2023. This is a state law that protects Minnesotans from having their electric or natural gas shut off . . .

We are almost halfway through National Hispanic Heritage Month, and, while many of the festivities have past, there are still plenty of ways that you can celebrate . . .

Early voting begins today across Minnesota both for early voting in-person and early voting by mail. In-person early voting will go on from today through November 7, while voting by mail must be received by October 18th . . .

As various funding for pandemic relief comes to a close, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans face uncertainty as their SNAP benefits could be significantly reduced, in some cases by as much as 50% . . .

Community Action recently bid farewell to Tony Kiene, who moved onto a new role at the Rae Mackenzie Group. Since 2009, Tony worked in many capacities as a writer for the agency . . .

With less than 10 days before the 2022 Midterms gets into full swing, it’s hard to know how and where to get started to make sure your voice is heard on Election Day . . .

Registration is now open for the upcoming MinnCAP conference on September 28, 2022 at the Duluth Entertainment and Conference Center . . .

On September 14, as the Minnesota Reformer reports, the St. Paul City Council is set to roll back many of the features of the Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance passed less than a year ago . . .

In June, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) kicked off its “Summer of Jobs” campaign in Mankato. The three primary goals of this statewide initiative are to . . .

Last year alone, residents of the North Star State made more than 3.6 million visits to local food shelves . . .

Comcast Twin Cities is continuing to support low-income households in the metro area through participation in America’s Affordable Connectivity Program . . .

HomeHelpMN is still available to support Minnesotans at risk of losing their homes, and, has increased both the assistance limit and the time frame for which you can apply for funds . . .

The Mothers First Community Baby Shower is designed to support both new and expecting parents residing in Ramsey County . . .

CAPRW Head Start & Early Head Start is accepting applications for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. These programs provide comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, and other developmental services . . .

The GCEE published its 10-year plan based on these earlier recommendations, titled, Minnesota’s Moment: A Roadmap for Equitable Economic Expansion. This report highlights the GCEE’s vision around those aforementioned themes, and, the processes, strategies, “transitional thinking,” and goals for Minnesota by the year 2032.

August is National LIHEAP Action Month. Established by Congress in 1981, LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) was designed to help low-income households – including seniors, families with young children, and people with disabilities – stay current on their utility bills, avert disconnection (and possible eviction), and stay safe and healthy in their homes.

There is still time to support Ramsey County’s Mothers First Diaper Bank Drive, which is accepting donations through Saturday, August 27, 2022. Please bring your donation of diapers and/or pull-ups to Mothers First at 1919 University Avenue West, Suite 112 (St. Paul) by the August 27 deadline. Sizes needed include: Preemie (P) and Newborn (N) diapers through size 5; and, pull-ups from size 3T through size 6T.

In partnership with M Health Fairview and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Community Action is hosting two more free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at our St. Paul headquarters (450 Syndicate Street North, St. Paul). These are walk-in clinics and all our welcome, including children under the age of 5. We are offering the Pfizer vaccine and participants can get any shot in the series, including the first or second shot in their primary vaccine series or their first of second booster. Gift cards will also be available to participants as long as supplies last.

Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health and the county’s Racial and Health Equity Team will host a COVID-19 Virtual Community Conversation tomorrow, August 10, 2022, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. This event features Dr. Lynne Ogawa, Medical Director of the Public Health Department, who will answer questions about kids and the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Minnesota Primary is tomorrow, August 9, 2022. Polls are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. And, even if you are currently not registered to vote you can still do so at your local polling place on Election Day. Proof of residence is required.

A new study from the University of Kansas, finds that states with more generous SNAP policies have fewer children involved in child protective services” and fewer that were in the foster care system.

Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul have partnered on a new initiative known as the Connectivity Blueprint: A Road Map to Digital Equity. Digital equity is essential to our communities as it is part and parcel of the “foundation of a fair future and inclusive economy” in the 21st century, ensuring that everyone has access to resources, opportunities, and the services they need.

Midway into the year, the North Star State has catapulted to the top position among all 50 states, boasting the lowest jobless rate in the nation . . .

Earlier this month, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the establishment of its new Office of Public Engagement . . .

The Minnesota Primary is now two weeks from today (Tuesday, August 9, 2022). Residents in Ramsey County can still vote early and in-person by absentee ballot through Monday, August 8 . . .

Although slightly down from a record high of 3.83 million in 2020, the total number of visits to Minnesota food shelves last year was 3.6 million . . .

Ramsey County’s Medical Reserve Corps (RCMRC) is looking for volunteers to support its continuing public health efforts to combat COVID-19 . . .

Signed into law earlier this year, the Frontline Worker Pay program was designed to “thank those Minnesotans who worked on the frontline” during the early stages if the COVID-19 pandemic . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is hosting a free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, this coming Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. . . .

Through the end of September 2022, participants in Minnesota’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are eligible to receive an additional $24 to $47 per family member, per month . . .

For several years running, Minnesota has ranked at or near the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to employment, housing, median income, and the overall racial wealth gap . . .

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is still accepting applications to add four representatives to its Cultural and Ethnic Communities Leadership Council . . .

Earlier this spring, a Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) study appeared in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU), a peer-reviewed, quarterly academic journal . . .

The Ramsey County Elections Office has created the new position of Interpreter Election Judge to help fellow voters through the entire election process in their shared language . . .

Last week, the City of Saint Paul announced its plans to expand both its People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot Program and CollegeBound Saint Paul through a brand new initiative known as CollegeBound Boost . . .

The City of Saint Paul has partnered with the Minnesota Homeownership Center to establish the St. Paul Homeownership Preservation Program (SPHPP) ...

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that it had issued a fourth round of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits to approximately 43,000 Minnesota students . . .

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), in collaboration with Wilder Research, is seeking insight from low-income residents on how to improve library technology services . . .

The 50th Annual Twin Cities Pride Festival takes place this weekend, June 25 & 26, in Loring Park (1382 Willow Street, Minneapolis) . . .

On Friday, June 3, seventeen volunteers from 3M’s Commercial Solutions Divisions donated their time and talents to our Battle Creek Head Start Center in St. Paul . . .

The online application portal for Minnesota’s Frontline Worker Pay program has been open for two weeks. Eligible workers still have exactly one month from today to apply . . .

Online applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program open tomorrow, June 22, at 9:00 AM CST. Applications will close at 12:00 PM CST, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 . . .

Exactly one year ago today, on June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth into law as America’s 11th federal holiday, and the first since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established in 1983 . . .

Recently, Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) celebrated its latest graduating class of the Community Action Leadership Institute . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is enrolling participants in the next cohort of our Child Development Associate® (CDA)—Preschool credential training program . . .

The Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Metro HRA) has announced that it will soon begin accepting online applications for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program . . .

Earlier this spring, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), introduced five core commitments designed to increase racial equity in all industry sectors of the North Star State . . .

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) opened applications for the Frontline Worker Pay program. This program was signed into law on April 29, 2022 . . .

Last month, Community Action Head Start held its All-Staff Celebration to honor employee anniversaries and the nominees and award winners in four categories . . .

June is Pride Month in the United States, and 2022, marks the 50th Anniversary of Twin Cities Pride. For a complete list of events during the month of June . . .

Minnesota continues to maintain the largest Black/white homeownership gap in the nation, where African American households are less than one-third as likely to own a home as our the state's white households.

National Community Action Partnership has joined forces with the American Public Health Agency (APHA) to publish a new report titled "Partnering to Advance Health Equity." This report details how the Community Action Network can strategize to improve health equity across the nation.

As the month nears its end, it is still important to remember that May is Older Americans Month (OAM). Established in May of 1963 as “Senior Citizens Month" . . .

In 2021, the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force was established. Initiated by early childhood education professionals and childcare advocates, state legislators, and the Governor’s Office . . .

On May 13, 2022, Congress passed H.R. 5129, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Modernization Act of 2022, by a bipartisan vote of 246 to 169 . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is offering a new Medical Office Training class. This 10-week virtual course, will meet via Zoom every Tuesday evening . . .

Next Monday, the Saint Paul Children’s Collaborative (SPCC) is hosting an online Community of Care event on youth violence prevention strategies . . .

As National Community Action Partnership (NCAP) notes, equitable access to mental health services and supports is vital to effectively address both “the causes and conditions of poverty" ...

It’s May, which means that we are now observing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize and honor the contributions of AAPI communities . . .

Urban League Twin Cities released The State of Black Minnesota 2021, a 37-page report that includes expert insight and analysis from scholars, activists, artists, and faith leaders, relative to seven key metrics of Black life . . .

On Monday, Children’s HealthWatch released a new policy action report that cites the critical impact of the American Rescue’s Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) . . .

Last week, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington hosted Congresswoman Betty McCollum at our St. Paul headquarters, where she met with staff and program participants from Head Start, Energy Conservation, and Financial Opportunities Programs.

This past Saturday, Community Action Head Start continued its long partnership with Free Bikes 4 Kidz MN to distribute 494 bicycles to Head Start children and their siblings . . .

On Saturday, May 7, the City of Saint Paul will kick off the first of five virtual community conversations, designed to give a voice to residents as the city’s 2023 budget begins to take shape ...

May is National Community Action Month, an opportunity to share our stories, celebrate our successes, and raise awareness of the work Community Action agencies perform across the country . . .

In March, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced a new set of strategies designed to increase racial equity in our state . . .

MN Thrives is a “collectively sourced and interactive database of current state efforts to promote mental well-being and inclusive, thriving Minnesota communities" . . .

In partnership with Minnesota’s Community Vaccination Program, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties is hosting another COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic . . .

Tomorrow, April 22, 2022, is the last day that St. Paul residents can apply to the city’s Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program . . .

Next Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Saint Paul Public Schools is hosting its annual “Growing Into Kindergarten” spring event for families with children entering Kindergarten in the fall of 2022 . . .

What do you think of when you think “volunteering”? Perhaps you think of a one-time project: Raking a yard, painting a house, or reading to children. Volunteering can take many forms . . .

With funding from the CDC, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is launching a two-year study to better understand the effects of Long COVID in our state, particularly in BIPOC communities . . .

The day after the Minnesota Poverty Report came out, the National Poor People’s Campaign published its own report relative to the pandemic titled, Mapping the Intersections of Poverty, Race and COVID-19 . . .

This past Thursday, Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP), the umbrella organization for the state’s 24 Community Action agencies and 11 tribal nations, released the Minnesota Poverty Report 2022 . . .

It is National Volunteer Month and Global Volunteer Month, which honor individuals that serve others and help to foster more vibrant, equitable communities through their everyday actions . . .

This past week, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties’ Energy Conservation Program was featured in a KARE – 11 News story . . .

Tomorrow, April 5, 2022, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is hosting a one-day, COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic . . .

This past Saturday, March 26, 2022, marked the 29th Annual Water’s Off volunteer event in the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minnesota . . .

If you have a passion for empowering people to improve their wellbeing, you might be the next Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties . . .

This past Sunday, PBS News Hour’s Zachary Green published an online story chronicling the growing movement among American cities to pilot guaranteed income programs for low-income residents . . .

The city seeks to ensure that the HREEO Commission’s ranks adequately reflect the broad diversity of its residents . . .

Ramsey County recently renewed its partnership with a number of trusted community-based organizations to ensure that local residents are able to access “accurate and culturally appropriate” information about COVID-19 vaccines . . .

Although there are now just ten days left in March, there’s still time to participate in several Women’s History Month events . . .

Minnesota CareerForce is partnering with both MnDOT and DEED to recruit and train women and members of BIPOC communities for a career in the highway construction industry . . .

Tax Day is now less than five weeks away. And, many American families have not yet taken advantage of the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) that was established in 2021 . . .

In 2014, the US Justice Department’s investigation into the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department revealed the propensity of officers to target its poorest citizens, particularly people of color . . .

CACFP provides nutritious meals and snacks to children at home, in preschool and childcare centers, after-school programs and shelters, as well as healthy food to homebound adults and those in adult care facilities . . .

The opportunity to participate in the State of Minnesota’s latest “Kids Deserve a Shot” initiative ends exactly one month from today. All Minnesota kids between the ages of 5 and 11 that have completed their two-dose FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine series by Monday, April 11, 2022, are eligible to win a $100,000 college scholarship.

For the 25th consecutive month since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Minnesota has approved Emergency SNAP (E-SNAP) benefits to the state’s SNAP participants . . .

The Minnesota Disability Action Partnership (MnDAP), a collection of more than two dozen nonprofit organizations and state agencies, is seeking to enhance services and program supports to Minnesotans with disabilities . . .

Last week, Community Action hosted two-dozen fellows from the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), an advanced leadership development initiative for leaders in the agricultural industry.

To address the digital divide, Ramsey County has launched Ramsey Connected, a comprehensive resource that links residents and community-based organizations to low-cost computer technology, internet services, and telephone services.

Ramsey County's Food Resources Map that provides detailed information and access to area food shelves, food assistance programs, free meals for kids, home meal delivery, farmers markets and produce giveaways, mobile food markets, food co-ops, pop-up events, urban agriculture, community gardening, and other nutritional resources.

As we approach springtime, the Minnesota “Cold Weather Rule” remains in effect until April 30, 2022, and households that need help paying their utility bills can still apply for Energy Assistance . . .

As Black History Month 2022 comes to a close, historians, educators, and activists remind us that we must not reduce the history of the African Americans or other communities of color to a month . . .

On Tuesday, the Washington, DC – Brookings Institution released a brand new policy brief titled, “Achieving an Equitable National Health System for America” as part of its Blueprints for American Renewal & Prosperity project . . .

The Minnesota Historical Society’s (MNHS) featured exhibit Black History, Black Voices, which launched in 2021, continues to provide virtual programming, access to archives, and other online resources . . .

Earlier this month, the Saint Paul Public Library launched Read Brave, a “citywide, intergenerational reading initiative that centers the power of books to ignite empathy and help us think of big ideas” . . .

Among the millions of U.S.-based employees that have recently left their jobs during “The Great Resignation,” roughly 70 percent say that the pandemic has caused them to reconsider their purpose in both life and work . . .

Ramsey County Job Connect, a free online job board, is designed to match job seekers with potential employers both in Ramsey County and across the Twin Cities metropolitan area . . .

Last week the City of Saint Paul and the Minnesota Homeownership Center partnered to launch the brand new St. Paul Homeownership Preservation Program (SPHPP) . . .

The Frogtown Community Center (230 Como Avenue, St. Paul) is now a COVID-19 testing site. This site only offers the Saliva test, which is available to anyone 2 years of age and older . . .

The St. Paul-based Irreducible Grace Foundation is seeking to establish the Black Youth Healing Arts Center (BYHAC). This center, to be located in the heart of St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood . . .

The initial installment of this club, which will be offered via the Zoom Video Communications platform, begins on February 22, 2022 . . .

Passed as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021, the ECTC was increased to $3,600 for every child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children 6 to 17 years old . . .

This coming Friday and Saturday, the Minnesota Dental Association, the ADA Foundation, and dozens of dental clinics across our state are partnering to “Give Kids A Smile!” . . .

Today kicks off the 96th Annual celebration of Black History Month in the United States. Established by legendary historian and activist Carter G. Woodson . . .

Community Action is now enrolling participants in our 2022 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic . . .

This coming Monday, January 31, 2022, is the last day that you can use the ApplyMN system to request SNAP benefits . . .

The St. Paul – Ramsey County Rental Assistance Program is still taking applications to assist tenants in catching up on past due rent and averting possible eviction. Qualifying households in St. Paul and Ramsey County include those at or below 80% of the AMI in 2020 or the most recent month.

A temporary COVID-19 testing site opens today in downtown St. Paul at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) building, 395 John Ireland Boulevard. The site will be open seven days a week from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, through Monday, February 14, 2022.

The Ramsey County Workforce Solutions Training Dashboard currently features more than 70 community-based training programs in key industries such as healthcare, technology, education, transportation, law enforcement, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing and construction.

Beginning tomorrow, January 19, American households can order free COVID-19 at-home tests by visiting https://www.covidtests.gov/.

Tomorrow, January 18, is the 6th Annual National Day of Racial Healing. Building on the work of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation movement, this day is designed to “bring ALL people together in their common humanity and inspire collective action to create a more just and equitable world.”

On the heels of its first “Kids Deserve a Shot!” initiative, which provided incentives to 12 to 17 year-olds, the State of Minnesota has launched another program for kids 5 to 11 years of age . . .

This coming Saturday, January 15, the Minneapolis Convention Center is hosting MLK NOW 2022. This free, day-long event (10:00 am to 8:00 pm), which honors the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. . . .

Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the State of Minnesota's Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Plan for the 2021-22 school year . . .

When employees feel that their purpose is aligned with the organization’s purpose, the benefits expand to include stronger employee engagement ...

Community Action is still welcoming volunteers for our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Clinic. Each year, Community Action’s VITA Clinic provides free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income individuals . . .

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month—a time to shine a spotlight on one of the “most pervasive and persistent problems” in our society . . .

On Saturday, January 15, MLK NOW 2022 will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 Second Avenue South) from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm . . .

At Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, we were forced to nimbly devise innovative tools and strategies to meet the needs of our program participants ... We were not alone ...

Minnesota Warmline provides peer-to-peer support via a safe, anonymous, and free telephone service designed to help our neighbors in need of support . . .

A recent NBC news editorial demonstrated the positive impact that the nation's first guaranteed income pilot has already had on low-income residents in Stockton, California. And, on the heels of that story come a pair of Star Tribune articles that sing the praises of the People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot here in St. Paul, the second American city to implement such a program.

The Rondo Land Bridge will symbolically and physically reconnect St. Paul’s historic African American neighborhood, which was devastated by the construction of I-94 during the 1960s . . .

Last week, the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County announced a joint plan to invest over $74 million toward the creation of 1,000 units of “deeply” affordable housing . . .

The new MNbenefits application process is now online and available to residents of all Minnesota counties and tribal nations . . .

Initial findings from both Stockton and St. Paul reveal that these programs have shown tremendous promise and are performing exactly as intended . . .

The Ramsey County Homeownership Preservation Program (RCHPP) was established to assist homeowners living at 80% (or below) of the Area Median Income (AMI) in suburban Ramsey County that have incurred past due housing costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, December 18, a number of community service partners will present the African American Education Forum. This event will include prize giveaways, scholarship drawings, Toys for Tots, healing rooms, and a vaccination clinic. Those who sign up to get a vaccine will receive a $25 gift card.

David L. Kirp, professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, extolled the existence of social programs that in Dr. Kirp’s words literally “change the trajectory of children’s lives" ...

In November, William G. Gale, economic policy expert and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, published a report titled, “Public Finance and Racism" . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is once again seeking volunteers to serve as tax preparers and tax return reviewers with our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic . . .

“Kids Deserve a Shot” vaccine incentive program will award $100,000 college scholarships to Minnesota students between the ages of 12-17 years-old that have completed their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series . . .

The Financial Opportunity Programs of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties are designed to help lift individuals and families out of poverty . . .

The Metropolitan Council is inviting Minnesota businesses to apply for certification through its Underutilized Business program (MCUB) . . .

This Week the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will kick off a brand-new engagement platform – Community Empowerment Sessions . . .

As we enter the holiday season and another winter encroaches, it is imperative that we ensure all our neighbors are safe and warm in their homes . . .

As Thanksgiving approaches, Minnesota continues to fare poorly among all 50 states when it comes to food insecurity and food deserts . . .

Last month, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties launched the Child Development Associate Credential Training Program, which was highlighted on the MinnCAP website . . .

Give to the Max Day 2021 is tomorrow, November 18! Since it was first launched a dozen years ago, Minnesota’s unofficial giving holiday has generated over $300 million in gifts from more than 700,000 donors . . .

Wilder Research and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) are partnering to create a Medical Assistance (MA) Participant Expert Panel . . .

Tomorrow, November 16, 2021, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Central Time, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will host the 10th installment of the virtual event series, Racism and the Economy . . .

Give to the Max Day, Minnesota’s annual giving holiday, is now just over one week away . . .

The City of Minneapolis announced that it will launch a guaranteed basic income pilot programin the Spring of 2022. In doing so, Minneapolis is following in the footsteps of St. Paul and other American cities . . .

The Minnesota DHS announced last week that it’s 16-county pilot program for MNbenefits, an online combined benefits application service, is expected to be available statewide sometime in early 2022 . . .

November is National Native American Heritage Month, an annual celebration designed to honor the history, culture, traditions, art, and ways of life of indigenous peoples in the Americas . . .

The next virtual Financial Health & Wealth Creation Resource Fair takes place tomorrow, November 4, 2021, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Zoom . . .

It’s Election Day 2021 and more than 50 Minnesota municipalities, including St. Paul and Minneapolis, are holding elections today. There is still time to register and vote today at your local polling place.

November 18, 2021, is Give to the Max Day, also known as Minnesota’s unofficial “giving holiday.” Give to the Max Day was launched as “a statewide outpouring of support” for schools and nonprofit agencies . . .

Today’s final installment of our four-part series will focus on how weatherization and energy conservation strategies can significantly enhance household safety and improve the health outcomes . . .

On average, households at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines spend 2½ to 3 times as much on their energy bills . . .

Weatherization not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas released into our atmosphere improving air quality, it also lessens the stress on the nation’s power grids . . .

For 46 years, Community Action agencies like ours have collectively weatherized approximately 7.7 million American housing units (both houses and apartments) to create healthier homes, reduce energy costs, and improve the environment . . .

Tomorrow, October 26, 2021, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties will host the first of three Data Walks this week designed to engage residents around recent research findings in their communities . . .

As the Minnesota winter approaches, an estimated 630,000 residents in our state (including one in every six kids) still find themselves food insecure . . .

We are now less than two weeks away from Election Day, which takes place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. Several municipalities in Minnesota will be holding elections, including the City of St. Paul . . .

October is National Energy Action Month leading up to National Weatherization Day on Saturday, October 30 . . .

Tomorrow, October 20, 2021, from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm CT, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will host another installment of the virtual event series, Racism and the Economy . . .

The Urban Institute explains that a Data Walk is “an interactive way for community stakeholders to engage in dialogue around research findings about their community . . . "

In September 2020, Minnesota Public Radio launched small change: Money Stories from the Neighborhood. Co-hosted by Twila Dang and Chris Farrell . . .

Fifty years later, in the same spirit of the original Poor People’s Campaign, Reverends William J. Barber and Liz Theoharis established the new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival . . .

An increasing number of American schools and universities, cities, and states officially acknowledge Indigenous People’s Day, including Minnesota, which began observing this holiday via official proclamation in 2019.

We are now only four days away from the phasing out of Minnesota’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium. Lease terminations and eviction protections will be officially lifted on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. However, renter households that are eligible for pandemic-related rental assistance still have until that day to submit an application to be protected from eviction.

October is National Head Start Awareness Month. Since it was first established by the Office of Economic Opportunity in the summer of 1965, the Head Start program has served nearly 40 million American children at no cost to their families.

The 2021-2022 Energy Assistance Program season kicked off on October 1. And the expanded eligibility guidelines that were first introduced this past summer will continue in the new program year . . .

Election Day 2021 is only four weeks away. On Tuesday, November 2, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to vote for city leaders in municipal elections, for school board members, and on local ballot measures . . .

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A recent report from Violence Free Minnesota reveals that intimate partner violence, already a longstanding epidemic in the United States, has significantly increased in the 18 months . . .

Today, September 30, 2021, is the final day of Hunger Action Month in Minnesota. And any gift made to Second Harvest Heartland before midnight tonight will be matched dollar for dollar . . .

We are now two full weeks into National Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month, also known as Latinx Heritage Month . . .

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that pandemic-related assistance, namely in the form of Economic Impact Payments, lifted nearly 12 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2020 . . .

Earlier this month, the State of Minnesota launched a new online application to help residents quickly access their immunization records. In 2021, tens of thousands of Minnesotans have requested their vaccination records . . .

HOME Line MN is reminding tenants with past due rent in our state that we’ve entered Phase 4 in the incremental phaseout of Minnesota’s COVID-19 eviction moratorium . . .

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) currently maintains a comprehensive webpage that provides up to date “recommendations and guidance” specifically related to COVID-19 close contacts and contact tracing . . .

It is natural for anyone to have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. There is nothing more important than keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safe . . .

Late last week, The White House announced its new COVID-19 action plan titled “Path Out of the Pandemic" . . .

As cases of COVID-19 continue to trend upward in Minnesota, health officials are reminding people that testing remains a valuable tool in our quest to reduce the spread of this virus and the delta variant . . .

Minnesota Housing has drafted a plan to create the HomeHelpMN COVID-19 Homeowner Assistance Fund o support renter households financially impacted by the COVID-19 . . .

This Saturday, September 11, 2021, local youth can sign up to receive a free eye screening at Conway Community Center, and, if necessary, participating youth will also be provided with a free eye exam and outfitted with free corrective eyewear courtesy of Von’s Vision and The Sanneh Foundation.

Metro Transit is offering $1 rides on its buses and trains during the months of September and October to thank “those who have been riding with us, reintroduce ourselves to those who have been away for a while, and welcome those who are new to our community and our transit system.”

As the state's pandemic-related eviction moratorium is being phased out, help is available to Minnesota renters. Households in St. Paul and Ramsey County can apply directly through the St. Paul-Ramsey County Rent Assistance Program. Those who have a pending application to this program or through RentHelpMN will be protected from eviction when Minnesota's lease termination and eviction protections are officially lifted on October 12, 2021.

Although the United States Supreme Court recently overturned the federal COVID-19 eviction moratorium, the State of Minnesota still has protections in place . . .

Last week, the release of the latest 2020 United State Census data revealed that approximately one-quarter of Minnesota’s 5.7 million residents are people of color, representing a significant increase over the past decade . . .

Starting today, August 31, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reopening St. Paul’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium (175 W. Kellogg Blvd.) as a free COVID-19 testing site . . .

Tomorrow, August 31, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) continues its monthly interactive webinar series designed “for anyone interested in building resilience and promoting mental well-being” . . .

Starting today August 26, visitors to the Minnesota State Fair can stop by the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Clinic to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine . . .

Community Action Head Start is significantly expanding its early learning services for low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. Thanks to a $1.3 million expansion grant from the Office of Head Start, Community Action Head Start has added a total of 64 center-based slots and 12 more home-based slots for infants and toddlers.

Last month, seven-year-old Molly Wright of Queensland, Australia, became one of the youngest individuals ever to deliver a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talk . . .

Dr. Klutts, who notes he “has a front row seat to all the latest data” and discoveries related to COVID-19, employs a straightforward nine-point approach to explain why vaccines, mask-wearing, and other safety protocols are still so important in our efforts to combat this pandemic . . .

Due to an overwhelming response, the State of Minnesota has extended its current vaccine reward incentive out to this coming Sunday, August 22 . . .

Earlier today, August 16, the USDA officially released its re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, which it uses to calculate benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program . . .

LIHEAP turns 40 today. Established by Congress on August 13, 1981, LIHEAP, or simply, Energy Assistance is the biggest federal program of its kind available to households in the United States, helping to “pay heating and cooling bills, getting those services reconnected, and improving the energy efficiency of homes through weatherization services.”

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an editorial titled, “Getting Old is a Crisis More and More Americans Can’t Afford” . . .

Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced once again that eligible Minnesota households receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in July . . .

The average property tax refund for Minnesota renter households is around $650, while the average refund for homeowners is $900. Still, one in three eligible Minnesota households don't file Form M1PR. The deadline to file the 2019 property tax return is this Sunday, August 15, 2021.

Help Me Connect is an interagency partnership between the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services . . .

A partnership between Minnesota Community Care, the US Department of Agriculture, the Minnesota Department of Education, and Nutrition Now, this community-based effort is designed to reduce hunger in the City of St. Paul . . .

The state’s pandemic-related moratorium on utility disconnection was officially lifted. Thus, Minnesota households that are past due one their gas and/or electricity bills are now subject to having those services shutoff . . .

Minnesota is kicking off its second COVID-19 vaccination rewards program of the summer. Starting today, Minnesota residents 12 years of age and older that receive their first dose of the vaccine by August 15, 2021, are eligible to claim a $100 Visa gift card.

CareerForceMN offers an extensive catalogue of job-related resources, online tools, and other services designed to help Minnesotans start, advance, or even change their career . . .

On October 12, 2021, all existing lease termination and eviction protections set forth by the state will come to an end. However, those who have applied for rental assistance through this program will be protected . . .

Minnesota’s racial disparities have been well publicized. Despite our continuing status as one of the “most livable” of America’s 50 states, Minnesota maintains some of the worst racial gaps in the country . . .

The State of Minnesota is currently one of only 12 states (plus the District of Columbia) that offers the Property Tax-Aide program, or PTA . . .

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s latest Out of Reach report reveals that a minimum-wage earner in Minnesota must work a total of 69 hours per week just to afford a modest, one-bedroom ...

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has extended this year’s application deadline for Energy Assistance and expanded eligibility guidelines. Now, more Minnesotans qualify for Energy Assistance than ever before . . .

The Law Enforcement Career Path Academy (LECPA) - a partnership between the City of Saint Paul, AmeriCorps, Century College, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties - was recently profiled in the Star Tribune. LECPA seeks to increase diversity in the St. Paul Police Department by removing barriers "to college and a law enforcement career for low-income young people."

COVID-19 emergency rental assistance is still available through RentHelpMN.org. However, eligible households must apply for help immediately as a new state law is phasing out Minnesota's eviction moratorium. The Minnesota Housing Agency has highlighted the dates that renters should be mindful of during the coming months.

The Advanced Child Tax Credit (ACTC) offers immediate financial assistance to many Americans by advancing up to 50% of the total credit, that will be returned when families file their 2021 taxes early next year, in monthly payments from July through December of 2021. Families should know that they are not required to take these payments in 2021 and have the option to “opt-out” and take the full amount of the ACTC when they file their 2021 tax return early next year.

Community Action’s Energy Assistance Program still has crisis funding to help individuals and families in need through September 1, 2021. We encourage households in Ramsey or Washington counties that are already enrolled in the program to call us at (651) 645-6470 if you have a past due amount on your bill and/or have received a disconnection notice from your service provider.

Recently, the city officially assembled the St. Paul Recovery Act Community Reparations Commission . . .

The proposed Rondo Land Bridge project is now closer to becoming a reality as the State of Minnesota has committed more than $6 million to the planning process. Additional support has been approved by the Metropolitan Council and federal funds may be soon become available through the Invest in America Act, which has recently been passed by the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.

And all of this news comes on the heels of a June 2021 study from the Urban Institute that reveals the Twin Cities metro still has the highest racial homeownership gap in the nation . . .

The Minnesota Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps to bridge the nutrition and learning gaps through the summer months by providing free meals to kids . . .

Just as it has with the People’s Prosperity Pilot, the City of Saint Paul is leading the way again as one of eleven US municipalities pledging to establish a reparations pilot program . . .

CAPRW Head Start is hosting another COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic this coming Friday, June 25, 2021, at our North St. Paul Head Start Center (St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 2499 Helen Avenue N, North St. Paul, MN 55109) . . .

Next Tuesday, June 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST, Allianz Field will host the 2021 Midway Area Job Fair (Parking Lot B – 400 North Snelling Avenue) . . .

Today, June 21, 2021, is National Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, designated by The White House to ensure that all eligible households stay on the lookout for their expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments . . .

In the spirit and vision of Dr. King’s original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, co-chairs of the new Poor People’s Campaign are calling on all Americans to join together at 4:30 pm (CST), June 21, 2021 . . .

This measure still must pass a vote in the House of Representatives before being officially signed into law by President Joe Biden . . .

This inequity is what scholars, activists, and advocates have come to call the hunger divide. Second Harvest Heartland is just one organization working to address this issue and bring attention to the latest research . . .

Earlier this year, a team of photographers, photo editors, and other artists launched The 400 Years Project, a virtual photography collective that illustrates the “evolution of Native American identity, rights, and representation” . . .

Yesterday, we had the honor of hosting Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan at the Community Action Resource Center as she toured our Mobile Vaccination Clinic . . .

Last week, state legislators agreed to invest a minimum of $70 million in an effort to significantly enhance Minnesota’s high-speed broadband infrastructure during the next budget cycle . . .

During the month of June, Community Action is partnering with Prepare + Prosper, LSS Financial Counseling, and FAIR (Financial Assets in Reach) to host a series of FAIR “pop-up” banking events . . .

To ensure that at least 70 percent of all Minnesotans 16 years and older get at least partially vaccinated by July 1, the state has introduced the “Your Shot to Summer” Rewards initiative . . .

Twin Cities-based nonprofit Minnesota People of Color LGBTQ Pride (MN POC Pride) has announced the Early Intervention Services (EIS) Outreach Program . . .

Community Action’s VITA Clinic will open again soon for the summer to prepare federal and state returns as well as property tax returns at no cost to individuals with an annual income of $35,000 or less . . .

Nearly 200,000 households in the Twin Cities are currently classified as “un-banked” or “under-banked,” including roughly 55 percent of all BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) households . . .

Starting today, May 26, 2021, the Minnesota Community Vaccination Program will be offering the Johnson & Johnson, single-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights . . .

ReConnect Rondo is launching an “online listening tour” as part of its grand vision to build the Rondo Land Bridge over Interstate 94 in St. Paul, from Grotto Street to Chatsworth Street . . .

Yesterday morning, Community Action hosted “COVID-19 Vaccines and the Black Community: A Virtual Town Hall,” This free webinar was anchored by a pair of health professionals from the Hennepin Healthcare system . . .

Among the many provisions included in the American Rescue Plan is the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in 2021 to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children from 6 to 17 . . .

Saturday, June 5, is Money Action Day. Presented by Prepare + Prosper, LSS Financial Counseling, and College Bound Saint Paul, Money Action Day 2021 is a virtual seminar “designed to connect families to the resources . . .

On May, 19 (10:00 am to 11:00 am CDT), Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties will host "COVID-19 Vaccines and the Black Community: A Virtual Town Hall." This free, interactive event features Dr. Minelva Nanton Donato and Chanon Ridore (APRN, CNP), who will discuss the the COVID-19 vaccine and the impact of the pandemic on the African American community.

The deadline to apply for Energy Assistance has been extended to September 1, 2021. In addition, the eligibility guidelines have been expanded to include households that earn up to 60% of Minnesota's SMI, opening the program to 100,000 more state residents.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is designed to assist low to moderate-income households struggling to afford internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a much needed tool as it will help link eligible individuals and families to essential healthcare services, employment opportunities, online classrooms, social service benefits, and other vital resources.

On May 19, The Minnesota History Society is hosting a virtual book launch as part of its ongoing initiative, "Black History, Black Voices." The new book titled, "Sparked: George Floyd, Racism, and the Progressive Illusion" (MNHS Press), is a "collection of essays that reflect on racial dynamics in the Twin Cities and the intersection of the wonderful and wretched sides of that existence."

This coming Wednesday, May 12, 2021, CAPRW Head Start is hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. The clinic will take place in the Community Action Resource Center parking lot at 450 Syndicate Street North in St. Paul, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

In his 1960 essay “Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem,” James Baldwin famously wrote that, “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor" . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties has new volunteer opportunities available . . .

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the AAPI community to the culture and history of the United States . . .

National Community Action Month is on opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the impact that Community Action made in the past year . . .

Two bills will provide more than $46 billion to Americans that have fallen behind on their rents. Nonetheless, only a fraction of these dollars has reached landlords and tenants to date . . .

Minnesota reached a milestone over the weekend as 4 million COVID-19 vaccines have now been distributed. To date, more than half of the state’s population ages 16 and older have received at least one dose . . .

Earlier this week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended its current universal free lunch policy through this school year as well as for the entirety of the coming school year . . .

This week (April 18 – 24) is National Volunteer Week. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week is an “opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges . . .

The 2021 heating season has been extended and the new deadline to submit applications to Community Action’s Energy Assistance Program is now September 1, 2021 . . .

Throughout the month of April, Ramsey County, in partnership with the City of Saint Paul, has been offering both in-person and virtual healing circles . . .

A week ago today, CDC director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, released an official statement that declared racism “a serious public health threat" . . .

Initial data from both the St. Paul and Stockton pilots reveals that these programs are working to put the extra $500 per month to good use buying groceries, paying bills on time, paying down debt . . .

Food insecurity remains a precarious issue in the State of Minnesota, experts predict that the current hunger crisis will continue through at least the end of 2021 . . .

Yesterday, US Representative Betty McCollum announced that the American Rescue Plan will infuse just over a half-billion dollars into Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District . . .

Beginning next Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights will temporarily transition into a federally supported COVID-19 vaccination site . . .

As more and more Minnesotans become fully vaccinated, the number of COVID-19 cases has been steadily rising in our state and others. It is critical that we continue to wear protective masks, maintain social distancing . . .

Beginning today, March 31, through the end of the week, Community Action’s Head Start Health Team will host five more COVID-19 vaccination education events on the Zoom platform . . .

Beginning today, March 30, 2021, all Minnesotans ages 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, as the Star Tribune reports, there is “still not enough vaccine to meet demand . . .

According to Consumer Reports, Minnesotans that have excellent driving records but poor credit scores, are likely to pay and estimated $1,000 per year more in car insurance . . .

In response to the tragedy in Atlanta and the larger trend of AAPI hate, including several recent incidents in the Twin Cities and outstate Minnesota, local activists led primarily by young people, are standing up to this hate . . .

Tomorrow afternoon, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties will conclude its free, four-part webinar series Social & Emotional Well-Being, with “Stress and the Body" . . .

This coming Sunday, March 21, 2021, members of the local business community and neighborhood residents will gather for the Midway-Frogtown University Avenue Cleanup event . . .

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started sending out the third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIP3s) based on tax returns from either 2019 or 2020 . . .

Next week, Community Action’s original four-part webinar series, “Social & Emotional Wellness,” will conclude with the presentation of “Stress and the Body" . . .

Yesterday, President Biden officially signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, this sweeping legislation, totaling $1.9 trillion, will provide direct financial assistance and protections to millions of Americans . . .

This week Community Action’s Head Start Health Team will host three COVID-19 vaccination education events on the Zoom platform, including one in Española / Spanish (on Wednesday, March 10) and one in Hmoob / Hmong (on Thursday, March 11), while the Friday, March 12, event will be presented in English. Additional vaccination events, including meetings in Oromo and Somali are in the planning stages (more information to follow).

Tomorrow, Community Action hosts the third webinar in our four-part series on Social & Emotional Well-Being. This installment titled, “Community Violence and Trauma,” is presented by Jimmie Heags, Jr. . . .

With sharp increase in gas prices, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has made the decision to raise its annual energy assistance crisis benefit from $600 to $1,200, per eligible household . . .

The COVID-19 Assistance Relief for Homeownership Program (CARH), is funded through the Community Development Block Grant as part of the federal CARES Act . . .

Next Tuesday (March 9), Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties will hold the next offering in its webinar series, Social & Emotional Well-Being . . .

Many historians, activists, and educators have long advocated that we neither reduce black history, nor the history of other communities of color in this nation, to mere month-long festivities . . .

In an effort to streamline future efforts to more efficiently and effectively distribute the vaccine to everyone, the Minnesota COVID-19 Response Initiative has created the “Vaccine Connector" . . .

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a vital campaign designed “to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their parents and caregivers, teachers and many others . . .

This free virtual event hosted by Brandon Jones will explore the link between historical, cross-generational, and race-based trauma experienced in the African American community . . .

Starting March 8, 2021, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties will again offer its Manufacturing Skills Course . . .

Last November, The City of St. Paul became the second of only two US municipalities (the other being Stockton, California) to implement a guaranteed income program targeted at low-income residents . . .

Nationally renowned education experts, Idara Essien, PhD and J. Luke Wood, PhD, are inviting the parents and guardians of Black children currently in kindergarten through the third grade to participate in a nationwide study . . .

This certification by the USDA means that more than 315,000 Minnesota school-aged children will automatically receive additional nutrition assistance dollars beginning in late March and extending through the month of July . . .

Presented by Brandon Jones (MA), this free virtual event will explore the link between historical, cross-generational, and race-based trauma experienced by the African American community . . .

The purpose of the Health Café is to engage early education and childcare professionals, parents, caregivers, and the larger community on critical health issues that, in particular, affect low-income households and members of BIPOC . . .

Every year, Hunger Solutions MN hosts Hunger Day on the Hill brings together members of our community dedicated to ending hunger in Minnesota . . .

There has been a myriad of recent news stories reporting African Americans and other communities of color are only receiving the vaccine at around half the rate of white Americans . . .

Last Friday, the new administration announced that P-EBT benefits for this year will increase by approximately 15 percent, which will up the total benefit to roughly $135 per eligible child, per month . . .

After the initial phase of this program was completed, Governor Walz announced that an additional allocation of 15,000 vaccines had been reserved for area teachers . . .

Community Action’s four-part Social & Emotional Well-Being Webinar Series features experts in the mental health industry, who will provide vital health/wellness tools and strategies to the communities we serve . . .

Today is EITC Awareness Day, a national effort to increase the number of low- to moderate-income American households that claim the EITC on their federal tax returns . . .

The Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic will launch for the 2021 tax season very soon . . .

As more and more Minnesotans receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the number of daily coronavirus cases is gradually trending downward, the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response Team warns that we are not out of the woods yet . . .

Although the new presidential administration has announced its intention to extend that increase yet another three months, the USDA notes that the current level of “SNAP benefits are inadequate for most participants" . . .  

Next Friday, January 29, 2021, marks the 16th Annual EITC Awareness Day, a collective outreach effort by the IRS to increase the number of eligible American households that claim the EITC . . .

Yesterday, as one of 15 Executive Orders signed, President Biden extended the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) original federal moratorium on evictions by two months through March 31, 2021 . . .

In presenting this four-part series, we will partner with experts in the mental health industry to provide the communities we serve with vital health and wellness tools and strategies . . .

President-elect Joe Biden has shared his proposal for another coronavirus relief bill known as the American Rescue Plan, which addresses a number of the critical issues that Community Action's Working Together blog has highlighted in recent weeks.

Although the bill extended the federal eviction moratorium through January 31, the state’s moratorium on evictions officially ended yesterday, putting thousands of families at risk of being forced from their homes during a pandemic . . .

The United States Congress has temporarily increased the maximum benefit for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) . . .

Refugee Resettlement Network recently established a new telephone hotline to provide COVID-19 related assistance and information regarding other important resources to immigrant and refugee communities . . .

Unlike the CARES Act passed in March of 2020, the latest relief package set forth from Congress, does not include a provision for mortgage forbearance to homeowners . . .

Governor Tim Walz has declared January 2021 to be Health Care Month, this proclamation underscores the “dynamic and robust” impact that the healthcare industry—the largest job sector in Minnesota . . .

In addition to a second round of stimulus checks, one of the most important provisions in the latest coronavirus relief bill is $25 billion in rental/utility assistance and a one-month extension to the present federal eviction moratorium . . .

Some have already seen the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) hit their bank accounts over the past few days, while the rest of eligible Americans should receive their stimulus payments sometime in January . . .

The Community Engagement Department, while adapting to a new shelter-in-place and social distancing culture, continued to provide direct services and case management support to participants across multiple program areas . . .

Beginning in May, Energy Conservation staff were able to participate in comprehensive training and planning sessions which helped to establish virtual/remote audit processes . . .

As the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic in March, our Energy Assistance Program quickly adapted to the new reality, taking advantage of the extended heating season to approve nearly 17,000 primary heating grants . . .

To end the year, Community Action’s “Working Together” Blog will highlight the accomplishments of our four program areas during 2020. Today, we begin with Head Start / Early Head Start . . .

The current administration is asking Congress to increase the amount of EIPs to Americans, which, for the moment, is holding up the bill’s signing . . .

Community Action will frequently post details (here on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter) about how to claim (if required) and receive your stimulus payment as soon as possible (once that information is available) . . .

There has been a lot of discussion on how remote learning has negatively impacted the social, emotional, and academic development of students, particularly among low-income and children of color . . .

Early on during the coronavirus pandemic, a report from Feeding America forecasted that food insecurity could increase nearly 50 percent in 2020 . . .

Earlier this month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans to refrain from travel during the rest of the holiday season, noting that “the safest thing to do” is stay home . . .

Among the benefits included in the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed in late March, was mortgage forbearance for homeowners that have experienced a financial hardship “directly or indirectly” related to the coronavirus pandemic . . .

With the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the first coronavirus vaccines expected any day now, Governor Tim Walz and state health officials detailed Minnesota’s initial plan for vaccine distribution Tuesday . . .

We have no universal health care. No universal childcare. No universal social insurance entitlement. No guaranteed basic income. No paid parental leave or illness leave . . .

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLICH) annual 2020 Out of Reach report demonstrates again, the significant need for fair, affordable, and high quality housing throughout the United States, including in Minnesota.

As with Thanksgiving, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising Americans not to travel for the remainder of the holiday season. According to the CDC’s Dr. Cindy Friedman, “The safest thing to do is to postpone holiday travel and stay home. Travel volume was high over Thanksgiving, and even if small numbers were infected, that could result in hundreds of thousands of new infections.”

The deadline to apply for support funds from the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) is this coming Monday, December 7, 2020. If you choose to apply online, your application must be submitted by 11:59 pm on Monday. Paper applications submitted via US Mail must be postmarked by December 7.

Our state has recorded several number one rankings of late. It's no surprise as US News and World Report ranks our state as the “Most Charitable” in the nation . . .

A bipartisan group of legislators has established a new social media campaign titled #TakeThePlegeMN, which “asks Minnesotans to pledge to wear masks in public spaces, maintain social distancing in public, stay home if they are sick or exposed to the virus and limit the size of gatherings during the holidays.”

Just days before the Thanksgiving Holiday, food insecurity continues to rise dramatically in the United States. Eight months after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, millions of American households are seeking assistance from food banks, many for the first time.

The deadline for the thousands of eligible Americans (generally not required to file a tax return) to still claim their Economic Impact Payment (EIP) in 2020, is tomorrow, November 21.

As great as the needs are for Minnesota’s schools and nonprofit agencies, those needs have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for those that primarily serve BIPOC populations . . .

Give to the Max Day is tomorrow, November 19, 2020. An initiative of GiveMN, Give to the Max Day raises millions of dollars each year to support schools and nonprofit agencies across the state . . .

Tomorrow is the final day to pre-order free Thanksgiving meals from Neighborhood House . . .

The Minnesota Department of Health will expand its COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contract Tracing protocols to send text messages to Minnesotans informing them that the MDH will soon be calling them . . .

During the first six-months of the coronavirus pandemic, SNAP enrollment in Minnesota increased by nearly 20 percent, almost doubling state expenditures to upwards of $77 million per month . . .

Thanksgiving is two weeks from today and Neighborhood House will be providing free, fully-cooked takeout meals on Thanksgiving Day . . .

State officials continue to ask Minnesotans to wear their protective masks in public, practice social distancing (six feet), and avoid large gatherings (whether indoors or outdoors) . . .

We are nearly six weeks into the 2021 Heating Season and Community Action is accepting for its Energy Assistance Program . . .

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties is still seeking virtual volunteers to assist in our 2021 VITA Tax Clinic . . .

If you have yet to submit a completed absentee ballot, you still have until 3:00 pm CST to deliver it in-person to your county elections office. You also have the right to register and vote in-person today at your local polling place between the hours of 7:00 am and 8:00 pm . . .

It is too late to submit your absentee ballot by mail, so you must either deliver it today (November 2, 2020) in-person to a designated drop box in the county where you’re registered to vote or at your county election office on election day (November 3, 2020) . . .

Voting by absentee ballot and voting early in the 2020 general election mean the same thing and one of the safest and most secure ways to cast your vote is to drop off your ballot at one of many drop box locations in your county . . .

USA Today's six-part series documents how this nation’s history of discriminatory policies and practices have negatively impacted BIPOC populations . . .

For the past several presidential elections Minnesota has led the nation in voter participation, and nothing is likely to change in 2020 . . .

Some Minnesota residents are eligible to vote early or on election day through a method known as “Agent Delivery" . . .

A full seven months since Governor Tim Walz first declared a peacetime emergency in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity continues to increase . . .

The 2021 Energy Assistance Program Heating Season kicked off on October 1, 2020. Energy Assistance applications were mailed to 2020 approved households beginning in August . . .

Ramsey County’s COVID-19 RECERT (Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team) announces the “A Mask for Everyone" initiative . . .

For more information on how to request your absentee ballot, complete your ballot, submit your ballot, track your ballot, or vote safely on election day, please visit the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

Local government manages a lot of different things—and their decisions directly affect your life. Think schools, policing, affordable housing, public transit…

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey County still has crisis dollars available to support residents in our service area who have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic . . .

Food insecurity continues to be a concern for many Minnesota households during the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 100,000 new SNAP applications submitted since late March of this year . . .

The Internal Revenue Service has once again extended the deadline for eligible Americans to claim their Economic Impact Payment as part of the CARES Act . . .

Volunteerism is critical to Community Action’s ability to achieve its mission to reduce poverty and its impact on people’s lives. Last year, for example, Community Action benefitted from more than 33,000 volunteer hours . . .

Community Actions is accepting applications for volunteers to assist in the operation of our VITA Tax Clinic (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) . . .

The 2020 general election is now just 33 days away. If you are not registered to vote, there is still time. The Elections and Voting page at the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State website presents information on how to register online, on paper, or on Election Day . . . .

Ramsey County’s Free COVID-19 Testing will go ahead at testing site events both today (October 1) and this Saturday (October 3) at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood (1850 White Bear Avenue) . . .

According to a number of experts, the decision to extend census taking through the end of October is critical to the representation of rural areas, immigrant populations, and BIPOC communities, which are historically at increased risk of being undercounted . . .

Since 1971, Prepare + Prosper has helped low- to moderate-income Minnesotans “build financial well-being through free tax preparation and financial services, products and coaching, and by changing systems to create economic opportunity" . . .

All this week, Working Together has focused on the multiple early voting options available to Minnesota residents in the upcoming 2020 General Election (Tuesday, November 3) . . .

All this week, the Working Together blog has featured the various methods that Minnesotans can use to vote early in the 2020 general election, including in-person, by mail, and through “Agent Delivery”. There are also absentee ballot options for active military personnel and Minnesotans currently living outside of the United States . . .

Another way that some Minnesotans, who find themselves in unique circumstances, can vote both early or on election day is known as “Agent Delivery.”

Early voting has started. In Minnesota, all voters have the option vote by mail. And, unlike several other states, you do not need to provide a reason to vote early in our state . . .

Each Minnesota county has at least one location for early in-person voting, however many counties have multiple locations . . .

For the next forty-six days (September 18 to November 2) registered voters in Minnesota can vote ahead the November 3, 2020 national election in one of several ways . . .

Bike riding, along with many other modes of outdoor recreation, can be vital to the mental, emotional, and physical health of people of all ages . . .

"Welcoming Week” is designed “to celebrate and affirm the importance of inclusivity and connections for immigrants, refugees and long-term residents" . . .

Sometime around the 24th of this month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will start to mail letters to approximately nine million Americans that haven’t filed a tax return on either 2018 or 2019, but who still may be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment . . .

Minnesota continues to lead all 50 states in our response rate to the 2020 Census as more than three-quarters of all our households have successfully completed their questionnaire, already exceeding our state’s response rate from 2010. But, there is still more work to be done.

Any family that provided an email address on their original application have been notified via email and have until this coming Monday, September 14, 2020, to submit their appeal. Those families (both with public or private school children) who were denied and that did not provide an email address in their P-EBT application will be notified by mail and have until next Friday, September 18, 2020, to make their appeal.

The extension of these free meal services by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which were originally set to expire this week, will help to meet the nutritional needs of nearly 30 million of low-income preschool and school age children . . .

Consider the story of Anthony Taylor, who in 1999 co-founded the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, whose mission seeks to get more and more African Americans interested in riding . . .

This past weekend Governor Tim Walz announced that our state has received federal approval to add $300 in weekly unemployment benefits to eligible Minnesotans as part of the Lost Wages Assistance Program (LWA) . . .

Among the reasons that Black Americans and other people of color are at increased risk of exposure and dying from COVID-19 at rates nearly 2½ times that of whites is due to their disproportionate representation in employment sectors that don’t enable them the luxury to work remotely during the pandemic . . .

Although withholding during this time remains voluntary, unemployment beneficiaries are able to “choose a flat 10 percent withheld from their benefits to cover part or all of their tax liability" . . .

Beginning in September, the catch-up payments will be issued as paper checks “to any eligible spouse who submitted Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation), along with their 2019 federal income tax return, or in some cases, their 2018 return) . . .

There is another Free Food Distribution Event, taking place tomorrow, August 28, at Allianz Field, 400 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul . . .

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of federal legislators submitted a letter to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking them to take immediate action to stem this tide . . .

The authors of the NBER report note that during just the first two months of pandemic, unemployment rates for women far exceeded those of men . . .

More than 27,000 Minnesota households due for SNAP recertification have been mailed packets this month that include: a six-month report form and/or combined application form . . .

A new report published by Northwestern University economist Diane Schanzenbach reveals that food insecurity among seniors has increased by approximately 60 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic began . . .

The deadline to register for eligible adults to register their dependents passed in May, but the IRS is now encouraging those households that missed the originally deadline to use the non-filers portal, from now through September 30 . . .

A Pew Research Center Poll that reveals one-half of all Americans fear that they will face difficulties voting in the upcoming November 3, 2020, general election, now a mere 81 days away . . .

As congress stalls on the next stimulus bill, there are still many emergency services available to Minnesotans that address critical issues during this pandemic such as economic assistance, childcare, healthcare, housing, and food support . . .

Before polls even opened for the 2020 Minnesota Primary yesterday, the number of absentee ballots received had already exceeded the total number of votes cast (in-person, absentee, etc.) during the 2016 Minnesota Primary by more than 200,000 . . .

A study just published by The Commonwealth Fund reports that, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have suffered significantly higher mental health consequences and economic stress than residents of other “high income” western nations . . .

The new unemployment numbers, coupled with the July 31 expiration of the additional $600 unemployment benefit (first established by the CARES Act), means that millions of American households continue to suffer needlessly as the House and Senate negotiate the terms of a new stimulus relief package.

The 2020 Minnesota Primary is just five days away, and, moreover, the 2020 general election is now only 90 days away . . . Still, there is also another way to vote for those who find themselves in unique circumstances, which is known as “Agent Delivery.”

In Monday’s “Working Together” blog we reported that census takers will soon begin to knock on the doors of households that have yet to submit their completed forms for the 2020 Census . . . since then, however, the US Census Bureau has moved the deadline up one month to September 30, 2020.

Starting this Thursday (August 6) in the Twin Cities, and next Tuesday (August 11) throughout the state, federal census takers will begin the process of knocking on doors to complete census counts in Minnesota (and across the nation). 

Thousands of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) households in Minnesota will need to reapply for their benefits before they are set to expire on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

On Monday, July 20, 2020, the Minnesota Head Start Association helped coordinate a virtual meeting with staffers from the offices of Senator Tina Smith and Representatives Betty McCollum, Ilhan Omar, Angie Craig, and Dean Phillips.

Project Restore MN, is a “youth founded and youth-led private-non-profit social enterprise whose mission is providing various services to African Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) organizations, communities, and youth across Minnesota.”

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is reminding Minnesota residents that this coming Friday, July 31, 2020, is the final day to apply for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits . . .

This statement further echoes a slew of studies that historically detail how housing covenants, institutional redlining, predatory lending, and other dubious housing policies and practices have continued to foster rampant racial disparities such as those in the Twin Cities where black-white gaps in housing, employment, education, and healthcare are among the worst in the nation.

Patterns of segregation that have resulted in high poverty neighborhoods (including ACPs and ACP50s) that we see today “have deep roots  in racially restrictive covenants and redlining, which dictated who could live where and who could buy housing, affecting patterns of education and generational wealth.”

Writing for MinnPost, data specialist Greta Kaul explains that these ACP census tracts fall into four different categories: Newly Poor, Deepening Poverty, Persistent Poverty, and Turning Around/Leaving Poverty.

A recent MinnPost article by staff writer and data specialist Greta Kaul reveals that over the past four decades, the number of Twin Cities’ neighborhoods classified as Areas of Concentrated Poverty (ACP) has more than doubled . . .

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, our communities have adopted a number of strategies to make sure that people are fed . . .

Starting this month, census takers will begin to visit households that have yet to respond to Census 2020 to ensure that everyone in every home in America “is counted.”

The Census provides detailed data on the US population—the world’s third largest—that is used to distribute political power and direct nearly $1 trillion in federal spending.

The P-EBT program began as a one-time $325 (per child) food benefit “available to Minnesota families with children (ages 5 to 18) who would have received free or reduced-price meals if schools were open.” Recently, the DHS and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) extended the P-EBT application deadline to July 31 . . .

At this time, we want to remind everyone that Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties maintains a dedicated webpage that provides comprehensive resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start’s Summer Food Distributions events have concluded, families that utilized the sites at our McDonough and Battle Creek Head Start Centers have been referred to other available locations to help meet the nutritional needs of their children . . .

Deadline to apply for P-EBT benefits has been extended to July 31, 2020. Program has also added an additional $100 benefit per child and has been expanded to include eligible Pre-K children ages 3 and 4.

Community Action's Community Engagement programs adopt virtual strategies and tools to serve low-income households during COVID-19 pandemic

Energy Assistance applications for the extended 2019-2020 heating season are due by tomorrow, July 1, 2020.

Community Action Head Start / Early Head Start’s Food Distribution that was recently featured in the newsletter of the National Child and Adult Food Care Program (CAFCP) Association.

The deadline to apply for P-EBT benefits is next Tuesday, June 30, 2020. So if you, or someone that you know has children (aged 5 to 18 as of September 1, 2019) that were: 1) receiving free or reduced-priced lunches during the 2019-2020 school year, 2) were enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision School, or 3) access food through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), please visit the Code for America website to apply.

The P-EBT program provides a one-time benefit of $325 per eligible child to help meet the nutritional needs of children during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The DHS also reminds Minnesota families that “applying for P-EBT does not affect enrollment in any other program.”

Normal food distribution will continue today, June 23 as well as next Tuesday, June 30 (from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm), at both McDonough HS (1544 Timberlake Road) and Battle Creek HS (2181 Suburban Avenue).

The Minnesota Department of Revenue is reminding Minnesotans that their call center remains open during the current COVID-19 crisis and “is ready to assist taxpayers with questions about their individual tax returns.”

Community Action has also added a Car Repair Grant option to reduce the cost burden of transportation by assisting those in need of general automobile maintenance or repairs. This initiative provides a one-time grant of up to $750 per household. 

We are pleased to announce that we are partnering with the City of Shoreview to provide additional affordable housing units in Ramsey County.

Yet there are other ways that we can still help each other. A May 23rd story by philanthropy reporter Kelly Smith in the Star Tribune, illustrates how local nonprofits have reimagined volunteerism during the era of Stay At Home MN and more recently Stay Safe MN.

The July 15, 2020, tax filing deadline is now exactly 30 days away. And, The July 15, 2020, tax filing deadline is now exactly 30 days away. And, while most VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) clinics remained closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, free tax filing is still available to households earning $69,000 or less during the 2019 tax year via Free File on your smart phone, tablet, or computer.

The weekly events held at both McDonough HS (1544 Timberlake Road) and Battle Creek HS (2181 Suburban Avenue) will continue to run through the next three Tuesdays (June 16, 23, 30 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm), while the University HS distribution will take place tomorrow June 16 at The Journey School (775 Lexington Parkway North).

Tina Smith delivered the first of several addresses on the Senate floor yesterday in honor of our fellow citizen, George Floyd, and in support of Minnesotans and millions of more through our nation and the world demanding transformative change to the structures that continue to foster and exacerbate racism, inequity, and injustice our world.

Due to the damage that occurred to our headquarters at the Community Action Resource Center during the last week of May, the University Head Start food distribution event was moved to Wednesday, June 3. Collectively, these efforts provided more than 3,200 meals to Head Start children and their families. 

There are a couple of new updates that we are pleased to share from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).

Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties is pleased to announce that our Community Engagement Department will be offering Money Smart workshops in June and July.

This past Wednesday, in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers and the worldwide protests that followed, CNN published a feature titled “US black-white inequality in 6 start charts.” 

Ramsey County has established a Food Resources webpage at ramseycounty.us. The dedicated webpage is designed to help residents in locating free meals and food assistance programs throughout the county.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) are in the process of issuing P-EBT food benefits to eligible Minnesota families with school-age children. According to the DHS, there are two primary categories of eligibility to receive P-EBT benefits.

Due to the damage at our St. Paul headquarters (450 Syndicate Street North), we were forced to suspend delivery of our meal kit boxes provided by our agency partner, The Food Group. The Food Group is holding those donations so that we may deliver them this week.

Although the Twin Cities have long ranked at or near the top for many quality of life indicators when compared to other major metro areas and all 50 states, our communities also suffer from some of the widest black/white gaps in the nation when it comes to employment, education, housing, and healthcare.

Following last week’s announcement from the US Department of the Treasury that as many as four million Americans will now receive their Economic Impact Payment (EIP) via prepaid debit card, the IRS is following up to let recipients know that these cards will arrive via US Mail in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”

Last Tuesday our efforts provided more than 4,100 meals to 345 Head Start children. And, in addition to food and educational materials, Head Start staff passed out a multitude of essential home care items to families including toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, shampoo and conditioner, feminine hygiene products, as well as additional food items donated by a local food shelf.

As the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has increased crisis funding and extended the current heating season to July 2, 2020, enabling even more Minnesota families to apply for assistance.

In the May 6, 2020, installment we discussed the USDA’s recent approval to allow the State of Minnesota’s SNAP recipients to use their EBT cards to buy groceries online and have them delivered directly to their homes . . . The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is pleased to announce that these services are scheduled to go online starting next week at two statewide retailers: Amazon (May 27) and Walmart (May 28).

In order to more efficiently and securely expedite stimulus payments to eligible Americans, the IRS and the US Department of the Treasury will begin to issue approximately 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIP) via pre-paid debit cards.

As the IRS continues to process and disburse Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans as part of the CARES Act, it announced yesterday that they are adding as many as 3,500 telephone representatives to answer basic questions about these stimulus payments.  

Beginning in March, in order to meet the nutritional needs of our Head Start children, Community Action set up food distribution sites at three of its Head Start Centers in St. Paul.

Locally, in response to the array of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Community Action has adopted new approaches and innovative tools to serve the critical needs of low-income individuals and families. And yet, there will undoubtedly be more hurdles ahead as we attempt to navigate the unpredictable and turbulent waters of these unprecedented times.

Recent data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey highlights the substantial technological disparities that currently exist between Minnesota households earning less than $35,000 per year as compared to those making more money.

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, as the nation witnessed historic lows in unemployment, African American and Native American workers were more than twice as likely to be unemployed as white individuals. In Minnesota, those disparities were even more pronounced and have been further exacerbated by the current crisis.

The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has already wrought on the United States economy—with the possible exception of the Great Depression—is unprecedented.

The IRS has set the deadline for Americans to enter their direct deposit information for this Wednesday, May 13, 2020, by 12:00 pm Eastern Time.

This past month Governor Tim Walz established the Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group, to be co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero.

Tomorrow, May 8, 2020, will conclude #GiveAtHomeMN Week, a virtual fundraising initiative established by our friends at GiveMN.org to rally around and support the Minnesota’s nonprofit community, our schools, and the residents that they dutifully serve year-round.

The USDA has approved Minnesota’s request to allow the state’s SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy groceries online and have them delivered to their homes. This is a significant step in helping nearly 400,000 more Minnesota residents reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Today, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, is National Teacher’s Day. So, in honor of our Head Start/Early Head Start teachers, staff, and volunteers who continue to serve more than 1,200 children and their families during the COVID-19 crisis through innovative tools and strategies—We say Happy Teacher’s Day and thank you for all that you do!

May 1 through May 8, 2020 is #GiveAtHomeMN Week, a virtual fundraising event designed by GiveMN.org to support Minnesota nonprofit agencies, schools, and all those that they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May is National Community Action Month, which is designed to highlight the stories, successes, and indelible impact of the Community Action Movement.

A mother of two, Nalie shares with her young children the importance of giving back, and together, the three of them have volunteered to put summertime learning kits together for Head Start students. “I want my kids to see the positive impact they can make in the world."

On February 24, 2020, the United States Department of Homeland Security updated the “public charge” rule, a change that directly affects immigrants applying for either visas or green cards from within the country. This is a complicated rule and can potentially affect the immigration status of those that use government programs . . .

As part of its recent initiative, the “Plus $500 Push,” the IRS has announced that those individuals receiving Veteran’s benefits (VA) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who did not file a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019, have until next Tuesday, May 5, 2020, to register their qualifying children (defined as a dependent under the age of 17 with a social security number) for an additional $500 (per child) to be added to their Economic Impact Payment. 

The Minnesota Children’s Cabinet has created a comprehensive resource guide for questions, contacts information, and support in several critical areas that include: health coverage, housing, economic assistance, childcare, mental health needs, food supports, utilities, worker protections, support for college students, small business support, as well as additional family supports and resources related to COVID-19.

In order to clear up any confusion as to who should use the Non-Filers portal to ensure that they receive their Economic Impact Payment, the IRIS has provided information on who should use it. 

Recent news reports indicate there is still confusion over who is entitled to an Economic Impact Payment. Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disbursed funds to 80 million people through direct deposits. Still, tens of millions more eligible Americans have yet to receive their money.

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection is reminding all Americans how to identify and report phishing and other scams related to your Economic Impact Payment. According to the FTC the following guidelines will help you to avoid becoming the victim of fraud

The IRS announced that there is a limited window for those who receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI),  Social Security (SSA), and Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB) who did NOT file a tax return in either 2018 or 2019 to register their dependent children so that they may receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payments.

Millions of people are now receiving their Economic Impact Payments from the federal government. For most Americans, no further action is required. Still, there is a great deal of misinformation that is being spread online via social media and word of mouth.

Kathleen, like many seniors, faces many financial obstacles. Community Action's Energy Assistance program makes sure staying safe and warm is not one of them.

Because low-income families are more vulnerable than ever in these unprecedented times, it's more vital than ever that Community Action finds innovative ways to continue to provide our programs and services even in the age of social distancing.

The 40th president of the United States, the late Ronald Reagan, once famously said, “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.” That’s a wonderful sentiment and one that I suppose many, regardless of their political leanings, would likely get behind...

Among the most common talking points during this current election season is the need to remedy the rampant economic inequality that continues to plague our country. Just last fall, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Community Survey revealed that America’s wealth gap was now wider than it has been at any point since 1969...

When it comes to the subject of health care, a common refrain from American families nowadays is, “Every year we pay more and more for insurance and yet somehow receive less in terms of coverage and benefits..."

This special installment of The Anti-Poverty Solider features an interview with it’s author with Dr. Clarence Hightower conducted by Minnesota Spokeman-Recorder contributing writer Dwight Hobbes.

n 2015 the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment published a ground-breaking study on the phenomenon of “urban heat islands” in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area. The findings of this research revealed that temperatures in some local neighborhoods can rise significantly higher than others during the summer months. In fact, during the historic Upper Midwest heat wave in July of 2012, temperature differentials were nearly 10 degrees higher in certain areas of the Twin Cities as compared to others...

Just this last December, thousands of people in dozens of cities across the globe gathered together for the “World’s Big Sleep Out.” The participants of this event purposely slept outside in the cold in an attempt to increase the amount of attention that societies pay to the crisis of homelessness...

As I recently reflected on some of the topics this column covered in the past year, I was immediately reminded of the flagrant discrimination and disparities that persist around housing both here in the Twin Cities and throughout the rest of America...

Earlier this year the federal government bandied about a proposal that would, in effect, lower the federal poverty threshold. According to both the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP), these suggested changes to how we measure poverty in this nation would have “endangered millions” of people...

In the essay, “Fifth Avenue, Uptown”—which depicts everyday life in Civil Rights era Harlem, a full four years prior to the riot that engulfed New York City’s “Black mecca” in July of 1964—Baldwin famously wrote that “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor" . . .

Starting back in 2015, 24/7 Wall Street, an online financial news organization, began publishing an annual study that identified “the worst states for Black Americans” to live. For three consecutive years Minnesota finished second only to Wisconsin for this particularly unflattering distinction . . .

In the summer of 2017, I used this column to embark on a six-part series inspired by a single quote. That quote came from noted historian Rutger C. Bregman, who, during a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk declared, “Poverty isn’t a lack of character. It’s a lack of cash.”

Forty-six years ago this month, an oil embargo targeting the United States resulted in what is today remembered as the 1973 Oil Crisis.

In August of this year, The New York Times launched “The 1619 Project” marking the fourth centennial since the first documented slaves were captured and brought from modern-day Angola . . .

In response to the Supreme Court’s 1954 landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education—which partially overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and outlawed segregation in public schools . . .

As a native of the Mississippi River town of Alton, Illinois (birthplace of Miles Davis), I remember the City of St. Louis as being essentially a stone’s throw away from my childhood home.

On the heels of the previous Anti-Poverty Soldier column (August 15-21) — which highlighted the work of two Stanford University professors who revealed that America’s income and wealth disparities are only getting worse . . .

There has been a lot of talk these past couple years of America’s booming economy.

In the spring of 2018, a Minnesota man made quite a splash when he testified before State representatives that — in spite of being a millionaire — he was able to secure benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for well over a year.

On more than one occasion I’ve used this space to criticize the nation’s Federal Poverty Guidelines, which for all intents and purposes have essentially remained unchanged since they were established 55 years ago . . .

On the heels of the most recent “Anti-Poverty Soldier” piece (June 20, 2019) — about a Duke University study that chronicled the systematic plundering of more than $3 billion in wealth from Chicago’s African American homeowners from 1950 to 1970 . . .

In a recent installment of this column (March 28, 2019), I highlighted the Twin Cities Public Television documentary, Jim Crow of the North.

Four years ago this week, the first of 79 lawsuits was filed against the State of Michigan, claiming the water from the Flint River posed a significant health risk to the approximately 100,000 residents of Flint, Michigan.

In the last two installments of The Anti-Poverty Solider (from MSR issues April 25 and May 9), I began to introduce the findings from Community Action’s latest Community Needs Assessment (CNA).

In the previous column [April 25 issue] I referenced Community Action’s most recent triennial Community Needs Assessment (CNA), which yielded six major findings plus one central theme.

Every three years the agency that I lead, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties, conducts a thorough Community Needs Assessment (CNA), a process that takes the better part of an entire calendar year.

In 1990, Vincent Fanelli published his one and only book, The Human Face of Poverty: A Chronicle of Urban America.

There have been a number of themes covered over and over again during the life of this column, including the examination of the Twin Cities’ rampant racial disparities, which have consistently ranked among the worst in the nation.

The previous installment of this column explored, in part, what many scholars and activists have long termed “the criminalization of poverty.”

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to take a lunch meeting with Ramsey County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo.

A little more than a century ago, German sociologist Max Weber famously put forth a theoretical model which, when translated to English, become known as the “iron cage.”

There have been a multitude of reports in recent years about how poverty can negatively affect
the health of its victims.

On behalf of the board of directors, staff, volunteers, partners, and participants of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties (CAPRWC), I wish to express our collective appreciation to the state’s lawmakers as they pledge unity on plans to mitigate the detrimental effects of the federal government shutdown on Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations.

In spite of what we hear about record-low levels
of unemployment, persistent job growth, and other positive economic indicators, food insecurity remains one of the pressing issues in the nation.

As we reflect on the passing of another year and anticipate the unfolding of the new one, I want to strike a somewhat different tone in this first column of 2019.

A constitutional democracy is in serious trouble if its citizenry does not have a certain degree of education and civic virtue.

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of the minority . . .

Prison is the only form of public housing that the government has truly invested in over the past five decades.

Fewer than half of children younger than 5-years old are read-to daily in our country.

Today, the lines are blurring between the middle class, the working poor, and those unable to find work.

To empower people and strengthen their political voice, we need to help them gain access to the sources of power in any society.

To get away from poverty, you need several things at the same time.

Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed.

It is our moral failure that we still tolerate poverty.

The long-standing and partisan debate over the subject of climate change ramped-up even more recently at the news of America's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values.

The message is not if you are poor, then your brain will be smaller and there is nothing that can be done about it. That is absolutely not the message.

In the group that has been here longer, white Americans dominate both the FTE sector and the low-wage sector.

A federal study last year found that about one in four US households skirts banks and relies on such services as check-cashing and payday loans.

Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren't so because of what they now but because of their insatiable need to know more.

I was raised to believe we all have a civic duty and a responsibility as Americans to improve our neighborhoods and our nation.

In 2011, following the release of the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Minnesota Compass published a statistical profile titled "Poverty in St. Paul."

In the 1930s and the 1940s Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest black neighborhood.

When you allow racial disparity and institutional inequity to affect one part of the country, eventually it's coming back to get everyone.

The relationship between transportation and social mobility is stronger than the between mobility and other factors . . .

Thought leadership should be the entry point to a relationship.

Without question, the stars of Class Divided and perhaps the foremost reason for any hope at in this neighborhood, are the young people whose daily lives straddle the same one block stretch of 10th Avenue . . .

The disposition to admire and almost worship the rich and powerful, and to despise, or, at least to neglect persons of color is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.

The failure of political leaders to help uplift the poor will be judged as a moral failure.

Minnesota has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation.

Even before the start of "The War on Poverty" more than 50 years ago, there was a dedicated push to establish innovative volunteer programs that addressed social and political inequalities . . .

Dr. King organized the Poor People's Campaign in 1968 to shut down Washington, D.C., and force legislators to tackle poverty.

Whatever thoughts we have about God, who he is, or even if God exists, most would agree that God has a special place for the poor.

Social-inequality trends over the past half century indicate that class divisions are growing more rigid.

Nearly two full years ago, I penned a column that asked the question, "Did Dr. King's Dream ever makes its way to Minnesota?"

Across the United States, the likelihood that poor children will eventually rise into the middle class or beyond depends on heavily on where they live . . .

Our Impact This Year

  • People Who Received Utility Bill Assistance

    49,780

  • Children Enrolled in Head Start & Early Head Start

    1,622

  • People Whose Utility Bills Were Lowered Through Home Weatherization

    245

  • Workers Provided with Transportation Support Including Vehicle Loans, Repair Grants, and Transit Passes

    1,743

© 2022 Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties

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