Mission: Our mission is to ensure a life of dignity and opportunity for those in need throughout hennepin county.
Programs: We provide financial assistance to low-income households to assist with energy costs (gas, heat, oil) and repairs. We provide direct, one-time payments to energy vendors through funding received from the state and federal governments. Additionally, emergency funds are made available to households through state and private funding sources. Marketing and outreach efforts are utilized to inform customers of fuel efficiency strategies; this past year, we conducted several energy conservation fairs to provide information and free energy conservation supplies to low-income households. During 2016, 29,882 households received energy assistance or energy crisis assistance, which translates into assistance being provided to 78,040 people.
we provide full-cycle homeownership services, as well as rental services for clients. These services are offered to assist low-income people obtain, maintain and retain safe and affordable housing. Services related to meeting basic needs are also provided (e. G. , financial or other assistance with healthcare, child care, employment, financial counseling, education, etc. ). Housing services include with foreclosure prevention counseling and loan assistance. The program served 172 people (113 households), first time homebuyer workshops, counseling and assistance with obtaining loans available for first-time homebuyers and low-income homebuyers. 722 people attended workshops and/or received 1:1 counseling, in the housing rehabilitation services, counseling and workshops, 1,342 people received assistance through repairs, grants, and loans. 445 households received reverse mortgage counseling, 71 households helped with homeless and transitional housing counseling, intensive case management services and financial assistance services provided to 594 people (173 households).
we engage in community development, which assists other organizations to develop to their fullest capacities, in order to better serve low-income and historically underrepresented populations. We focus on working with groups and organizations that are initiated at a grass-roots level and want to provide services at a local community level. Strategies for community development include providing the following services to both new and more mature organizations: corporate formation and organization, board training, staff training, obtaining tax-exempt status, resource development and fund-raising strategies, marketing assistance, developing evaluation and reporting strategies. We also serve as the fiscal agent for two organizations that do not have internal financial capacity and that do not have tax-exempt status. The organizations are "outdoor with heros and "hennepin county teen parents connection". During 2016, we worked with 261 entities to increase their capacities and abilities to serve low-income people, and in keeping with our commitment to strengthen communities through active partnering and collaboration. We partnered or collaborated with 261 public and private groups, organizations, and agencies within our service area during program year 2016, resulting in approximately 548 partnerships. Our work during 2016 was enriched and expanded by nearly 107 volunteers, who donated 1,690 hours of their time.
education, information and referral: we provide many opportunities to inform and educate our customers and the community at large. Strategies include conducting workshops related to renter duties and rights, offering voter education and registration services, providing information and resources to people to help them understand the nature of poverty and methods to reduce or mitigate its effects. We provide oral and written information and referral services to people who contact us, participating in community events throughout the service area several times per year, and offering or collaborating on programs designed to engage people in the political, social and educational processes that affect them. Aside from workshops, community events and informational sessions, information is made available through our website, which is updated on a regular and timely basis. The website can be translated into different languages, using a free, online translation program. Approximately 31,810 people received information and referral services during 2016. Approximatley 33,657 people received information and referral services during 2016. In addition, 51,700 people received information through outreach events, and an estimated 1,902,101 people received information through advocacy and education services (through media). The significant increase in advocacy information and educational services was due to voter education mailing, prepared with assistance from the minnesota's secretary of state's office that was mailed to all energy assistance clients (including minneapolis). The following programs were also offered through the organization during the 2016 program year: emergency services (short-term assistance), which includes limited financial assistance for housing, basic needs and transportation and renters training, 806 units of direct service provided; vehicle repair program provided financial assistance to 55 households to enable them to obtain or maintain employment, snap (food support): 2,069 received informational/outreach services, 369 received help to apply for snap food assistance, outreach 9,436 people provided information/outreach and received assistance to apply for snap food assistance; legal services clinics 259 people received free legal advice through mobile legal services. Tax clinics: 27 mobile tax clinics at 12 locations in hennepin county, prepared tax returns for 680 households, resulting in over $1,100,000 in federal, state, and property tax refunds; 839 households received financial and budgeting education and/or counseling and improved their credit (some services provided in collaboration with lutheran social services)-employment. 412 people received employment counseling and related services to improve their employment status (some services provided in collaboration with hired)-benefit enrollment assistance and services, mnsure application assistance helped 632 people for benefit enrollment services, approximately 5,361 seniors received assistance through all programs, including senior oriented services.