Meet Our Grantees



Community Health Assessment and Planning Process

The Community Health Assessment and Planning (CHAP) Process is a collaborative community effort led by Olmsted County Public Health Services, Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic Rochester and partnerships with multiple community organizations.  It is a continuous, triennial cycle that assesses our community's health; prioritizes our top community health needs; and plans, implements, and monitors/evaluates strategies to improve our community's health.

Partner: Olmsted County 

Friendly Visitors and Caregiver Support

The Friendly Visitor and Caregiver Support programs decrease the social isolation of seniors and their caregivers and create a web of connections that brings seniors and caregivers together in the community. Friendly Visitor volunteers visit program participants weekly to socialize or provide coaching supports. Visiting a senior will not only help the senior but has a positive impact on volunteers as well. Caregivers receive one-on-one coaching sessions from a trained coach with experience as a caregiver. Coaching sessions help caregivers identify strategies and goals that help extend the caregiver’s ability to provide care and manage stress.

Partner: Elder Network

Match Program

The challenges faced by newly-arrived refugee and immigrant families in our community are overwhelming, especially when facing them without a friend. Match Program recruits, trains, and pairs volunteer mentors with refugee and immigrant families. Mentors work one-on-one or family-on-family with mentees to ease the transition to their new life here in Rochester. The program is highly interactive, individual-focused, and adapted to meet each mentee family’s unique situation and needs.

Partner: Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association

Peer Recovery Housing

Peer Recover Housing offers democratically run, self-supporting, drug- and alcohol-free homes for people recovering from substance abuse disorders, increasing their chances at successful long-term recovery. People with substance use disorders live together with a shared goal of economic, civic, and social participation in their home and in the wider community. Developing a social network that supports ongoing sobriety is an important component of recovery.

Partner: Recovery is Happening

LEAD Mentorship

LEAD mentorship provides near-peer support for elementary students of color. Students build relationships with high school volunteers, connecting around activities that promote educational achievement. Mentors and mentees reap the benefits of positive connections, while mentees receive additional support to reach their potential in school. 

Partners: Family Service Rochester & Olmsted County


TreeHouse supports justice-involved youth who have experienced a generational cycle of incarceration. Peer support groups teach youth to identify and address the emotions behind our experiences. Research shows that positive peer support is a powerful protective factor. As a result of their peer connections, youth involved in TreeHouse report improved mental health, increased physical activity, and decreased school suspensions.

Partner: Next Chapter Ministries

GNCC Early Learning

GNCC Early Learning provides high-quality childcare and early education to a diverse group of Rochester area families. United Way funding helps provide scholarships for families facing financial barriers, so every child has equitable access to the best start in life.

Partner: Good News Children’s Center

School Readiness

The School Readiness program provides preschool opportunities to prepare families and children for school success. School readiness offers benefits for families who may not be able to access quality early childhood educational opportunities on their own, including preschool scholarships, parent education, community referrals, and home visits. Partner preschools receive curriculum and assessment support.

Partner: Families First of Minnesota

Byron School Readiness

Byron School Readiness gives 3-5 year-old children access to preschool education, creating affordable education and childcare through tuition scholarships. Wrap-around care options ensure that children and families get the support they need to succeed.

Partner: Byron Public Schools

Gage East Early Childhood Program

The Gage East Early Childhood program is a two-generation model working with homeless parents and young children to meet social, emotional, and developmental outcomes early on, when the chance of having a deep impact is the greatest. Developing early relationships with parents builds a strong foundation that promotes healthy brain development, builds social and emotional skills, and supports language and literacy development. Interventions including parents are as important as focusing on children themselves to achieve positive health outcomes for children and increase stability for the whole family.

Partner: Center City Housing

Channel One Food Shelf

Channel One Food Shelf provides a five-day supply of food once per month to eligible residents of Olmsted County. Household shoppers choose what they need from an array of items in a store-like setting. The Channel One Supplemental Food Shelf system serves an average of 3,500 different households each month and distributes over 3 million pounds of food each year.

Partner: Channel One

Noon Meal

Noon Meal offers a hot, nutritious meal five days a week to anyone in the community who feels they need one. The program primarily serves very low-income people, including many who are homeless or precariously housed. Many lack either the facilities or the ability to prepare a proper meal for themselves. In addition to a good meal every day, the Noon Meal program provides socialization and community connections to people who may not experience this otherwise.

Partner: The Salvation Army

Head Start Food Stations

Head Start and Early Head Start families gain improved access to healthy foods including fruits, vegetables and whole food. Food is available through Food Stations as well as through Home Visitors who bring it directly to families’ homes. Food Stations highlight different healthy, culturally diverse meals and have the meal ingredients with recipes for families to prepare at home.

Partner: Families First of Minnesota

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides hot, nutritious, home-delivered meals to seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals recovering from injury. Meals on Wheels supports individuals in maintaining health and living independently in their own home.

Partner: Family Service Rochester

Housing Stability Fund

The Housing Stability Fund helps domestic violence survivors secure and retain safe, affordable housing. The Fund helps survivors with move-in costs, such as first-month rent, damage deposits, and utility costs. Survivors who already have housing get assistance avoiding eviction by receiving support for overdue rent payments and utility expenses.

Partner: Women’s Shelter and Support Center

Access Home

Access Home is a rapid re-housing program that serves homeless individuals and families. The program provides help with housing search and placement, rental application fees and deposits, and an ongoing rent subsidy that gradually diminishes as household income and independence increases. As the program ends, people remain in their current home where they can now independently pay rent.

Partner: The Salvation Army

Eviction Prevention Program 

The Eviction Prevention Program clinic is the only civic legal aid resource providing legal representation for low-income tenants facing eviction in Olmsted County. Staff attorneys help tenants defend their eviction cases by negotiating settlements, taking cases to trial, and seeking expungements. With legal representation, many tenants are able to maintain stable housing. Through expungements, the program helps tenants avoid a record of eviction that would make it more difficult to obtain housing in the future.

Partner: Legal Assistance of Olmsted County 

Shelter Prevention and Diversion 

Shelter Prevention and Diversion prevents families from needing to access emergency shelter by providing services to help families maintain their housing when they are at imminent risk of becoming homeless or avoiding a shelter stay when a family has already lost their housing. Prevention services can include paying delinquent rent or utilities, helping with vehicle repairs so they can continue to work, assisting with childcare, or other interventions that help to stabilize the family. Diversion services include making down payments, security deposits, or utility payments so families can secure stable housing in lieu of accessing Family Promise’s emergency shelter services.

Partner: Family Promise Rochester  

Independent and Semi-Independent Living

Independent and Semi-Independent Living programs support individuals with a variety of disabilities, allowing them to live as independently as possible. The program takes a person-centered approach to meet the needs of each person receiving services in their own homes or living situations. Staff provide a wide range of customized services aimed at helping participants achieve a self-directed life, including personal care, meal planning, shopping, and arranging transportation.

Partner: Ability Building Center

Senior Independence

Senior Independence services assist seniors in maintaining independent living in a safe, healthy environment. As people age, they may no longer be able to perform all the tasks that have enabled them to live full and productive lives. The program contributes to the independence, choice, and security fundamental to aging in place. Seniors benefit from house cleaning, home safety visits, seasonal chores, lawn care, snow removal, handiwork, grocery shopping, transportation, IT troubleshooting, and more.

Partner: Family Service Rochester

Independent Living Services

Independent Living Services provides residential life skills training and support services for individuals with disabilities. Individuals temporarily move into training apartments while essential life skills are assessed and supported based on each person’s needs and goals. People with disabilities gain the skills they need to live as independently as possible.

Partner: Bear Creek Services

Literacy and Life Skills

The mission of Hawthorne Education Center is to provide opportunities for adults to gain control over their own lives to achieve responsible citizenship, productive employment, and self-sufficiency. More than two-thirds of students are immigrants and refugees who do not speak English as a primary language. Literacy and Life Skills integrates essential independent living skills into ESL courses to teach and assess mutually-reinforcing language and cultural competences, including financial literacy, public transportation, grocery shopping, and medical self-advocacy.

Partner: Rochester Public Schools Hawthorne Education Center