The Northland is a complex area - rich with our own unique sets of problems and solutions.  That's why it's important that we celebrate the accomplishments we make.

More than two years ago, St. Louis County requested proposals - inviting community organizations to submit ideas to "address priority health areas that had been identified in [the county's] Community Health Assessment".  The winning ideas would be available for funding from the county, in order to promote those solutions that the problems being experienced in our area.

Five community organizations applied, and the county offered up more than $360,000 ti support the projects these agencies submitted.

Now, it's time to showcase the projects. In order to do that, St. Louis County officials have set up two upcoming public showcase events that the general public is invited to attend.

The first of these will happen Thursday, February 2 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the St. Louis County Government Services Center in Virginia, in the Liz Prebich Room. Two of the projects will be showcases there.

The remaining three projects will be showcased at an event planned the next week on Thursday, February 9 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at the St. Louis County Government Services Center in Duluth, in the Lake Superior Room.

Here are more details about the five showcased projects:

  • Range Mental Health and the Virginia Fire Department.  This project created a mobile response unit in northern St. Louis County, which improved response in the community to mental health, youth substance abuse, and food insecurity issues.
  • Mesabi Range College and Recovery Alliance Duluth.  This project helped train Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors and County Social workers to provide support to youth with substance use disorders in St. Louis County.
  • American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO). This project helped to develop a community kitchen in their Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin Buiilding.  That kitchen helped to address food insecurity in the Duluth area by increasing direct access to prepared meals for AICHO program participants and the wider community.  It also allowed for access to a commercial kitchen for food producers.
  • Stone Soup.  This is a partnership project that addressed food insecurity and provide mental health support for people living in the Hillside and West Duluth areas.  Stone Soup involves Ecolibrium3, the Duluth Community Garden Program, Community Action Duluth, and the Duluth Children's Museum.
  • Recovery Alliance Duluth. This project allowed the agency to expand its programming into northern St. Louis County.  It offers peer recovery support, education, and awareness to eliminate stigma surrounding recovery and substance abuse.

While both of the showcase events are open to the general public, St. Louis County officials are asking interested participants to register in advance ensure adequate space.  There are separate links for both the Virginia showcase on February 2 and the Duluth showcase on February 9 on a website that the county established.

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