Servants of Shelter

This fall, the community may be invited to become a part of the Blandin Foundation's Leaders Partnering to End Poverty Program.

Inclusion in the program offers an opportunity for community members to collaborate on projects which can address local poverty, and access the resources in which to fund those projects, said Ariana Daniel, Servants Of Shelter executive director.

"This Blandin project is unique in that only one community is chosen from the applicant pool, and is provided an opportunity to train and create collaborative projects that address poverty and its unique effects in their community," she said.

The community application includes five questions in a survey form that was circulated for a few weeks through a variety of networks, including staff with local social services, housing agencies, youth services and first responders to reach a wide selection of leaders and the people they serve, she said.

The five questions:

  • Why is this a good time for your community to participate in the Blandin Leadership program?
  • What is happening in your community that you are most proud of?
  • What are 1-2 challenges/opportunities affecting your community?
  • In what ways are you engaging diverse populations in your community?
  • What does your community hope to happen as a result of the training?

The application is due Monday, she said.

Daniel and Stephanie Turban, Rainy River Community College, are compiling the individual responses and drafting them into a form that the 12 respondents review and provide feedback.

Before answering the questions, respondents were asked to consider the "9 dimensions of a healthy community:"

  • Life-long learning
  • Inclusion
  • Recreational and artistic opportunity
  • Environmental stewardship
  • infrastructure and services
  • Safety and security
  • Community leadership
  • Economic opportunity
  • Spirituality and wellness

"If our community is chosen for the project then there will be a lengthy public invitation to try to involve anyone with lived experience and/or whom is in a leadership role," Daniel said. "We do not know if our application was successful until fall of this year, and I believe the process of gathering the community together to decide a focus wouldn't begin until late spring 2020."

Participating stakeholders:

  • Diane Adams, Library Director, International Falls Public Library,, Life-long Learning, Inclusion, Recreational and Artistic Opportunity, Infrastructure and Services, Community Leadership, Economic Opportunity
  • Carol Bryant, Board of Directors Servants Of Shelter, volunteer: Ruby’s Pantry, Backus Community Center, past Board member: Backus Community Center, Community Leadership, Recreational and Artistic Opportunity
  • Robyn Pelowski, Operations Director, Essentia Health International Falls Clinic,, Wellness, Economic Opportunity, Community Leadership, Safety and Security, Recreational and Artistic Opportunity, Infrastructure and Services
  • Stephanie Turban, PFS Grant Manager, Rainy River Community College,,Life long learning, Economic Opportunity, Safety and Security
  • Alysa Hackenmueller, Career Counselor, NE MN Office of Job Training,; Life-long Learning, Inclusion, Economic Opportunity, Community Leadership, Safety and Security, Infrastructure and Services
  • BethAnne Slatinski, Grant Coordinator ISD 361, Inclusion, Life-long Learning Community Leadership, Safety and Security, Spirituality and Wellness
  • Jennifer Windels, Physical Therapist at Rainy Lake Medical Center, ISD 361 School Board Member,, Life-long Learning, Inclusion, Community Leadership, Spirituality and Wellness
  • Greta M. Nelson, Northome City Clerk/Treas. - Infrastructure and Services, Community Leadership
  • Ariana Daniel, Executive Director of Servants of Shelter, Emergency Shelter and Homeless Services, and coordinator of Summer Arts and Youth Art Garden at Backus Community Center, an arts program for youth, Board member of Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Inclusion, Economic Opportunity, Community Leadership, Recreational and Artistic Opportunity
  • Kathy Johnson, Executive Director of Housing & Redevelopment Authority of Koochiching Co.;; Northland Progressive in Northome; D.A.C. in Northome; Community leadership in religious community; Kootasca VP Community Leadership, Economic Opportunity, Spirituality and Wellness

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