LOCAL AGENCY UPDATES

Updated January 6th, 2021

Please email your agency updates to: RSherman@crcinform.org

(These are not all the services available in the community only those that are participating in these agency updates. Please use this directory for a complete list of services in our area.)

Next meeting of this group via Zoom: February 4th, 10 am

 


IMPORTANT NUMBERS

  • Mobile crisis hotline: 1-800-422-0045
  • Text MN to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor, also available through Facebook messenger
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • Warm line peer support through Wellness in the Woods: 1-844-739-6369
  • MN farm and rural help line 1-833-600-2670 ext. 1
  • Veterans Crisis Line: www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or 1-800-273-8255  select 1

 

United Way: Annie Butler Ricks

716 Paul Bunyan Drive NW| Bemidji MN 56601| Executive Director Denae Alamano| 218-444-8929| director@unitedwaybemidji.org | www.unitedwaybemidji.org

  • Serving over 800 children with the Back Pack Buddies program every week! Significant increase from previous years.
  • United Way was able to carry out the “Gifts for Kids” program and the Fall “Coats for the Community” Event thanks to many willing volunteers, a great deal of creative thinking, and the willingness to go above and beyond by staff.
  • A warm welcome to new United Way staff member Gretchen Thompson.

 

Sanford Health: Kayla Winkler

Sanford Health Bemidji| 1300 Anne Street NW | Bemidji MN 56601| Kayla.Winkler@SanfordHealth.org

  • The number of hospitalized covid-19 patients has been declining since its peak in November. Although we aren’t through the potential impacts of Christmas and News Years Holidays – this is encouraging.
  • There appears to be reason to believe that an infusion treatment being used by Sanford Health for high risk people over 65 testing positive for Covid-19 is working. At least 65 people avoided hospitalization and were able to recover at home once this injection was provided. When someone tests positive at a Sanford site and their records indicate they meet the criteria for this injection; Sanford staff contact them and offer it as an option.

 

Beltrami Public Health: Cynthia Borgen

616 America Avenue NW Bemidji MN 56601: 218-333-8116: Cynthia.Borgan@co.beltrami.mn.us

  • While there is much concern about the speed of the vaccine roll out, it is important to remember that less than 1 year ago we were still operating as “normal” – not masking or distancing and only mildly concerned about a strange virus in China. Within that year, a vaccine was developed, tested and production began. While it seems like the roll out has been slow….it is likely we will look at this in years to come and be impressed by the speed of this vaccine development.
  • Currently there is about a 50-60% acceptance of vaccination for Covid-19. Ideally, this rate would be higher.
  • Public Health officials have developed various levels of “who gets the vaccine first”. Medical staff are being vaccinated now and delivery to high risk categories is underway.  More vaccine is needed – medical staff await supply.
  • Thank you to all of health care providers who have not only carried the weight of fear of virus infection of themselves and their loved ones as well as the responsibility of care for very sick people; but who have also been the receivers of criticism from members of the public not taking the Pandemic seriously. Thank you!

 

Village of Hope: Sandy Hennum

525 Mississippi Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601| PO Box 1035 Bemidji, MN 56619 | (218) 751-0722 | Director: Sandy Hennum | hennum@villageofhopebemidji.org

  • Village of Hope is carrying out a Rotary Neighborhood initiative: implementing an office at Ridgeway apartments in Bemidji. The intent is to reduce crime and increase the live-ability of this subsidized housing apartment complex.
  • Sandy is providing a Rent-Wize course for the public via zoom. The course materials cost $25.00 for each participant.  After 6 hours of satisfactory training, participants are provided a certificate of completion indicating that they have been provided with the tools and required information necessary to be a responsible renter.

 

 

Bemidji Senior Center: Michelle Crow

216 3rd St NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218) 751-8836 | Contact: Michelle Crow

  • The Bemidji Senior Center re-opened Monday January 4th, 2021. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some small group activities will be held and the Senior Creations Gift Shop will be open for business. Everyone is required to mask, distance and remain at home if they have been covid exposed.
  • LSS is offering curbside pick up for meals and delivering Meals on Wheels: NO congregate dining is occurring yet.

 

St. Cloud VA & Leech Lake Housing Authority: Tribal HUD-VASH Program:  Melody Gorden

1-320-339-5861 or Melody.gorden@va.gov

VASH= VA supported Housing

  • The Tribal HUD VASH program is a collaboration of the Leech Lake Housing Authority and St. Cloud VA.  The program grown in 2020 and reports that it is housed 5 veterans and their families this year. They continue to have funds available with 11 available subsidies/vouchers for Tribally enrolled Veterans experiencing homelessness.  The program covers all areas within 20 miles of the Leech Lake Reservation, including the Bemidji area.
  • Melody is available to assist all Veterans if they are looking for local resources and/or need assistance applying for VA health care.

 

Community Resource Connections:  Ruth Sherman

Main Office: 716 Paul Bunyan Drive NW | Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218) 333-0880 | Director: Ruth Sherman | rsherman@crcinform.org

  • CRC staff/MNsure Navigators continue to provide MNsure enrollment (Medical Assistance, Minnesota Care and Qualified Health Plans) remotely. Federal and State waivers allow us to interview and provide electronic enrollment over the telephone. An electronic application can be completed in about an hour and, unless there are complications, the household’s eligibility for one of the health programs is known within 24 hours or sooner. We strongly encourage people who are applying to work with us from the start.  Once they submit an application on their own we are not able to intervene on their behalf.  Unfortunately, the MNsure application still proves confusing to many.  The electronic application is MUCH faster and requires far fewer proofs than the hard copy application. There is NO cost for our service! Call our central number at 218-333-0880, leave a message asking for a return call and the first available Navigator will call.  Calls are typically returned within 15-20 minutes.

 

Red Lake Shelter to Home Program: RandiSu Tannem

Red Lake Homeless to Housing Program| Agency Director Jordan May| contact RandiSu at rtanem@redlakenation.org| 218-368-8355.

  • This program operates out of the Candlewood Hotel in Bemidji. Homeless individuals are housed at the hotel while they are enrolled in longer term supportive housing programs, provided with basic necessities, and helped to find permanent housing sites.
  • There is currently a waiting list for additional clients; but keep the referrals coming in!

 

Hope House: Robin Wold

2014 7th St SE | PO Box 1097 | Bemidji, MN  56619 | (218) 444-6748 | Director: Robin Wold | rwold@paulbunyan.net

  • Hope House provides outpatient services for people living with serious and persistent mental illness. Support groups, one on one services, counseling and medication management is provided. Referrals typically originate through the county system.
  • This past year Hope House served 111 people!

 

 

 

 

Sanford Health: Connie Norman Community Health Worker

Sanford Health Bemidji| 1233 34th St NW | Bemidji MN 56601| 218-333-4839: Connie.Norman@SanfordBemidji.org

  • Connie is seeing far more homeless individuals with absolutely nowhere to go. Mental Health issues are serious and only made worse by the effects of Covid-19.  The need for safe housing options is great.

 

Bi-CAP: Eric Adams (HR Director), Charmain Shephard (Headstart/Bemidji), Christina Desmond (Headstart/Walker) and Laurie Carrigan (Headstart/Blackduck)

  • Bemidji location: 6603 Bemidji Avenue North| PO Box 579 Bemidji MN 56619| Phone (218) 751-4631 or (800) 332-7161 All Headstart programs are operating virtually when required and/or at reduced occupancy rates as necessary due to Covid-19.  Staff are providing as much contact time with parents as possible; with everyone’s safety being top priority.
  • While most Head Start programs have as many students as they can take right now; it is critical that we continue to refer parents and children who are eligible to these programs so that when restrictions are lifted, families can quickly start or resume services. There is a high degree of support and education provided to both the children and the adults eligible for this service and given the level of poverty being experienced by eligible households Head Start programs serve a high risk population.

 

Evergreen Youth and Family Services: Jeanne Strate

610 Patriot Drive NW | Bemidji, MN 56601| (218) 755-8223 |

  • LOTS of families in crises. Jeanne spends hours working with families every day serving as a source of support and parenting education. Her services are free through Evergreen. Referrals can be sent to her at 218-556-3191.
  • The Crises Shelter is receiving calls from families all over the State of MN. Families in search of respite and intervention services.

 

ISD 31: Alea Stoll Housing Transition Liaison

Alea_Stoll@isd31.net|  Cell 218-368-1059:  Website https://sites.google.com/isd31.net/familiesintransition/home

  • Bemidji is switching to the hybrid model for the next semester of the school year for the older grades. This is good news, particularly for the students really struggling to connect to adults and peers.
  • Alea is seeing many families experiencing homelessness and mental health crises; housing is a serious issue.
  • If you have a family you are working with in school, let me know and I can either direct them to their local liaison or connect with them if they are in ISD31. This program has a broad definition of “homeless” so please reach out with questions.

 

Support Within Reach: Kortney Carlin

1510 Bemidji Ave N | Bemidji, MN  56601 | (218) 444-9524 | Director: Evett Ellis | executivedirector@supportwithinreach.org

  • WELCOME new Executive Director Evett Ellis! Evett began her work in Bemidji this past Monday. She is from Arizona and experiencing Minnesota winter for the first time. (Advice from long time residents: buy good cold weather clothing – it is costly but SO worth it in the long run)
  • Support Within Reach continues to provide services to victims of sexual assault. While they are doing as much work remotely as possible they are going to the Emergency Room as requested, participating in meetings with legal providers as needed, and doing their best to keep clients safe.

 

City of Bemidji, Mayor Jorge Prince

218—407-7312 | Jorge.prince@ci.bemidji.mn.us

  • Mayor Prince officially began his work as Mayor of the city of Bemidji this past Monday! Welcome and Congratulations!
  • Mayor Prince is interested in hearing what area service providers have to say, learning about local issues and resources, and ultimately working toward improved relationships that enable healthy and effective working relationships between city and community representatives. He will be attending this meeting as he can.

 

Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota:  Anne Hoefgen

215 4th St NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218) 751-9201 | https://lsnmlaw.org

  • Keep encouraging people to pay their rent so that when eviction restrictions are lifted they don’t find themselves on the street.

 

Serve Minnesota (MN Reading Corps): Rachel Gharaghty

Northcentral Regional Office: 10 5th Street NW | Grand Rapids, MN 55744 | (218) 999-7513Program Manager: Katelyn Dokken | katelyn.dokken@servetogrow.org

  • 250 children are being served with reading and math tutoring; particularly helpful during Covid isolation.

 

Northern Dental Access Center: Jeanne Larson

1405 Anne St NW Bemidji MN 56601 | PO Box 279 Bemidji MN 56619| 218-444-9646 or 1-888-678-3033|Executive Director Jeanne Larson| Jeanne.larson@northerndentalaccesscenter.org

  • The dental center is open and operating at about 70% capacity.
  • Patients are encouraged to call for an appointment – new clients are being accepted.

 

Bemidji Early Childhood Education Collaborative: Kailee Fuhrer

1426 Bemidji Ave N Suite 1 | Bemidji, MN  56601 | 218-760-1301 | Cailee Furer | Bemidjiecc@gmail.com

  • A variety of parent education and support options are available to families in the district; some in person and others virtually. Ages 2 -5 are served through ECFE.  Ages birth to 5 meet virtually.  Safe Fit; a class developed to fit the needs of families in the child protective system is also available virtually.
  • Bemidji Early Childhood Collaborative is offering a virtual workshop on Friday, February 26th 9:00-11:00. Dr. Holly Hatton-Bowers from the University of Nebraska is presenting on Building Trust and Engagement through Mindfulness. This workshop is relevant to anyone who works with families or young children.

Registration is open now on Eventbrite  https://link.edgepilot.com/s/05453618/sNBbSkiz1kSWfEI7ktMkmg?u=https://www.eventbrite.com/e/132462511939

  • Child Care providers are being provided with free trainings through BEC.
  • There is a serious shortage of Early Childhood Mental Health services; not just locally, but state wide. This is a serious and growing need.

 

Bemidji Community Food Shelf: Mary Mitchel

1260 Exchange Ave SE | Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218)-444-6580Director: Mary Mitchell

  • The food shelf is open and operating! Consumers may enter the building – but volunteers are also available to carry boxes of food out to people’s cars as well.

 

Society of St. Vincent DePaul: Dale Janke

218-368-6606| Bemidji MN 56601| Primary Contact Dale Janke

  • Volunteers with St. Vincent DePaul offer person-to-person service and support to individuals in need with such items as food/gas/clothing vouchers, utilities, rent, deposits, repairs, etc. We schedule a home visit or meet in a neutral location in Bemidji. Even while we may be able to help with some immediate need, financial or household items, our primary focus is to partner and focus on long term change.

Headwaters Science Center: Lee Furuseth

413 Beltrami Avenue | PO Box 1176 | Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218) 444-4472 | Director: Lee Furuseth | director@hscbemidji.org

  • HSC is re-opening next Monday (1/11/2021) Please view the website: www.hscbemidji.org to see details on hours and requirements.
  • HSC staff and volunteers are providing daily, LIVE, shows starting at 3:30 – go to the HSC facebook page to see them.
  • The E-CUBED event will “go on” February 27th – it will all be done virtually!

 

First Steps to Healthy Families: Kami Kelm

Beltrami County Human Services| 616 America Avenue NW Bemidji MN 56601| 218-333-8313|  kami.kelm@co.beltrami.mn.us

  • First Steps works with pregnant women and women with young children who struggle with chemical addiction. Efforts work to help women remain free of chemicals, in order for their babies to develop normally during pregnancy. Support is provided to new parents as well, as the stress of a newborn can be overwhelming. Referrals can be made by contacting Kami directly or contacting Children’s Intake at Beltrami County. (218-333-4223)
  • Beltrami County is in serious need of good foster homes for children. If you are interested, or know of someone that is interested, let Kami know and she will connect you to the right people!

 

Girl Scouts of MN & WI Lakes and Pines: Becky Dean

750 Paul Bunyan Drive NW| Bemidji MN 56601| 218-308-8880: Leigh Ann Davis CEO|www.girlscoutslp.org

  • Watch for the annual, upcoming cookie sales events in February!

 

Churches United: Wanda Yoemans

414 Lincoln Ave SE | Bemidji, MN 56601 | (218) 444-1380 | Director: Wanda Yomen | cunited@paulbunyan.net

  • Thanks to some unexpected local fundraising efforts, Churches United ended the year in good shape!
  • The office is now capable of providing services inside thanks to the install of a drawer that enable items to be passed through a secured separation window and counter.
  • 48% of the Intakes done at Churches United this past year were people who were homeless…this number is up dramatically from the previous year’s 25%.
  • Wanda reminds everyone to take care of themselves! This is a rough time and everyone needs to be practicing self care if we are to keep up the excellent work being done.

 

Face it Together Bemidji: Christopher Erle

(218) 444-8753 | Chris.fitbemidji@gmail.com | www.faceittogetherbemidji.org

  • The Board for Face It Together has increased by 4 this past quarter. Now 50% of board representation is practicing personal recovery. This is a major accomplishment and a strongly encouraged practice for nonprofits!
  • Face it Together has not been able to provide warm shelter this winter due to Covid. Some supplies are being handed out to people coming by; but the site has needed to provide the vast majority of services virtually in an effort to be safe. There is great concern for the people living on the streets each day with nowhere to go to stay warm.

 

Journey Outreach: Joan Miller

  • FREE Hot meals continue to be served at Calvary Chapel on Sunday’s starting at 1:30 p.m.

 

Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter: Allison Forte

PO Box 563 |  Bemidji, MN 56619 | (218) 444-1395 | Director: Allison Forte | allison.f@mnshelter.org

  • The women’s shelter remains open – and often full.
  • Shelter staff have team meetings every 2 weeks at either 8:30 a.m. or 3 p.m. ANY agency willing to join a meeting to share information about what they provide in the community is welcome to do so. The shelter has many new staff and every effort to increase exposure to area services is welcome. Contact Allison at f@mnshelter.org to arrange a date.

 

MyOptions Center for Independent Living: Jessie Smith

403 4th Street NW Suite 235 Bemidji MN 56601| 218-773-6100 | myoptions.info

  • MyOptions staff continue to work remotely.
  • Some quick turn around funding from DHS helped staff put together emergency kits and PPE kits that went to people with disabilities on SSI/SSDE. A total of 350 were distributed in the 10 county area.