County Board approves $365,000 to address community health needs

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Public Health & Human Services Dept. • 320 West Second Street, Suite 605 • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2096 •

Linnea Mirsch




October 27, 2020

CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager

218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)


County Board approves $364,745 to address community health needs

The St. Louis County Board has unanimously approved $364,745 in funding for five community-based projects that focus on the priority areas of mental health, youth substance abuse, and food insecurity. Funding comes from the county's Public Health Innovation fund balance account. 


Selected projects and amounts awarded include:

  • $90,000 for Stone Soup Partnership (a partnership involving Ecolibrium 3, Duluth Community Garden Program, Community Action Duluth, and the Duluth Children's Museum). Through a series of innovative, collaborative initiatives, this partnership will directly address food insecurity and provide mental health support for people in the Hillside and West Duluth areas.
  • $75,000 for the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) to develop a community kitchen in their Gimaajii-Mino-Bimaadizimin building. This will address food insecurity in the Duluth area by increasing direct access to prepared meals for AICHO program participants and the wider community and also create access to a commercial kitchen for food producers.
  • $85,451 for a partnership between Range Mental Health and the Virginia Fire Department to respond in the community to mental health, youth substance abuse, and food insecurity concerns through a mobile response unit in northern St. Louis County. 
  • $52,294 for the Mesabi Range College Addiction Studies Department for training for 100 Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors and County Social workers throughout the county to provide support to youth with substance use disorders in St. Louis County. 
  • $62,000 for Recovery Alliance Duluth to expand its programming to northern St. Louis County. Recovery Alliance Duluth provides peer recovery support, education, and awareness to eliminate stigma surrounding recovery and substance use

"This process has been a great reminder of the amazing community partners at work in our county," said Commissioner Patrick Boyle, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee. "Just as we know the need is there, so are the ideas and organizations wanting to help make a difference. We are thrilled to be able to support them in this way to do real good in our communities."


The priority focus areas were identified in recent Community Needs Assessments. To qualify, the projects or initiatives do not have to be new but do need to be innovative and prevention-focused. Each needed to clearly demonstrate how it supports and serves individuals affected by one or more of the community health priorities:

  • Promoting mental wellness and increasing mental health support.
  • Developing initiatives and/or programs to curb youth substance abuse.
  • Developing initiatives and/or programs to address food insecurity.

Projects must take place within St. Louis County and serve residents within St. Louis County, and take place between December 1, 2020 and November 31, 2021.