The Kresge Foundation has selected Olmsted County for the second cohort of its national Next Generation Initiative.

Olmsted County joins nine other private nonprofit and public human services organizations advancing the social and economic mobility of children and families with low incomes throughout the country in this two-year learning program.

The Next Generation initiative is designed to support private nonprofit and public human services organizations committed to person-centered, outcomes-based, data-driven work that advances racial equity using two-generation, whole family approaches. Through the initiative, Kresge seeks to partner and learn with organizations that go beyond traditional human services delivery methods and move toward new ways to create permanent pathways out of poverty.

“We are thrilled to join this cohort and receive this funding,” said Paul Fleissner, the county's deputy administrator of health, housing and human services. “The dollars we receive will help fund further development and operations of our Pathways Toward Prosperity and Well-Being program.”

Pathways Toward Prosperity and Well-Being is a whole family approach to serving families. It is a multi-year pilot program with a long-term goal of transforming national policy and practice in ways that better support low income families’ moving out of poverty and improve economic conditions from one generation to the next. At the heart of this pilot program is a new practice model with parents and their young children who are eligible for or receiving publicly funded benefits such as Minnesota’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-related programs, Childcare Assistance, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Olmsted and Dakota counties are partnering on the Pathways Toward Prosperity and Well-Being program.

“Demonstrating progress and success in both Olmsted and Dakota counties is key to expanding and replicating the Pathways program in counties across the U.S.,” Fleissner said.

In addition to receiving a $500,000 grant, cohort partners will also participate in a two-year learning and collaboration program.

“Over the next two years, this dynamic group of leaders will have the opportunity to learn from each other and national experts around the country and develop a network that collectively works to transform the sector and transform lives,” said Joelle Jude-Fontaine, Kresge Human Services senior program officer.

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