Published on December 22, 2021

Program supported by Essentia Health reaches major milestone

A collaborative effort between Essentia Health and several other local and statewide organizations has reached a big milestone — 1,000 referrals. The program is called Resourceful. The goal is to make it easy for people facing social needs — and those who help others — to find and make referrals to appropriate programs and services for food, shelter, health care, work, financial assistance and more.

“This program has connected so many of those in need with much-needed assistance,” said Emily Kuenstler, Essentia Health’s community health director. “We are very proud of what has been accomplished with all of our partners on this project to help lift up our communities and provide assistance to help connect people to free and reduced-cost programs in the area.”

The milestone was reached this week. The program was launched in April, with the first referral coming in August.

Food access through Hunger Solutions Minnesota and Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, benefits assistance through Community Action Duluth and behavioral health help through the Lake Superior Community Health Center were among the programs where the most referrals were made.

“This partnership helps immensely by streamlining referrals to all of our programs, which allows us to reach more community members,” said Jeff Longenecker, Community Action Duluth’s executive director. “The program goes a long way in helping us empower and engage with our community to help eliminate poverty, and we look forward to what the future has in store as we try to help the Duluth community flourish and prosper.”

Some of the most sought-after services through Resourceful were food access, benefits assistance, behavioral health needs and housing.

The program connects people to services in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Funding for this project is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and UCare.

Resourceful is a collaborative effort between Essentia Health, Wilderness Health, Generations Health Care Initiatives and United Way of Cass and Clay County, who have partnered with Find Help, formerly known as Aunt Bertha, to provide this free online platform

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