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2021 Community Strengths and Needs Assessment

Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County (CAP-HC) announces the results of our 2021 Interim Community Strengths and Needs Assessment. 

Every three years, CAP-HC conducts a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) to ensure our programming is responsive to the changing needs of Hennepin County residents with lower incomes. Our most recent CNA was published in early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd. To understand how these upheavals have impacted community needs, we conducted an interim CNA in fall of 2021. 

Knowing that communities of color have been disproportionately affected by these events, our engagement centered on five communities of color which CAP-HC serves – Hmong, Somali, African American, Native, and Latino. The interim assessment was completed in December 2021, and major themes are outlined below along with links to the executive summary and full report. 

  • Strength in community – Communities have a strong sense of connection and community empowerment. During these exceptionally difficult times, neighbors have come together to help each other. 
  • Struggles with basic needs continue – Improving access to affordable and healthy foods, stable and affordable housing, and training for higher-wage employment options were specifically mentioned. 
  • Public safety is a key challenge – Community members named fear for safety, distrust of police, and lengthy emergency response times. 
  • Anxiety, stress, and fear – COVID-19 has caused feelings of uncertainty leading to anxiety, stress, and fear that erodes mental health. 
  • Trust, transparency, and access – People mentioned a need for working with trusted partners, improving transparency in eligibility requirements and application processes, and the need for more outreach regarding programs and services. 

Thank you to the Improve Group and to all the community members, partners, and service organizations that helped with the interim assessment! We are eager to incorporate these learnings into our 2022 annual work plan.

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