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Three "Shared Value Award" Finalists Tackle Local Issues

September 09, 2019 06:46 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Mayo Clinic’s “Shared Value Award” is in its fourth year providing up to $30,000 to a local, collaborative project that provides solutions to health and vibrancy gaps in Olmsted County.

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“The purpose of this award is to, I think, champion the collaboration that is happening in our community,” said Erin Sexton with The Mayo Clinic.

 The 2019 finalists are all different and less than a year old, but they tackle problems the community’s faced for years, from drug abuse to housing.

“I think this community has shown over and over again when we work together we can accomplish so much more,” Sexton said.

The Rochester Police Department’s Police Assisted Recovery (P.A.R.) program works with local non-profits to fast track people struggling with drug abuse into a treatment program.

Right now the P.A.R. program relies on drug seizure funds, but Capt. John Sherwin said long-term, they need more reliable funding.

“We’ve had over 130 people die in Olmsted County in the last five years of a drug overdose. I’ve made this analogy before, but if we had that many people dying in homicidal violence, this community would be up in arms,” Sherwin said.

The Meadow Park Initiative’s goal is to empower the Meadow Park community by starting programs like youth soccer league, community cleanups, and neighborhood council.

“Their hopes and dreams are the same as anybody else. There are fewer resources that are in that part of the city, and so our initiative is helping to galvanize those additional resources and to help people feel hopeful,” said April Sutor, director of innovation and collaborator for Family Service Rochester.

The Eviction Prevention clinic’s purpose is in its name; it helps residents avoid an eviction, which Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Executive Director Dave Dunn said is important, with about 300 evictions in the county each year.

“Anything we can do to prevent an eviction is important. Number one, it helps keep somebody in their home. Number two, it alleviates a black mark on their record,” Dunn said.

You can vote for the program you want to win on Mayo Clinic’s community engagement website until October 15.

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