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Friends of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. We are pleased to present the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. 2015 Annual Report. In 2015, Tri-Valley celebrated 50 years of service. In lieu of a large, central anniversary event, the Tri-Valley Board of Directors decided to hold smaller events at our various locations. This was done in recognition of our far-reaching geographic footprint and to allow our Head Start centers and other offices to connect with their local communities in a way that was meaningful to a particular area. Preparing to celebrate 50 years provided many opportunities for reflection. We have long known that TriValley started in 1965 with five staff members and a budget of approximately $50,000. Thanks to the historical sleuthing of longtime Tri-Valley CEO Denny DeMers, we now know that the driving force for all of the community organizing in northwest Minnesota was an individual from the Oklee area named James Turgeon. Mr. Turgeon travelled the northwest corner of the state setting up meetings and explaining what this new thing called “Community Action� was and what it could do for communities. The outcome of those meetings was the formation of three agencies: Tri-Valley, Northwest Community Action, and Inter-County Community Council. Resources have ebbed and flowed over 50 years as the needs of the communities we serve have changed. It is still amazing to me that Tri-Valley has grown from its humble beginnings to be entrusted with the stewardship of over $23,000,000 in federal, state, local, and private funds and that we employ 625 full and part-time individuals who are committed to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities. You are invited to study the numbers and read the stories contained in this report. We are proud to share the work of Tri-Valley’s employees and volunteers with the communities we serve.

Chief Executive Officer

Board Chair

Mission & Beliefs Our Mission: To provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities. We Believe . . .

~ All people have value and potential; ~ In treating all people with dignity and respect; ~ Diversity enriches the quality of life; ~ All people have the right to be informed of choices, opportunities, and responsibilities; ~ Effective communication and teamwork are essential for success; ~ Partnerships are essential in delivering quality services; and, ~ There are opportunities in change 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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2015 Tri-Valley Board of Directors OFFICERS

Treasurer Don Diedrich Polk County

Vice Chair Person Mark Kroulik Marshall County

Chair Person LeRoy Vonasek Marshall County

Secretary Linda Grinde Polk County


Greg Burris Marshall County

John Gerszewski Polk County

Sarah Kjono Norman County

Domita Mack Marshall County

Lana Glover Marshall County

Dr. Linda Neuerburg Polk County

Marvin Gunderson Norman County

Lee Ann Hall Norman County

Nick Nicholas Polk County

Shawna Peterson Marshall County

50th Anniversary (1965-2015) Dale Svaren Norman County

Dr. Jodi Boerger-Wilder Polk County

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

Not pictured: Marsha Melting-Ogard, Norman County

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Tri-Valley Programs and Services Community Services Programs

• Community Assistance Programs - Helps qualified low-tomoderate income families with rent assistance, security deposits, foreclosure prevention, mortgage and budget counseling, home buyer training, housing counseling, and financial assistance for utilities, food, and clothing. • Energy Assistance Programs - This program helps income eligible households with their home energy bills. Assistance may include bill payment assistance, emergency assistance and energy related home repairs. • Child Care Aware - Assists the early childhood community in expanding and improving the quality and availability of child care. Parents looking for child care can receive a list of licensed providers tailored to meet their specific criteria. • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach - For more than 40 years, SNAP has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net. It is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and offers a powerful tool to improve nutrition among low-income people. • MNsure Navigator Assistance - A one-stop health insurance marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to get quality health coverage at a fair price. • Financial Literacy - Offers information and assistance to help clients achieve financial stability by providing the FAIM program and a variety of financial trainings based on the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy curriculum. The Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) program is a matched savings project to help Minnesota low-wage earners build assets through the purchase of a home, pursuit of higher education, or launching of a small business.

Transportation Programs

• Tri-Valley Heartland Express (T.H.E. Bus) - Provides public transportation in handicapped accessible buses. Curb-to-curb service is available. • Rural Transportation Collaborative (RTC) - Coordinates volunteer drivers to transport individuals for medical appointments, education or work activities, child visitations, or other personal matters.

Housing Programs

• Minnesota Urban and Rural Homesteading Program (MURL)Allows low-income, at-risk families to purchase a home with no down payment and no interest. Monthly payments are based on affordability and are adjusted as income increases. 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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Tri-Valley Programs and Services Head Start, Child and Family Programs

• Head Start - Provides comprehensive, family-oriented child development services designed to meet the diverse needs of low-income children and their families. Services provided include early childhood education, medical and dental examinations, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, speech and developmental screenings, disabilities services, referrals, and parent education. - Head Start - Provides services to children ages 3 to compulsory school age in West Polk, West Marshall, and Norman counties. - Early Head Start - Provides services to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers in West Polk, West Marshall, Norman, and Steel counties. - Migrant and Seasonal Head Start/Early Head Start - Provides services to Migrant and Seasonal pregnant women and children ages 6 weeks to compulsory school age throughout the states of Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota. • Migrant Education Program (Health and Nutrition) - Provided over 450 physicals and dental exams to Title 1 children and provided nutritious meals for breakfast and lunch. • Migrant Education Program (Identification and Recruitment) - 2,851 migrant children were identified in MN (ages birth to 21). • Migrant Child Care - Funds are utilized to enhance the services provided at our Migrant Head Start centers and provide direct child care to children who need services longer than centers offer. Over 860 migrant children were served with Migrant Child Care funds.

Senior Programs

• Foster Grandparent Program - Recruits individuals age 55 and over to volunteer in schools, child care centers, Head Start centers, group homes, and other non-profit facilities to support children with special needs. • Caring Companion Program - Recruits individuals age 50 and over to help others live independently by assisting with grocery shopping and other daily tasks. 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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The People We Serve In 2015, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. served an unduplicated count of 10,550 individuals and 2,538 families.

People Served by Poverty Level

% of Poverty

Up to 50% 51% to 75% 76% to 100% 101% to 125% 126% to 150% 151% to 175% 176% to 200% 201% and over


791 (33%) 339 (14%) 339 (14%) 294 (12%) 205 (9%) 114 (5%) 67 (3%) 275 (11%)

People Served by Education Level Level Total

0-8 Grade 169 (5%) 9-12 Grade/Non-Graduate 946 (30%) High School Graduate/GED 1,406 (45%) 12+ Some Post Secondary 362 (12%) 2 or 4 Year College Graduate 251 (8%) 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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The People We Serve People Served by Age Age 0-5 6-11 12-17 18-23 24-44 45-54 55-69 70+


1,530 (16%) 1,217 (13%) 712 (8%) 401 (4%) 1,825 (19%) 434 (5%) 1,745 (18%) 1,632 (17%)

People Served by Family Size Family Size


One 799 (33%) Two 412 (17%) Three 363 (15%) Four 307 (13%) Five 250 (10%) Six 174 (7%) Seven 75 (3%) Eight or more 44 (2%)

2015 - A Year in Review Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. strives to meet six national goals. Here’s a look at our accomplishments in 2015...

Goal 1: Low-Income People Become More Self-Sufficient. • Helped 649 individuals who were unemployed obtain a job. • Helped 649 individuals obtain an increase in employment income and/or benefits. • In order to acquire or maintain employment: - Assisted 1,224 families obtain care for their children. - Assisted 40,807 individuals in obtaining access to reliable transportation. - Helped 208 individuals obtain health care services for themselves or a family member. - Helped 43 individuals and/or families obtain safe and affordable housing. - Assisted 1,420 individuals and/or families obtain food assistance. • Assisted 81 families to receive individualized services for children with disabilities. • Helped 950 families enroll in MinnesotaCare or other health insurance program. 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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2015 - A Year in Review Goal 2: The Conditions in Which Low-Income People Live are Improved. • Created or maintained 4,887 safe and affordable child care or child development placement opportunities for low-income families. • Provided opportunities for 1,731 volunteers to serve 814,530 hours in agency and community activities.

Goal 3: Low-Income People Own a Stake in Their Community. • Provided opportunities for low-income individuals to volunteer 228,146 hours in agency and community activities. • Assisted 49 low-income individuals to participate in formal community organizations, government, boards or councils that provide input to decision-making and policy-setting. • Helped increase the knowledge of 1,810 individuals about Minnesota Voter Registration and participation.

Goal 4: Partnerships Among Supporters and Providers of Services to Low-Income People are Achieved. Established or maintained relationships with the following partners: - 37 Nonprofits - 12 Faith-Based Groups - 34 Local Government Entities - 2 State Governments - 6 Federal Government Agencies - 1,673 For-Profit Businesses or Corporations - 10 Consortiums or Collaborations - 3 Housing Consortiums or Collaborations - 66 School Districts - 3 Institutions of Post Secondary Education - 4 Financial/Banking Institutions - 57 Health Service Institutions - 12 State-Wide Associations or Collaborations

Goal 5: Increase Our Agency Capacity to Achieve Results. • Provided 27,200 hours of training to 680 staff. • Provided 25 hours of training to 17 Board members. • Provided 21 Family Development Certified staff. • Provided 12 Child Development Certified staff.

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2015 - A Year in Review Goal 6: Low-Income People, Especially Vulnerable Populations, Achieve Their Potential by Strengthening Family, and Other Support Systems. • Provided programs and activities to 3,377 seniors to maintain their independent living. • Provided programs and activities to 3,237 individuals with disabilities to maintain their independent living. • Provided referrals for emergency food assistance to 232 individuals. • Provided emergency payments to vendors for fuel and energy bills for 1,193 individuals. • Provided emergency rent or mortgage assistance to 124 individuals. • Provided emergency car or home repair to 156 households. • Provided referrals for temporary shelter to 11 individuals. • Provided referrals for emergency medical care to 10 individuals. • Assisted 1,112 infants and children obtain age appropriate immunizations, medical, and dental care. • Improved the health and physical development of 1,092 infants and children as a result of providing adequate nutrition. • Provided preschool activities to develop school readiness to 351 children. • Ensured that 351 children from low-income families are ready for school having developed pre-literacy and pre-numeracy skills as measured by assessment. • Ensured that 1,207 parents and other adults learned and exhibited improved parenting skills. • Ensured that 1,194 parents and other adults learned and exhibited improved family functioning skills. • Helped 69 obtain care for their child or other dependent. • Helped 18,226 obtain access to reliable transportation. • Assisted 91 obtain health care services for themselves or family member. • Assisted 152 obtain safe and affordable housing. • Helped 1,438 obtain food assistance. • Helped 61 obtain non-emergency LIHEAP energy assistance. • Provided 142,860 rides. • Provided 3,605 information and referral calls.

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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Audited Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Assets Year ending December 31, 2014


Grant Revenue $19,692,795 Program Contributions $2,155,812 Interest Income $5,605 In-Kind Contributions $872,109 Other Income $54,264 TOTAL REVENUE $23,135,865


Child Education $14,335,205 Family and Community Services $1,370,443 Energy Assistance and Weatherization $220,262 Senior Services $434,302 Transportation $2,836,392 Housing and Housing Rehabilitation $322,359 Homeless/Shelter Programs $240,364 Food Programs $1,022,439 Corporate Activities $337,883 TOTAL PROGRAM ACTIVITIES


Management and General Expenses $1,204,339 Fundraising $22,749 TOTAL EXPENSES $ 22,538,846 CHANGES IN NET ASSETS $597,019 Net Assets December 31, 2014 $6,944,010

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Tri-Valley’s Monticello Center Holds 50th Anniversary Open House Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc’s. Head Start Center in Monticello held a 50th Anniversary Open House on Friday, August 28. The event was held at the center located at 9375 Fenning Avenue in Monticello. At the event, community partners joined together to learn more about one of Tri Valley’s Head Start, Child and Family Programs that serve families working in agriculture. The Monticello location has 10 classrooms consisting of infants, toddlers and preschoolers, four rooms that provide year round services and six that operate seasonally. This program includes transportation, health services, nutritious meals, early childhood and parent education. The Monticello center also offers a pregnant mother program that operates home base. Those in attendance and pictured include (L-R) Anoka County Commissioner Julie Braastad, Anoka County Commissioner Robin West, Alejandra Henriquez representing U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer, Head Start Center Manager Lindsay Vokaty. Also, in attendance at the event were Early Childhood Family Education School Readiness Coordinator Sharalyn Snavely and Community Education Director Jeremiah Mack from the Monticello School District and SNAP-Ed Educator Andrew Doherty from University of Minnesota Extension.

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Tri-Valley Veterans Recognized for Service in Senior Corps Local Foster Grandparent In-service training puts spotlight on veterans serving through Senior Corps

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc’s. Foster Grandparent Program of NW MN, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), recognized veterans who have continued their service to America as Senior Corps volunteers. The event, held in Crookston on November 6, recognized these dedicated individuals as members of National Veteran Corps, which is part of a larger effort to raise awareness of the value veterans bring to communities. The event is one of nearly 200 ceremonies featuring National Veteran Corps pin presentation taking place across the country throughout the month of November. Receiving pins were (L-R) Gabe Amon, Twilia Evans (accepting for her husband Ron), Dave Vanderhoff. “Our commitment to veterans and their families is deep and it’s twofold: We serve them and we ask them to serve with us. National service gives our heroes a new mission on the Homefront, a pathway to opportunity, and a better transition to civilian life,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “The National Veterans Corps recognizes the family of Senior Corps volunteers carrying out the spirit of our shared values of devotion, honor, and service to our great nation. This month is an opportunity to salute those who are serving our country again, while bringing attention to the critical work being done by veterans-focused national service programs.” Gabe, Ron and Dave who are veterans were presented with a special pin, joining thousands of national service members across the country in the National Veterans Corps. They are a part of the Foster Grandparent Program of NW MN. Gabe, Ron and Dave have provided countless hours to children throughout our service area states Heidi Simmons, director of Senior Programs. These three Veterans have been a part of the program for 12, 9, and 7 years respectively, making an impact in over 350 + children’s lives.

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Tri-Valley Marks 50 Years

Courtesy of Jason Sorensen - Sentinel Staff Writer, Fairmont Sentinel

The Tri Valley Opportunity Council Inc., along with Head Start, incorporated in 1965, is celebrating 50 years of operation. Originally founded in Crookston for the purpose of fighting the causes and effects of poverty, the organization has since initiated more than 100 different programs. In order to celebrate the day, an open house was held in the Winnebago Center on Wednesday. According to Nicolee Mensing, program area manager for Tri Valley, the council is a community-action agency, similar to Minnesota Valley Action Council. Young children enjoy a meal as the Tri Valley Opportunity Council celebrated its 50-year anniversary on Wednesday in Winnebago. Originally, the service area for the council consisted of Polk, Norman and Marshall Counties near Crookston. When the agency began, the need for programs such as Head Start and Migrant Head Start became apparent, and the council soon expanded. The Winnebago site is one of 15 centers in the area, located in the education building at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. It hosts Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, an early childhood education program with the goal of preparing children for kindergarten nationwide. The program primarily helps families whose parents work at Seneca Foods in Blue Earth, but is open to other eligible families as well. The center primarily operates June through October, tied to the seasonal agricultural needs of the Seneca plant, when migrant families are working their hardest. According to Mensing, the centers provide comprehensive services, including transportation; full day services from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; nutrition services, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks; and qualified teaching staff. The Winnebago site includes an infant, toddler and preschool rooms, each with a bilingual staff person to help children communicate and understand what is happening. “The main goal of all Head Start Programs is school readiness,” Mensing said. “We also want to prepare families to have their kids in school, and to help them be able to make that transition. While most people may think that school readiness is a bit early for infants and toddlers, we believe it is important to start at an early age.”

50th Anniversary (1965-2015) 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News Grandma Gloria Receives 2015 Outstanding Layperson Award The outstanding layperson in education award is an annual award that recognizes individuals for their significant impact on education. People who are nominated for this award volunteer a great deal of time and are not paid for their contributions to our district. This year it was announced that the 2015 Outstanding Layperson Award goes to Gloria Bergson. Gloria is better known as “Grandma Gloria” to 300+ kindergarten children. Gloria has worn many different hats: classroom assistant, lunchroom supervisor, playground supervisor, hallway monitor, kindergarten reading program, paint cup washer, and story teller at Probstfield Center of Education. About five years ago, Gloria applied to the Foster Grandparent Program through the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council in NW MN. For the past 5 years, Gloria has volunteered 5 days a week from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm! She has rarely missed a day with the kids. Gloria arrives early to help with breakfast and stays the whole day to assist where she is needed. She listens to children read, helps with projects, cleans, eats lunch with students, and is best known as the Grandma who cares, loves, listens, supports, and hugs! We are fortunate to have this amazing individual in our school district! Thank you Grandma Gloria for sharing your gifts of time, dedication, and commitment.

Mary Johnson – Champion of Child Safety Mary Johnson, Head Start Assistant Program Design Manager, was presented with the 2015 Champion of Child Safety award on September 24th, 2015 in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota during the seventh annual Minnesota Childhood Injury Summit. Mary was acknowledged for her many accomplishments and long-term dedication in helping protect children from unintentional injuries, with a particular focus on child passenger safety. Mary leads Head Start’s transportation committee, provides CPR, First Aid, and CARS training to our staff and parents, all in order to ensure our TVOC Head Start services are top-notch! Congratulations on this well-deserved honor! Many thanks for your continued leadership in helping to keep children and staff safe in our Head Start programs! 2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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In The News New Intercity Bus Service to Thief River Falls, Minnesota Courtesy of Marketwired – May 21, 2015

Jefferson Lines is pleased to announce a new partnership with Tri-Valley Transit to offer extended transportation options from Thief River Falls to Crookston, MN, and Thief River Falls to Grand Forks, ND. “This new service offered by our transportation partner at Tri-Valley brings Thief River Falls into the greater intercity bus network, connecting the city with regularly scheduled bus transportation to thousands of destinations around the country,” says Kevin Pursey, Director of Marketing for Jefferson Lines. As part of this partnership, customers can now purchase one ticket that covers their ride on both TriValley Transit and Jefferson Lines, making the passenger experience more convenient and comfortable. Passengers can plan their trip online at www.jeffersonlines.com, in person in Crookston at Tri-Valley Transit located at 1345 Fairfax Avenue, or via the phone at 1-800-201-3432. Tri-Valley Transit operates this new service four days a week with a total of eight round trips. Passengers can travel for as low as $5 one way between Thief River Falls and Crookston, or as low as $6 between Thief River Falls and Grand Forks. “We are very excited to offer this intercity bus extended service from Thief River Falls, MN. This will provide residents north of the Highway 2 Corridor better access to interstate bus lines,” says Cynthia Pic, Transportation Programs Director for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

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Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. PO Box 607 102 North Broadway Crookston, MN 56716 Phone: 218-281-5832 Toll Free: 800-584-7020 Telecommunication Relay Services: 711 Fax: 218-281-6681 Website: www.tvoc.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/TVOCInc Twitter: @TriValley_TVOC

Tri-Valley is a non-profit community action agency. We believe in the value of all human beings. It is that belief that drives our efforts to identify needs, seek resources and provide opportunities for people to thrive. Our work is also committed to strengthening our communities so that its citizens have better places to live, work, worship and enjoy.

Service Area

Primary Service Area

(West Marshall, West Polk, Norman Counties)

Services in Minnesota Services in North Dakota Note: Tri-Valley has services in 84 counties in Minnesota and North Dakota. This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800-584-7020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

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Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

2015 tri valley annual report (press quality)  

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report

2015 tri valley annual report (press quality)  

2015 Tri-Valley Annual Report