Crowdsourcing Ideas to Improve Mental Well-being and Housing Stability

Authors: Hennepin County Public Health Department Team – Kelly Deweese, City of Bloomington Public Health Planner; Maya Fernandez, Intern; Karen Nikolai, CHIP Coordinator; Margaret Schuster, City of Minneapolis Senior Public Health Specialist

In response to community priorities on mental well-being and housing stability as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, individuals or small teams living in Hennepin County, Minnesota, who had local ideas and solutions in their communities and who needed a small amount of money to carry them out, were invited to apply for mini-grants. The program strongly encouraged people representing communities of color or indigenous populations to apply – a combination of challenges caused by the pandemic, the recommended protocols of social distancing and isolation, and the closure of many services and business have added stress to the trauma already experienced by many communities, particularly those of color. The Hennepin County Public Health Department crowdsourced ideas from community members, knowing that the best ideas and solutions come from those within the community. Eight projects were chosen through a review process by community members and Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) stakeholders.