Bemidji’s Hope House Receives Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award
Bemidji’s Hope House was named one of two winners of the 2021 Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award. Typically the award is only given to one organization, but this year due to the impact of COVID-19, Minnesota’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives decided to recognize two community organizations that are doing outstanding work in their areas. The other award recipient is Tusen Tack from Braham, Minnesota.
For this year’s winners, Hope House is from Beltrami Electric Cooperative and Tusen Tack is from East Central Energy. This is the third time an organization from the Beltrami service area has received the statewide award.
Both organizations received an award and $1,000 for their efforts. Hope House provides comprehensive support for people with long-term mental illness and their families. Through one-to-one assistance, hospitalizations are reduced, stable housing is maintained, and recipients regain meaningful daily lives. Skills training, a drop-in center, nurse visits, family group, outreach, diagnostic assessments, and links to employment and medication are offered.
Tusen Tack has five core programs that include a thrift store, a community center, a library, a food shelf, and a commercial kitchen. These programs, run by approximately 200 volunteers, reach countless people in the area, providing food, necessary thrift bargains, reading material and computer access, meeting space, and meals.
Last fall, Touchstone Energy cooperatives throughout the state presented local awards to organizations for outstanding contributions to their communities. Local award recipients were automatically entered for the statewide recognition.