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Office of Economic Opportunity
Helping Minnesota families achieve self-sufficiency
The Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) administers nearly 200 grants annually, totaling approximately $25 million, to more than 100 grantee organizations for programs designed to remove the barriers imposed by poverty on the health and development of individuals and families.
Operating within the Minnesota Department of Human Services, OEO links with a diverse array of partners, including Community Action Agencies, Indian Reservations, food and shelter programs, the Minnesota Community Action Partnership, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, the Minnesota Head Start Association, Hunger Solutions Minnesota, the Minnesota WorkForce Center System, AccountAbility Minnesota, United Way, the University of Minnesota Extension and the Department of Family Social Science, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Wilder Research, Minnesota Elder Economic Security Initiative and the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless.
By working in partnership with these community-based service providers, OEO helps people fulfill their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, and attain the skills, knowledge and motivation to become more self-reliant.
Four guiding principles
In working with others, OEO values and recognizes the unique knowledge, ability and independence of each person. OEO is committed to treating all persons fairly and maintaining credibility by matching actions with words.
Because effective communications is key to facilitating good working relationships with partners, OEO is committed to keeping lines of communication open and strives to develop solutions to problems, share program improvement ideas and provide information on new developments in the anti-poverty field.
Because a team approach is believed to best lead to effective solutions, OEO welcomes opportunities to think outside traditional ways and come up with "best strategies" for program development, conflict resolutions or compliance issues. OEO is open to change and works together to explore options for mutually agreeable solutions. The goal is to have agencies function independently with OEO's support in an effort to meet the needs of local communities within the parameters set by legislation.
Empowerment through diversity
As a voice of the poor in state government, OEO is receptive to the cultural diversity, multiple perspectives, and varying abilities of people in poverty. Diversity in terms of (but not limited to) race, religion, culture, socio-economic background, family generational history, physical and mental ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation and veteran status is respected and valued.
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