Mayor Michael Brown formed the Grand Forks Social Infrastructure commission to address emerging issues affecting Grand Forks residents. The commission created a new holding environment for discussion of critical cross-cutting community issues for which there is no one single agency who is “responsible” to address.
The group met twelve times in a series of ten working sessions and two public input sessions to develop outcomes for the commission’s work and to prioritize issues for the community. We served the project in a facilitation, research, and policy development role, covering diverse community topics, such as childcare, community health care, social detox, poverty and income analysis, diversity and race, and aging.
The commission’s work helped educate the community about poverty and the importance of childcare. Since completion of the project, the City of Grand Forks, working with regional partners, has taken steps to launch a new medically assisted recovery center and the local United Way re-prioritized its organization to focus on addressing poverty.