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Jeremiah Launches Exploration in Rochester, MN

With the backing of generous community support and widespread interest, Jeremiah Program is exploring the possibility of bringing the organization’s two-generation poverty reduction model to Rochester, MN.

The Otto Bremer Foundation has awarded Jeremiah $50,000 to conduct the feasibility study. In addition, Think Mutual Bank, Merchants Bank, and Rotary Clubs of Rochester have provided funding for this first phase, and Rochester Area Foundation is providing in-kind incubator office space.

An advisory committee (list at bottom) of local community leaders with expertise in higher education, early childhood education, business, employment and social services is assisting with the feasibility study. JoMarie Morris, a local attorney in Rochester, is engaged as Jeremiah’s replication consultant.

Olmsted County Community Services Director Paul Fleissner reached out to leaders of the Jeremiah Program after learning about the organization’s outcomes for low-income mothers and their young children. “We look forward to exploring a strong partnership with Jeremiah Program and to creating opportunities for low-income women and children to prosper and become self-sufficient,” Fleissner said.

Currently, 8% of the population in Olmsted County lives in poverty, with single mothers and their children representing the largest part of that 8%. These low-income single moms often are excluded from the region’s rising economic opportunities and have significant barriers to economic mobility

“With significant job growth projected for Rochester and the wider County over the next two decades, and numerous higher education institutions in the area available to serve Jeremiah women, we believe this city is a good prospect for Jeremiah Program,” said Jeremiah President & CEO Gloria Perez. “We have been amazed at the level of interest expressed.” Nearly 90 interested area leaders attended a December meeting with Jeremiah leaders.

Over the next few months, the advisory committee will explore the many opportunities for collaboration with existing Rochester nonprofits, from early childhood education partners to nonprofit housing organizations to programs that could refer young women.

For more information about Jeremiah in Rochester, contact JoMarie Morris, 507-254-7901 or . 

Jeremiah Program Rochester Advisory Committee

  • Vicki Allen, Executive Director, Rochester Public Library Foundation
  • Elaine Case, Community Volunteer
  • Cheri Fischer, Career Counselor, Workforce Development, Inc.
  • Jeanine Gangeness, Associate Vice President of Academia Affairs Winona State University Rochester
  • Patrick Gannon, Early Childhood Systems Consultant
  • Jackie L. Johnson, Clinical Social Worker-Retired, Community Involvement Programs
  • Claire Landgraf, Digital Sales Specialist, KTTC TV
  • Paul McDonald, Pastor of Group Life, Autumn Ridge Church
  • Janelle Rosin, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate
  • April Sutor, Director of Innovation and Collaboration, Family Service Rochester
  • George Thompson, Bolder Options Rochester Board Chair
  • Anne Wiekamp Leth, Auditor Manager, Hawkins Ash CPAs