Written by Cheryl Pray
In 1997, a community assessment determined that individuals living in South Washington County, MN lacked access to a thrift store where gently used items could be purchased at a minimal cost. With funding from individuals, corporations and foundations, Basic Needs, Inc. was founded to meet this need.
Soon after its founding, a unique referral program was established to support individuals and families experiencing a significant loss or crisis. Through referrals from community social services agencies, Basic Needs established a voucher program so that individuals and families have the opportunity to shop for items at no cost. Over the last 20 years, Basic Needs has provided more than $1 million worth of free merchandise to people in need.
There are wide-ranging unmet needs for some South Washington County residents, ranging from employment, to housing, to transportation, to food insecurity. To that end, Basic Needs retained Fox Advancement to conduct a Vision Impact Alignment process which will assist in identifying the most urgent services for the community over the next 5-10 years along with a suggested path to achieve those goals. We are honored to be working with the dedicated staff and volunteers to assist in this process so residents of South Washington County will continue to receive the highest level of service in a dignified, respectful and supportive environment.