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Collaborative Community Care: Checking in on Northside Community Support Program

March 3, 2021

“Over the past year, we’ve been a safe space,” says Markevius Collier, Program Manager for Northside Community Support Program. “COVID has thrown a curveball into everything we do, and those challenges haven’t been easy, but our clients and my team have adjusted as best we can. Northside Community Support Program is committed to being there for the community that counts on us.”

Northside Community Support Program is a unique program rooted in building a safe, welcoming community for residents in the North Minneapolis area working to overcome the challenges of mental illness, trauma, COVID and more. It is a free membership-based program. Prior to COVID, individuals could drop-in for support, get help accessing community-based services, therapy, or sometimes just a friendly ear. These services are still available, but due to the pandemic, the program has moved to being appointment-based. The program works closely with many local community partners to ensure people have access to emergency food, employment supports, legal assistance, and more.

Northside Community Support Program takes a community-healing approach to providing mental health support. Each week, the program hosts weekly meetings to identify new ways the program might support the community and how they can collaborate to make it happen.

One focus of the programming is to provide a wide range of ways for interpersonal connection.
“We unintentionally overlooked what a bit of quality time and just a consistent presence can do for someone. Today we’re baking cookies, making jewelry, and providing other opportunities for connection — just trying to make navigating this situation easier,” says Markevius.

Being a part of the Northside program is deeply personal for Markevius.

“I’m super passionate about mental health. It changed my life, and I want that for our members. I love being able to share that knowledge with my community. I love being able to stand back and see someone blossom – to see people have a better grasp on their mental health. Everyone deserves that freedom.”

When asked what the Northside community looks like, the passion for the work they do and the connections they build together is evident:

“It’s young. It’s old. It’s happy. It’s strong. It perseveres. It’s all walks of life. It’s all different kinds of backgrounds with one goal in mind – to find the best way to better serve each other. It looks like a team. It looks like forgiveness. It looks like empathy,” says Markevius.

To learn more about the Northside Community Support program, visit their program page.