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Communities that KARE: MN CarePartner

The social justice-based agency aims to empower communities of color by providing culturally focused health services.

SAINT PAUL, Minn — Minnesota CarePartner is hyper-focused: keep families together and reduce disparities for communities of color with specially designed services.

Katy Armendariz founded the social-justice based agency in 2014. 

She explained, Minnesota CarePartner provides in-home therapy, skill building and outpatient treatment from a culturally sensitive lens.

"Our goal is to provide services by connecting people who represent the community," said Armendariz. That includes employing therapists who belong to the same culture as their clients.

The work is deeply personal for Armendariz. "My birth mom was homeless and she had an untreated mental health condition and a lack of support so she wasn't able to parent," she explained.

Adopted into an all-white family, Armendariz says she struggled with her cultural identity and racialized trauma.

"That's really how it started. It came from a personal story and a personal passion and just wanting to help similar families on a better level," said Armendariz. 

Minnesota CarePartner is helping people heal from that trauma through informed care, addiction support and parent coaching. 

Armendariz says their work is to pivotal so families can stay together, remain in their community and help them address what she describes as the systemic effort to dismantle families of color.

Minnesota CarePartner is seeing more people in need, especially after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

"People are looking for a place to vent. People who understand the historical trauma, this current trauma, the systematic racism. Someone to talk to who will also understand and has the same position in society and who can validate and listen," said Armendariz.

There are other agencies that Armendariz wanted to highlight, ones that do similar work for the community: Model Cities, Metro social services, Jeremiah Program, Project for Pride in Living and Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative.

Communities that KARE is sponsored by Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

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