UMR students create website of community resources

May 8, 2017

(Post Bulletin) -- University of Minnesota Rochester student Anthony Young recounted a story about a social worker in Minneapolis who had a binder bursting at the seams with just about every community resource offered in the city.

She was known as a go-to contact with Spanish speakers because of all of the resources and contacts she'd compiled through the years.

Now, UMR students are looking to repackage that idea for the digital age by putting all of those resources into one place — online.

They've set out to create a one-stop website for health resources in Olmsted County, accessible by mobile phone, and available in Spanish and English. The idea is simple: make it easy for people to access the resources they need.

It'll be painless to navigate, with access to community and health services, transportation, housing and financial resources.

"We're trying to do the really basic community needs, for those who need it the most — the things they might not know about, that aren't well-publicized," said Jenna Kremer, one of the students involved with the project.

So far, they've connected with more than 30 service organizations in the community, and they hope that will continue to expand as word spreads. Their database includes Olmsted Medical Center, the Rochester Area Family YMCA and the United Way.

"We are also trying to figure out what the community needs, and what would be the most helpful to put on it," said Mia Minkkinen. "With everything, that would get overwhelming."

They're hoping it'll become a live site by this fall — a project that could span years of students, as a living project.


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