Local Treasures with Pia: Community-minded enterprises has deep roots in Spokane

Spokane, Wash. – Since its inception as the Health Improvement Partnership in 1997, Community-Minded Enterprises has grown and evolved, but it has never strayed from its main purpose: to support the overall health and wellness of the greater Spokane community.

“We have many different programs and they have evolved to meet the needs of the community,” said Sara Desautel, director of resource development for Community Minded Enterprises. “The two main areas of focus we have right now are: early learning and recovery services.”

Community-Minded Enterprises recently received grant funding from the Avista Foundation, and Desautel said some of that funding will go toward work in early learning.

“We are the Early Learning Achievers contractor, which means we help childcare providers with training, so they meet state standards for quality of care,” Desautel said.

She added that childcare providers go into that business because they have a heart for children, but they don’t always have the business acumen that is needed.

“We have a program we call Shared Services which allows childcare providers to share ideas and resources with one another,” Desautel said. Providers can get help with making a business plan, how to figure out what to charge, and how to navigate regulations.

The other area that gets a lot of focus right now is recovery services.

“We support people who are going through recovery from various addictions, or substance use disorder is how we refer to it,” Desautel said. Community-Minded Enterprises works with the health care authority as well as the state opioid response system.

“We honor substance use disorder as a medical condition,” Desautel said.

The popular Recovery Café is part of this program. Desautel explained that it’s a place where someone who’s in recovery can go have a meal and a coffee with someone who’s going through the same difficulties.

“Most of the staff there has lived experience, either for themselves or with a family member,” Desautel said. “That connection piece is so important to successful recovery.”

At Avista, we recognize our unique position gives us the chance to contribute in an impactful way and make a real difference in people's lives. Since 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $13 million to organizations that support vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. For more information on grant applications and geographical areas covered, please visit avistafoundation.com.

To learn more about the work of Community-Minded Enterprises and how to support the non-profit with volunteer time or donations, go to community-minded.org.

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