Tri-County Action Program Inc. (Tri-CAP) is pleased to announce they have received a $55,000 grant from Otto Bremer Trust. These funds will help support the Tax Program that Tri-CAP administers at many sites.
Tri-CAP’s mission is to expand opportunities for the economic and social well-being of our residents and our communities. We have 70+ staff who provide services in a variety of programs which offer opportunities households experiencing low incomes to work toward self-sufficiency. The programs offered include Housing Assistance, Financial Fitness, SNAP Outreach, Displaced Homemaker Program, Energy Assistance, Weatherization, and public transportation. Our stakeholders include the community, government and non-profit human service agencies with which we have partnerships, and the clients who qualify for our services. The agency uses a real-time strategic planning process through which the board and staff plan for systematic readiness and continuous responsiveness. Through this strategic planning process, one identified goals of the tax program is to increase the financial education provided to tax program clients.
The Otto Bremer trust award ensures that the Tax Program’s mission to provide free tax preparation services for the underserved, in both urban and non-urban locations is accomplished. Service is targeted to low-to-moderate income individuals, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking. Tri-CAP currently provides Tax Assistance Clinics five days a week beginning in January through mid-April at the following location sites: YMCA – Elk River, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, and ROCORI Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). We also have a drop-off site in Foley. The Tax Program operates on a first-come first-serve basis where clients meet with a volunteer tax preparer to complete their income tax forms and filing. We engage over 100 volunteers in this program each year and have strong partnerships with area colleges for volunteer recruitment. For the past tax season, the agency assisted approximately 1,533 households (3,924 returns were files) with total returns over $2.8 million. Tri-CAP anticipates serving 2,000 households with tax assistance this year. Tri-CAP has eight years of experience with providing free tax clinics.
The Otto Bremer Trust, based in St. Paul, Minn., is a private charitable trust established in 1944 by founder Otto Bremer, a successful banker and community business leader. OBT owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and also manages a diversified investment portfolio. The mission of OBT is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Since its inception, OBT has invested more than $600 million in organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin. Visit ottobremer.org.