Community Partners of Two Harbors


We all need other people to live and thrive. In our older years, being able to stay connected in our community, feel valued, and get a little help when needed is vital to aging well.

Seven rural northeastern Minnesota coalition sites are working toward all of the above, with technical and funding support from the Northland Foundation’s Integrated Rural Community Aging Program.

Community Partners, a Living at Home Program, leads the coalition in Two Harbors. More than a dozen member organizations are collaborating to ensure that local older adults and their family caregivers have access to a strong, well-coordinated network of services.

Shortly after their coalition launched into action, COVID-19 hit. Two Harbors quickly retooled as people – especially elders – isolated at home. Care packages, telephone check-ins, and socially distanced/virtual activities helped nurture a sense of normalcy and security.

Then another idea arose that was not part of the original plan, either. As the local partners worked together, and shared ideas with other coalition sites, the concept of a Care Navigator took shape, a role that would complement their recently established Service Coordinator position.

“As we discussed challenges and successes, a light went off. We realized adding a navigator would be so helpful,” said Taylor Holm, Executive Director at Community Partners.

When older adults or their family members are faced with changing circumstances or need services but aren’t sure where to turn, Community Partners now has both a Service Coordinator and a Care Navigator on staff. They are reassuring resources for assessment, information, and referrals.

Holm credits the coalition and learning community partnerships for the blossoming opportunities in Two Harbors. “The connection and network building – that is the whole that is more than the sum of its parts.”