Operation Community Connect Bus Schedule

This year, Horizons will be partnering with Arrowhead Transit in hopes of increasing the availability of Operation Community Connect (OCC).  Since the event is open to the entire county, providing a means of transportation is necessary in order to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to attend. Listed below are the bus stops and schedule for OCC. Arrowhead will be at each for location for approximately five minutes.

Thursday October 13th:

  • Sturgeon Lake Little Store 10:15am
  • Willow River BP gas station 10:30
  • Banning Junction 10:45
  • Chris’ Food Center-Sandstone 11:00
  • Tobies Parking Lot-Hinckley 11:20

Arrive in Pine City at 12pm.

There will also be two pick-up points in Pine City:

  • Super America 12:30pm
  • Pine City Library 12:45

Departure from OCC will be at 2:30pm.

Operation Community Connect Returns to Pine County

How do you prepare for the winter?  For many people, the process is fairly simple.  Pull out the sweaters, scarves and hats from storage. Make sure that the snow-blower and shovels are ready to go.  However, for those individuals who are homeless, low-income or “living on little” the process is very different.  Often times for these individuals, preparing for winter involves spending beyond their budget or going without the necessary items. 

To assist Pine County residents prepare for the approaching cold weather, Pine City Horizons has organized Operation Community Connect (OCC). This is the second year in a row that the event will be held in Pine City. The goal of OCC is to connect low-income, homeless, and at-risk households to local resources and services. OCC provides an opportunity for a “one-stop shop” by helping individuals access all the resources and services that they need in one location.

The theme of this year’s OCC is to provide warmth. The services provided at the event reflect this goal at a variety of levels.  A free soup and sandwich lunch will be offered to each individual who attends.  Sweaters, jacket, blankets, mittens and other warm clothing will be given away. Lastly, a wide variety of county organizations will be on hand.  Public, private and non-profit agencies will be present covering topics such as housing, nutrition assistance, financial assistance, medical, mental health info, veteran services, and education and employment opportunities.

The effects of OCC can be felt well beyond this single day event. Previous OCCs have been used by researchers to strengthen their homelessness data for Pine County and Greater Minnesota. For example, the Wilder Foundation has used OCC and other drop-in service events as an opportunity to improve their homeless counts. Their findings have been used to increase funding and further address the issue of homelessness in Greater Minnesota.

This year, Pine County OCC will take place on October 13th from 12pm-6pm at the Lighthouse PCEFC in Pine City. Additionally, Arrowhead transport will be operating county-wide the day of the event. For further questions, to donate, or get involved please contact Lauren Ellmers at (320)629-2575ext 115 or by e-mail at lellmers@pinecitygov.com

Operation Community Connect Needs: YOU!


Pine City Horizons is seeking volunteers for Operation Community Connect (OCC). OCC is a one day, service day to those in-need in our community and will provide a meal, winter clothing and resource information from over 30 assistance providers. The event is on Tuesday, October 26th from 10am to 6pm.

Volunteers are needed for the following times and responsibilities:

Monday, Oct 25th Set Up Event 12 noon–5pm Meet at Lighthouse Church

Tuesday, OCt 26th General Assistance/Intake Coordination 10am–6pm Lighthouse Church

Tuesday, Oct 26th Meal & Event Prep 8am–10am LIghthouse Church

Tuesday, Oct 26th Clean Up 6pm-8pm Lighthouse Church

Last year, OCC served over 280 families whose basic needs were not being met. In anticipation of increased needs this year, we are looking for 8 volunteers per hour of the event. If you could lend a hand for an hour or two (or more!) please call Sean Stevens with Pine City Horizons at (320) 629-2575 ext 115. To download the flyer for posting, click here. slide1.jpg

Pine City Horizons September Board Minutes

Pine City Horizons Board Meeting Minutes Monday, September 20, 2010 5pm at Horizons/Chamber Office

Purpose: Sustain the vision of building prosperity, reducing poverty-keep the fire alive and coordinate work team activities in the community.
Vision: Welcome to Pine City where people live, work and play. Our beautiful city offers many recreational choices, community events and an active arts community. Youth are healthy, active and drug-free and part of a positive multi-generational culture. Energy is renewable and sustainable. We welcome change that makes our community better and we welcome you to visit or stay and live here with us.

Present: Jenny Erdmann (Co-chair), Lezlie Sauter (PR), Wendy Johnson (Co-Chair), Jan
 Nettleton, Nathan Johnson, Becky Maki (Treasurer) & Sean Stevens (Note-Taker).

Learning About….No learning events on this months agenda

August Meeting Minutes: Approved

Work Team Reports:
• Everything Pine City: Awaiting branding recommendations to tailor look of kiosk. Continue
to make suggestions to Information Guide for style & content. Next meeting=10/13, 5pm
• Youth: Met with AmeriCorps volunteer with Kettle Kinship in consideration of partnering with
them for mentoring. Next meeting=10/7, after ECC meeting which begins at 3:15pm.
• People Helping People Prosper: Last work team meeting was spent prioritizing work plans. Homelessness,MicroloansandOCCweretoponthelist. Jenny Erdmann and Wendy Johnson have been very active with quickly approaching OCC (Oct 26). 80 letters for donations were recently sent out and will need follow up calls soon. 9 vendors on board to date. Wendy is working with local churches for donations. She also wondered about asking for help with facebook. Sean updated the Board on Family Pathways and questioned whether PC Horizons should appeal to Family Pathways to participate in programming in PC, instead of just raising funds here. Next meeting=10/7, 5pm.

Old Business/Other:
• Pop Vox Video: Video is shot, Sean will send out the final edit when completed
• School Drive: Served 53 families, 122 kids. The remaining supplies went to ALC, CLC and
then on to OCC
• Pioneer Article: Many Horizons members were interviewed and Judy will have article out next
• Community Garden Fencing: Board suggested Ryan, Mike and Aaron as possible volunteers
for this quick project. Becky Maki also suggested the Area Learning Center. Sean also wanted
to price a sign for this area & the Board agreed to look at pricing.
• Funding Requests/Reimbursements: A request was made of the Board to consider its
system for funding requests and reimbursements. Board agrees that two signers should be available in case of absence of a single member (Wendy Johnson is 2nd signer). Sean will draft a form and research a policy for funding requests. Treasurer will provide a balance report at each meeting. Additionally, a request was made of the Board to reimburse Jenny Erdmann for postage used to mail donation requests for OCC. Board votes to approve request.
• Laptop: Board is interested in attaining a laptop for Horizons/public use. Sean will research opportunities to attain this from grants, Pine Tech or manufacturers.
• Homeless Shelter: Board is interested in investigating the use of the old Sherriff’s office as a shelter and partnering with an existing program to run it. Sean and Nathan will report at next meeting.
• Comprehensive Plan: Horizons will present information at the City Open House as to its perspective on Comp plan. Goals and Strategies? Board mentions Housing as a chief concern, especially high rents as mentioned in recent Pioneer article. Lezlie Sauter will provide material from previous meetings on this topic.
Upcoming Events

9/25 Horizons Regional Training Workshop @ NW Fur Post, 830am to 530pm
10/26 Operation Community Connect @ Lighthouse Church, 10am to 6pm
10/27 Pine City Comprehensive Planning Open House

Operation Community Connect: Put some Socks in a Box!


Operation Community Connect is an all volunteer effort to serve families in need in Pine County. Last years event brought warm food, warm clothing and resource information to more than 280 families in our area. This year’s project is being organized by Pine City Horizons and they are asking for your donations.

Almost any donation that could support those in need is appreciated. New and used clothing, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, boots, and sweaters are needed. Additionally, gas cards for emergency transportation, toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes as well as new undergarments (and socks of course) can be donated as well. Service providers from many local and regional social service agencies will also be on hand to answer questions.

Bring donated goods (in a box with some socks) to the Horizons Office at City Hall (shared office space with the Chamber of Commerce) or contact any of the following Horizons members to volunteer or learn more.

Wendy Johnson 651.442.5880
Jenny Erdmann 763.742.0781
Kris Engh 320.282.9359