History of BASC
BASC was established in 1994 with a Family Service Collaborative Implementation grant from the State of Minnesota. In 1998, BASC became a Joint Powers entity with an impressive list of engaged partners including public school districts within Beltrami County (Bemidji, Blackduck, Kelliher), Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center, Beltrami County, North Country Regional Hospital, Bi-County Community Action Program, Minnesota Department of Corrections, and Bemidji Area Council of Nonprofits. Other partners added later include Red Lake Public Schools, United Way of Bemidji Area and Bemidji Inter-District Council. Representatives from these entities and others serve on the BASC Governing Board.
Beltrami County has its share of challenging issues to overcome including one of the highest poverty rates in Minnesota. Service availability can be scarce and resources to address complex poverty-related issues are tight due to the county’s low tax base and lack of charitable foundations that support outstate programs.
BASC models what happens when entities set aside competition for scarce resources and focus on what can be done with shared resources. Partners come to the table with an issue or problem and ask---“What if we could…?” Input is gathered from those who will be served, programs are developed, resources are integrated, staff is hired, initiatives are launched, and evaluation begins.
BASC establishes and supports programs that are aligned with two Board-established priority areas: Mental Health and Educational Success. Revenue for the agency’s integrated fund is generated from grants, Local Collaborative Time Study funds, county funding, state funding and partner contributions. Visionary leadership and shared values have been the keys to success.
Collaboration is not easy, but outcomes improve by coordinating, combining, and leveraging resources and expertise. BASC aspires to strengthen relationships, improve communication and build trust among partners, programs and the communities served.