Community Engagement Compensation

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We seek community representatives to join the continuing development of the Appropriate Responses Initiative (ARI).


Community representatives work alongside us to implement all aspects of the ARI. This includes:

  • Working in committees on processes, policies and funding allocations.
  • Providing racial-equity-centered and trauma-informed perspectives.
  • Planning and attending monthly community meetings and dinners.
  • Participating in hiring panels and conference panels.
  • Presenting at conferences and stakeholder meetings.
  • Sharing your and your community's experiences with the justice system.
  • Fostering relationships and conversations with community members.
  • Identifying current community partners and opportunities to cultivate additional ones.
  • Listening to community to assess the success of ARI.

Time commitment and compensation

Community representatives will work with us to determine the time commitment that individuals can accommodate and meet program needs. Most duties are “as needed” and do not fall into a set schedule or regular working hours. We anticipate awarding up to 10 contracts that will end in Dec. 2026.

Compensation is $100/hour. 


Applicants must:

  • Live, work or connect with a community in Ramsey County.
  • Align with the ARI racial equity goals and long-term outcomes.
  • Possess skills and knowledge connected to the ARI vision.

Each item is described in detail after the evaluation criteria below. 

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Contact Steven Kensinger for questions.

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Evaluation criteria

Evaluation Criteria Points
Connections to Ramsey County communities 30
Alignment with racial equity goals and long-term outcomes 20
Skills and knowledge connected to the vision of ARI 20
Total 70

Connections to community

Alignment with goals and outcomes

Skills and knowledge

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Milestone Date
Posted and released to the public March 22
Questions due to Steven Kensinger

April 3
2 p.m.

Answers to questions posted April 5
Applications due April 18
2 p.m.


As a key project within Ramsey County’s Violence Prevention American Rescue Plan Act Priority, the Appropriate Responses Initiative (ARI) transforms 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center (ECC) dispatch processes, public wellness systems (Social Services and Public Health) and community institutions to provide a wider range of options for responding to people in need.

The community has been a key stakeholder in creating and moving ARI work forward, starting with our co-design circle which was a collaboration between community and system stakeholders. Co-design members represented the community through youth, culture, faith, service provision organizations, advocacy and lived experiences.

As we move forward with the implementation, community will continue to be at the table making recommendations and influencing the details of the ARI. Planning, implementation and quality assurance spaces actively include community members to analyze ARI work through their lens.


The Appropriate Responses Initiative (ARI) is working towards several long-term outcomes. All emphasize the Black and American Indian populations, the communities most harmed by the public safety system in Ramsey County. 

  1. Improved wellness of community
  2. Less Black and American Indian people engaged with the justice system
  3. Less Black and American Indian people incarcerated
  4. Less Black and American Indian people financially obligated to the justice system

The ARI recognizes that although a traditional response may be most appropriate in some cases, they have limitations to address certain types of requests for assistance. ARI develops new and enhanced ways of responding to 9-1-1 calls.

Mental Health Crisis Response 

Crisis Response is a system response based in the Social Services Department. The Mobile Crisis Response Units are a multi-disciplinary team comprised of mental health professionals and practitioners. They provide short-term intensive mental health services to help recipients cope with immediate stressors. They also identify and utilize available resources such as psychiatric providers, stabilization and peer support.

Public Health Response

Public Health Response is a system response based in the Public Health Department. This is not a traditional response like Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Rather, Public Health Responders (PHRs) use different experiences and education to respond to substance use related calls in various cities in Ramsey County with a focus on harm reduction, safe use education and access to resources.

Community Response 

Unlike other ARI response types, community responders will be employed by a contracted community-based agencies.