The systemic change in the economy has impacted every community in Minnesota, but the Phillips community has been especially impacted by the lag in hiring. Many residents were in construction, landscaping and the service industries. These sectors have been slow to add jobs and when doing so are hiring only on a temporary or part time basis. It prevents a household from having a stable source of income.
Statistics show that residents were struggling with daily needs before the recession. According to the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support, Hennepin County Department of Health and local schools: i) 66% of residents are living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level; ii) 98% of the 1,157 k-8 students attending the local public elementary school are eligible for the free or reduced price lunch program; iii) Almost 35% of all residents in the Phillips community are uninsured - 90% higher than for the City of Minneapolis; iv) The Phillips community has the third highest infant mortality rate and the lowest rate of first trimester prenatal care of any community in Minneapolis.
Minnesota's Small-Town Gay Pride (Pine City)
For the seventh-straight year, Pine City has been host to East Central Minnesota Pride, a LGBT pride event held the first weekend in June since 2005. The event gives LGBT people, those questioning, and their friends, family and allies an opportunity to meet and build community in an otherwise isolated part of the state.
Without the event, organizers believe there may not exist an "LGBT community" in this part of the State. Bigger cities across the globe, from London to Minneapolis, have had prides for decades. The gay pride in Pine City began in 2005 when it was just one of two rural prides in the nation to be held. The need has been evident in the events growth, from record attendance numbers to a record number of vendors, sponsors and supporters.