Since 1983, Community Mediation & Restorative Services, Inc. (CMRS) has been dedicated to helping individuals move from conflict to resolution and from harm to healing through respectful and confidential mediation and restorative processes. We believe many of our community’s most pressing issues – housing instability, juvenile crime, family/workplace/neighborhood discord – stem from an unresolved dispute or offense. With the generous support of trained volunteer mediators and facilitators, and with partners in local communities, schools and courts, CMRS is systematically changing the way our community addresses conflict. Disputants are able to craft their own lasting solutions, those who commit and are impacted by harm are able to come together to right wrongs and restore community, and local communities are able to make better use of precious public resources.
CMRS is a nonprofit organization funded by both public and private support, serving Hennepin County. The Charity Review Council considers CMRS a “most trusted” charity, having met all accountability standards. In addition to providing mediation and restorative services, CMRS provides a wide variety of training opportunities and shares in leadership for regional and statewide mediation and restorative justice initiatives.
CMRS Program Areas
- Housing Stability Mediation Services. CMRS is taking the stories and collective wisdom from mediating 12,000 landlord-tenant disputes to help shape community-wide strategies to create housing stability. We are developing new partnerships, sometimes through introductions facilitated/suggested by CMRS Board members, enabling us to bundle resources for individuals and families who are at risk of losing stable housing.
- Restorative Justice Services for Youth and Schools. CMRS provides restorative services and implementation support designed to help our community’s youth and their families and schools
- Convening community-wide conversations. CMRS is bringing people together to have deeper conversations around the community context that gives rise to the situations individuals are addressing in both mediation and restorative processes. This year’s conversations have been around the impact of eviction and need for housing stability, the expansion of our use of a criminal justice lens and the collateral consequences of criminal records, the healing power of dialogue for schools and the workplace, and transforming community spaces with better understanding of racial and historical trauma around public spaces.
In early 2016, stakeholder focus groups helped CMRS identify current areas of practice that were effectively and uniquely responding to needs in our community. These focus groups also identified needs and opportunities for expansion of services in six areas:
- Move upstream in the conflict resolution process.
- Invest, actively participate, and lead in statewide collaboration and visioning.
- Develop partnerships and design services that help individuals avoid the collateral consequences of negative police and court interactions.
- Support the growing demand for restorative practices in our local schools.
- Develop elder care services.
- Develop community capacity by expanding training and mentoring opportunities.
Annual Budget: $720,000 – Federal and State Contracts, Foundations, Individual Contributions, Earned Income, Individual Contributions
Community Mediation & Restorative Services, Inc is seeking board members who have a passion for its mission and the following skills and experience:
- Human Resources
- Management & Leadership
- Marketing & Communications
CMRS will be developing a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan in 2018 and celebrating its 35th Anniversary.
- Number of members currently: 12
- Meeting time and frequency: 8 meetings annually
- Meeting location: Western Suburbs
- Time Expectation: Up to 8 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: Yes, at a level meaningful to the board member.
- Service on Committee Required: Yes
- Length of Term: 3 Years
- Renewable: Yes