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Building Community Blog

Guest blog by Polina Montes de Oca

Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager

This past summer, Twin Cities Habitat was approached by the ITS (Intro to Success) Festival’s team to partner on their annual event that brings young artists and entrepreneurs of color to explore opportunities that will help them excel in their creative field.

Guest blog by Polina Montes de Oca, Neighborhood Revitalization Program Manager

Have you heard? Jordan Week of Kindness (JWOK) is just around the corner, coming up on Saturday, June 1, 2019 on 27th and Russell Ave. North in Minneapolis. This is our fourth year collaborating on a block beautification event with the Jordan Area Community Council (JACC) in the Jordan neighborhood of Minneapolis. JWOK is much more than just a block party. It’s a week-long, collaborative partnership with the Jordan neighborhood association to bring community members and residents together in beautifying the Jordan neighborhood, one block at a time.

A few years ago, Audua watched an A Brush with Kindness presentation during a Jordan Area Community Council board meeting, which she was a member of. She learned that this paint and repair program provides health and safety repairs that can help families maintain a safe and stable home.

“My kitchen was a wreck; the bathroom wasn’t functional and had mold,” Audua recalls. The exterior of her home also needed attention and much needed maintenance. It seemed as though the A Brush with Kindness program might be a perfect fit, so she applied. Her family met the programs criteria, and was eventually accepted!

Twin Cities Habitat is proud to partner with the Jordan Area Community Council to bring the 3rd Annual Jordan Week of Kindness. We're celebrating our long-standing commitment to North Minneapolis and investment in the Jordan neighborhood through our Neighborhood Revitalization program. For the past months, we have been working alongside outstanding residents and the neighborhood association to beautify this block through home repairs, a clean-up, and flower planting.

Guest Blog by Shannon Twiss
Resident Outreach Coordinator

Over 70 volunteers came to Morgan Avenue in the Jordan neighborhood of North Minneapolis as early as 6:30 a.m. on Saturday to set up for the 2017 Jordan Week of Kindness celebration. Coffee in hand and ready to work hard, they prepared a resource fair, block clean-up, and planting projects.

When Twin Cities Habitat partners with a neighborhood for revitalization efforts, we’re happy to take a backseat and let the residents drive. After all, it’s their block, their neighborhood, and nobody knows it better than them. The people who live, work, and play in a community have the best understanding of what investments of time and money will help raise the overall quality of life for everyone around them. But convincing residents to open up and share their vision for their community requires a great deal of trust. For residents on one block of Charles Avenue in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood that trust in Habitat increased dramatically when we decided NOT to build a home on their block.

There is power in community.

At least, that's what we've learned through our partnerships and experiences with the Jordan neighborhood in Minneapolis, and Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul.

Together with other local organizations and community groups, Habitat's Neighborhood Revitalization program has carried out several community-building projects in these close-knit neighborhoods to engage residents and provide service opportunities to make home improvements and enhance the aesthetics of the block(s). 

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