Summer 2018 Housing survey and Neighborhood Connectors

The main focus for the Housing team in 2018 is meeting residents and gathering data around housing concerns and issues. Having a whole new board and many new residents, we felt it was important to hear from you, the residents, about how to develop this program. The housing team was awarded at $10,000 grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) a program within the University of Minnesota to hire Neighborhood Connectors.  The FNA hired four residents to door knock every home in Folwell throughout July and August.

Meet your Neighborhood Connectors! Guinevere, Mysnikol, Cece, and Chuck

The Neighborhood Connectors have two primary goals:

  • Meet you, the residents. We are striving to be a neighborhood friendly face, provide contact info to individuals in an effort to support and connect them to resources that will assist in making lives a little bit easier.
  • They are outfitted with a housing survey to learn more about the real time demographics of Folwell. This aids in understanding who Folwell is and what are the hurdles to housing needs that folks have.

As the Mayor and City Council are focused on affordable housing, it was important to the FNA that Folwell had a strong voice and direction in what affordable housing and housing needs looks like for us. With a large percentage of rentals, abandon buildings, and empty lots, there is a lot of conversation around what could/should/needs to be built and prioritized. The survey will help provide the info, while the relationship building will provide the support.


We are asking personal questions in the survey to learn about the neighborhood medium income and age, housing needs and barriers. This is to help us as the housing team and Neighborhood Association advocate for the real needs of the community. We need to know what level of affordable housing we are fighting for. We need to know if it’s families, elderly, young folks, etc that are experiencing housing insecurity. While this personal information can be invasive to some, all surveys are anonymous.

We also understand that our Neighborhood Connectors are asking your name because they want to get to know you. PLEASE NOTE: Your name is not attached to your survey. That information is collected in two different platforms and do not cross over. If you choose to take a survey, it is kept separate from the survey taken.


Along with Door Knocking, the Housing team is hosting four block parties this summer to bring residents together, build relationships, and hopefully connect with those who weren’t home when our Neighborhood Connectors are out. The block parties will be hosted with free food, music, activities, games and our Neighborhood Connectors!  Come join us

Sunday July 8, 1-4pm: 36th and Penn at Penn Ave Garden

Tuesday July 31, 6-9pm: 33rd and James in the Northside Boxing Club parking lot

Friday August 10, 6-9pm: 33rd and Fremont in the Fremont Clinic parking lot

Saturday August 18, 1-4pm: 36th and Fremont near Fremont Market

Here are a few photos from our first successful Block Party!



September 2018 Neighborhood Night Recap

Every month the Folwell Neighborhood Night hosts Neighborhood Night where residents come together to share a meal, get to know each other, and organize around the topics they care about. To learn more about this pilot program, click here.

Below you will find the notes taken from the evening.

Neighborhood Night

Monday Sept. 17, 2018 5:30-8:30pm

Folwell Park

Food: Hui Chinese Food on Lowry and Dupont

30 people in attendance

Board Members: Nate Streeter, Buzzy Bohn, Stacey Henderson

Agreements: A set of guidelines for healthy dialog is always discussed at the beginning of each gathering. This is a living document to ensure that we can create a space where people can speak their truth without fear. These were the guidelines agreed upon by the group present.

  • No hitting
  • Respectful
  • Be positive
  • Courteous
  • Open Minded
  • Fail Forward
  • Truthful
  • Yes and…
  • Help your Neighbor
  • Put cell phones on Silent
  • Start from a place of love rather than fear

We ate, then took about 20 min to introduce ourselves to the whole group. The question for this gathering was, “What did you do stay cool this weekend?”

Once finished, we listed the topics folks wanted to discuss. We had many special guests in attendance from the city and police department. Those folks are listed at the end along with their contact info.

Crime and Safety: Chair – Buzzy: buzzy@folwell.org

  • Issues: While there were issues such as the Penn ave construction, death memorials and speeding and four wheeling traffic, the conversation centered around the general “crime” and issues facing the community. With many officers present and a large turn out of folks, the conversation became about what are police issues and what are community response issues. Solutions centered around how does a community get involved with the safety of all residents.
  • Solutions/Action Items: Stated in general ideas/terms, these will be flushed out by a handful of residents and presented back.

○ We need alternative solutions to calling police: People are calling the cops for non police issues

○ Knowledge of when to call police and when not to call police

○ Diverse approach to a variety of issues

○ More Neighbor Interaction

○ Find Occupants for empty homes

○ Folks need more access: to jobs, to resources, to housing, to support, food, etc

■ Neighborhood Connectors need job opportunities to hand out to folks

○ National Night Out could be a great way to meet your neighbor

○ Need more local block parties all year round

○ Citizen Academy

○ How do we move past fear?

■ Engagement

■ Knowledge

■ Experience

■ Community Organizing

○ Vehicle and Traffic Issues: SeeClickFix (on google play and apple store)

○ Contact Community Engagement Police team. Create a community Liaison

○ Contact/Locate landlords of problem properties

C.L.E.A.N. Team: Chair – Kathleen: clean@folwell.o

  • Issues/Topics: Clean Sweep is Oct. 6-13.
  • Sign up was passed around for folks to adopt a block and participate
  • It was confirmed that Metro Transit will maintain trash receptacles at the new bus stops on Penn.
  • Businesses on Lowry were provided with information about the Minneapolis adopt-a-litter-container program.
  • A leaf rake will be planned for early November.
  • A note was posted on the sign by a resident: “Can we change the name of this committee to the Green Team. It still communicates health and sustainability, cleanliness and participation but it expands broader than just cleaning. Also, “enforcing/encouraging” clean neighborhoods has been used as a weapon against low income folks in the past. This could represent a wider participation in the neighborhood.


Folwell Farmers Coalition: Chair – Dani: danielle@folwell.org

  • Penn Ave Garden is hosting a Harvest fest on Saturday Oct. 27 with Cleveland Neighborhood Association. This is also a part of the Penn Ave Safety Grant. There will be free pumpkins, food, music, photo booth, apple cider and bonfire. Volunteers are needed. Contact Dani if you want to help!
  • Movie Night at Love Garden: Oct. 13 located at 34th and Penn. Contact Tecar for more info tecar@folwell.org

Housing: Chair: Chair – Mysnikol: mysnikol@gmail.com

  • No issues were brought forward, but Mysnikol was available for any concerns brought forward from the community.
  • Results from the housing survey will be made public next month.
  • Housing resource list to finished this month
  • Folks want resources for home repair

Communications: Chair – Debbie: debbie@folwell.org

  • Folwell Flyer out Sunday Sept. 23
  • Email info@folwell.org for more information

Welcome Packet:

○ Stacey, Nate, Dani are working on this.

○ Research residents who’ve lived in Folwell in the past two years

○ While making new residents feel welcome, how are we making residents who have lived here a long time feel welcome?

Policy and Civic Engagement: Chair – Josh: josh@folwell.org

  • Early Voting begins Sept. 21
  • Folwell Annual Meeting Nov. 12 at Folwell Park.

Evaluation: Each Neighborhood Night is always concluded with an evaluation of how the night went. We ask folks to give a one word recap. These were the words given:

  • Lovely
  • A+
  • A lot of engagement
  • Informational
  • Go Team
  • Informed
  • Wooow
  • Transformative
  • Impressed
  • Amazing
  • Gratifying

Special Guests in Attendance:

Cory Fitch: Community Officer for Folwell – 612-673-5704/cory.fitch@minneapolismn.gov

Bill Magnuson: Crime Prevention Specialist –


Jeffrey Hayes: LGBTQ Liason – 612-417-8731/jeffrey.hayes@minneapolismn.gov

Julianne Leerssen: Manager of Equity & Inclusion –


Alice White: Neighborhood Directed Patrol –


Ethrophic Burnett: Council office Associate –


George Warzinik: Officer – 612-673-5704/george.warzinik@minneapolismn.gov

Danny Lindholm, Alliance for Sustainability, danny.lindfield@gmail.com


June 2018 Neighborhood Night Recap

Every month the Folwell Neighborhood Night hosts Neighborhood Night where residents come together to share a meal, get to know each other, and organize around the topics they care about. To learn more about this pilot program, click here.

Below you will find the notes taken from the evening.

Each evening starts with a living document of how to create a safe space for everyone to speak their truth and show up in their fullest self. These are the agreements the group created. It is a living document and shared each month with the ability to add or expand.


  • No hitting
  • Mindful listening
  • OK to Disagree
  • Respect
  • “And” rather than “No”
  • Try no to interrupt
  • Cell phones outside of space
  • Don’t feel chained to a chair

After going through agreements, everyone discussed how the evening could go.  Ariah spoke to “Open space” philosophy where everyone can move around the room and participate in the work they are drawn too. Here is a link to more about this concept that was widely agreed upon in the room. http://openspaceworld.org/wp2/what-is/

After setting the stage for the casual and open feel of the room and schedule, we discussed what each team will be focusing on. We then broke out into small groups for the next hour. We regrouped at the end for a 20 min recap, next steps, and evaluation. Here is what came out of the small groups.

Housing: Dani Tietjen – danielle@folwell.org

  • What has the Housing team been working on:
    • $10,000 Engagement grant (CURA) Empty Lots
  • Community Owned Properties
    • Rentals
    • B&B
  • Survey:
    • Bring renter info to help assist
    • Bring housing support info
  • Empty Lots: These were ideas residents had for what they want to see on empty lots
    • Playgrounds (Parkets)
    • Roller Skating rinks
    • Bike Shop
    • Pet Store
    • Boutique with different vendors
    • Multipurpose retail space
    • Dog Park
    • Pop up cafe – use restaurants already here that close early
  • Names of residents who want to be added to the email/team:
    • Mikile Baker
  • Next Steps:
    • None. The committee didn’t meet as all focus was on getting ready for door knockers. We will be meeting at next NN.

Communication Team: Debbie Tallen debbie@folwell.org

  • What has the Communication team been working on:
    • Facebook
    • Email
    • Folwell Flyer
    • Camden News
    • CRM
    • Ice Cream Social
  • Ideas people would like to see/work on:
    • Welcome Packet
    • Multiple Languages to diversify
    • Folwell Bucks – Beryl Ann is spearheading this
  • Folks who want to be added to email/team:
    • Mikile Baker
  • Next steps:
    • Ice Cream social was the main focus of the team. No next steps for Team stated at meeting.
    • Beryl Ann will be developing Folwell Buck platform and bring to board
    • Chad is interested in Welcome Packets

Crime and Safety Team: Joe Bell s.joesph@folwell.org

  • What has the Crime and Safety team been working on: Attending CARE meetings
    • CARE team as has been disbanded
    • Utilize 4pack meetings
    • Block Parties: How To
  • National Night Out (Aug. 7)
    • Permit deadline July 24
      • Mary Lind works for the permit department and can help with this
      • Connect with the Communications team to promote this
  • Who would like to join the email/team:
    • Mikile Baker
  • Next Steps:
    • Joe to contact Bill to get BLock Captain list
    • Dani to find out if it will be promoted in Camden News
    • Communications team to put it on Social Media, Folwell Flyer, email, website

Policy and Civic Engagement Team: Josh Ney josh@folwell.org

  • What has the team been working on:
    • Bylaws
  • Ideas from Community: what they want to see
    • Voter Registration
    • Citizenship Education
      • How to engage
  • This team did not meet as Josh was out of town
  • There are no next steps currently

Folwell Farmer Coalition: Dani Tietjen danielle@folwell.org

  • What has the team been working:
    • Planting
    • Watering
    • Getting the step up kids situated with the gardens
    • Hosting events
    • Submitted tool resource list to the city who is offering funding to outfit new garden’s.
    • Bee Hives have been added to the Penn Ave Garden.
  • The garden team didn’t meet this night as all of our energy has been on creating and building the community gardens.
  • Who would like to join the email list/team:
    • Mikile Baker
  • Next steps:
    • Work with the Penn Ave Safety Strategy grant to host events
    • Put forth a proposal for a $4000 Thrivent grant to help build the Penn Ave Space

CLEAN Team: Kathleen Acaso kacaso@mail.com

  • What has the team been up to:
    • Clean sweep in June got 79% of the streets clean
    • Bus Stop garbage containers
    • City “Clean Up” Notices
    • Dumping
  • Who wants to be added to the email list/team:
    • Mikile Baker


  • Next Steps:
    • Adopt a Trash can at the Resource Fair
    • Organize Clean Sweep after July 4
    • Connect with metro Transit/Lowry Business – Heidi


Finance Team: Beryl Ann Burton berylann@folwell.org

  • What has the team been working on:
    • Preparing for the audit
  • New Idea:
    • Folwell Bucks
      • July 15 – Nov. 15 Pilot Program
      • Will work with any group
      • Boys to Men will start
      • Long Term App
      • Work with local business
  • Next Steps:
    • Beryl Ann is putting together the details for a proposal to the board
    • Nate is working out the details for how this can be launched with Boys to Men

Evaluation: Everyone gave a one word evaluation of how the evening went.

  • Too short
  • Hopeful x 2
  • Welcome
  • Happy
  • Energized
  • Motivated x 2
  • Excited x 2
  • Positive
  • Engaged
  • Encouraged
  • Connected
  • Informed
  • It felt like jazz