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2020 Annual Gathering and Election

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it on Monday night for the Annual Neighborhood Gathering and Election! If you weren’t there, we sure did miss you! It was wonderful to gather safely together as the weather turns colder, knowing that for the majority of the coming months, due to COVID-19 we will be meeting together over zoom.

We gathered in the newly renovated yard at 3701 Fremont Ave N. Folks gathered in the adjoining empty lot, among the garden and around the fire pit.

Thank you to Angelo Williamson with Wha’Jamican who provided amazing burritos!

Thank you to Elder Amoke Kubat for sharing art through story and centering the value of stories for us.

Thank you Kenzie O’Keefe from Pillsbury and being there with Get Out the Vote.

Thank you to our elected officials; Irene Krissie Fernando, KerryJo Felder, Bobby Joe Champion, and Phillipe Cunningham – Ward 4 Minneapolis City Council Member for being in community with us an sharing about your work.

Thank you Linda Hitzeman Krohn from Thrivent for being there to help out with Census outreach.

Thank you Cody Olson for coming and sharing info around the C-line that coming down Fremont.

Thank you Ariah Fine for helping with our neighborhood elections and ensuring that every vote was counted.

Thank you to Kathleen Acaso and the Green Team for all the Liter Be Gone supplies that got distributed!

Thank you to all of our volunteers who have done incredible work throughout the last year. We are SO grateful to each and every one of you. We hope you enjoy your gift card from Adorn by Kella with Markella Smith!

Thank you Katrina Hannemann for being our photographer and capturing the event!

Folks enjoyed coming to tour the space, electing new Board Members, eating and getting to know one another, and then ending the night with a bonfire. It was so incredible being in our new space together!

Check out the photos and please give a warm welcome to our new Board of Directors! The community elected five new folks to serve on the board. Welcome Sara Merrill, Emily Flower, Beatrice Hawkins, Malory Leishman, and Gary Way. You can contact them on the “Get to know the Board of Directors” page on the website.

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“Leap of Faith” Promraiser: THANK YOU!

The FNA wants to extend a heartfelt Thank you to everyone who participated, contributed and supported the Folwell Neighborhood “Leap of Faith” Promraiser! We were able to host a “Zero Waste” event digging deep into our community to bring supplies from home, create homemade decorations reusing materials, and build an event based on love and determination! The results were transforming a school gym into a magical winter prom!

There was dancing, there was singing, there was laughing, there was meeting new neighbors and building relationships!

THANK YOU to Angelo Williams with Wha’ Jamaican LLC. who cooked and served up Delicious Jerk & Curry Chicken and roasted veggies while managing the kitchen and making sure everyone stayed fed and happy. THANK YOU to Sammy Dee’s for providing Vegan Sweet Potato Sliders and Thirsty Whale Bakery for the heavenly Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cake, and Vegan cookies!

THANK YOU to Marcus Kar and DJ Karuza for keeping the music hot and the dancers on the floor. The vibe of the winter prom kept the room energized and we are so grateful for talented artists who we get work with throwing dope parties!

We want to extend a HUGE SHOUT out to our “Partner” Sponsors: Pillsbury United Communities and Full Stop on Lowry. Our “We Believe” Sponsors: #Dayblockbrewery, Broadway Liquor Outlet, and #FirstAvenue. The “Ground Level” Sponsors: B&W Tax Service, Center for Urban & Regional Affairs – CURA, Webber-Camden Neighborhood Organization, Super USA on Dowling, Nekima Levy Armstrong and Marques Armstrong, Pastor Dan, and Paperboy Flyers.A special “Thank you” to our raffle donors: North End Hardware and Rental for the donation of the Snowblower and; the Anonymous Donor for the 65in TV!

With sponsors, donations, tickets, and silent auction items, we were able to raise $8,419!When the FNA said ‘Yes!’ to leasing the commercial space at 3701 Fremont, we accepted we were taking a risk. Together with the community, the FNA decided that securing a mixed-use building with prime commercial space and two apartments above was worth the risk. There were a few small businesses that had to decline the original lease offer due to the rent for the 1800 sq. ft. commercial space being outside of their current business capacity. With the FNA’s willingness to secure the lease and the generosity of the community, we can now offer affordable options to up and coming small businesses on the northside.

While we raised thousands of dollars, we are still $3,500 short of our ultimate goal. If you were hoping to attend and weren’t able, or wanted to contribute, you still can! You can donate at https://folwell.org/3701-freemont/

The next steps include securing a sublessor to occupy the space with us, diversifying our funding, and exploring a community-ownership model.

The FNA team builds with the community at the heart and center of the work harnessing the collective power of our residents as the driving force for creating healthy neighborhoods. You believed in us as we stepped into an uncharted future. We are SO grateful for your support in what we are co-creating.We extend our deepest gratitude to you for believing in us and building with us. We look forward to the ways we can continue to create community-led development and investment.

As supporters and partners, we commit to keeping you informed and updated as the FNA 3701 Fremont Project progresses.

With our sincerest thanks,Folwell Neighborhood Association Board and Contractors #folwellstrong#folwellneighborhood#folwellprom

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Drake Residents Relief

For Drake Residents

The FNA form has now been closed as the funds available have been distributed. Pillsbury United has been brought in with greater staff capacity and more funds to assist Drake residents. For all financial assistance through Pillsbury, please contact: Jacara at jacaraw@pillsburyunited.org.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve as on of the first agencies to help release funds and get families housed. It was a pleasure and honor to work with so many of you.

FNA’s role with Drake residents

The historic Drake hotel in downtown Minneapolis experienced a devastating fire at 3am on Christmas day. We are deeply grateful that no one was hurt. Since then, residents have been housed at First Covenant downtown, at friends homes, and scattered throughout a couple select hotels.

From the beginning community members have been showing up, caring, advocating, and assisting Drake residents. Our neighbor Mysnikol Miller, who has been on the ground from the beginning as a community member helping and assisting, asked FNA to act as a fiscal agent in an effort to release funds through the Minneapolis Foundation to directly help residents.

$25,000 was released by the Minneapolis Foundation to the Folwell Neighborhood Association (FNA) on Dec. 31, 2019 to cover immediate housing needs such as direct deposits, application fees, and first month’s rent for former residents of the Drake Hotel. FNA committed to release all $25,000 for housing needs. No overhead costs or admin fees were removed from this fund. All time dedicated to these efforts have been volunteered.

FNA participated in the Red Cross MARC event on Jan. 3 -4, 2020 connecting with residents to begin releasing the funds. A form was created on our website for residents to apply and volunteers were available at First Covenant to connect with residents.

As of Jan. 18, 2020:

  • $20,859.27 has been distributed to 16 families. These 16 units have all been relocated into housing. This has come in the form application fee’s, direct deposits, Jan rents, prorated Jan rents and a couple Feb. rents. The closer we move to the end of January, assisting with Feb rent to provide stabilization is needed.
  • $9,721 has been promised through Letters of Guarantees for an additional 7 families.
  • We have been assisting with another 5 families who have filled out the form, but currently don’t have housing options.
  • FNA received an additional $7,422 in donations.
  • FNA has $1,842 left.

With funds running low, FNA has closed our application form. We are committed to following through with each of the families that have reached out to us. All of them are in different various stages of rehousing. If/when they are all housed and there are funds left over, that money will be redistributed to Pillsbury United. They received $250,000 from the Minneapolis Foundation to assist residents. They have greater staff capacity to provide better resident care, and larger funds to address to greater needs. FNA will be sharing all of our funding commitments with Pillsbury to assist with equitable distribution to residents. For the sake of privacy, we will not post families names whom we have helped or allocation amounts, but that list has been given to the Red Cross, Hennipen County and Pillsbury to ensure all residents are receiving the care and help they need.

Donations

The FNA is no longer collecting donations on behalf of the Drake residents. 100% of funds dedicated to Drake Hotel Residents that went through the FNA have been or will be used to support residents. FNA has not and will not take any funds from donations or grants to assist with organizing efforts or admin costs.

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FNA Office/Community Business Space

3701 Fremont Ave N – Potential FNA Office and Community Business Space

The Folwell Neighborhood Association has the opportunity to rent a commercial space, located on the 1st floor at 3701 Fremont Ave N. Occupancy would begin March 1, 2020, the rent of $1800/mo would cover the entire first floor, newly remodeled in an open concept, multi-use floor plan as well as an attached heated garage. The goal of this project is for the FNA to have minimal organizational space by sub-leasing the majority of the first floor for a community based business.

This post is to provide the information the Board of Directors and staff currently have in order to establish trust and transparency with the community in making this decision. Below are the answers we have collected from a variety of questions asked of the building owner and city reps.

We encourage all residents to participate in the survey below to help the Board of Directors make a fully informed decision. Be sure to include your questions, concerns, ideas or suggestions.

FNA OFFICE FORM

As of Thursday evening Dec. 12, there were three responses to the survey. The questions and answers have been included in the link below with names being removed for privacy.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON OFFICE AND COMMUNITY SPACE

Two major themes that are showing up is how much the community wants a cafe/eatery/food business and that FNA doesn’t need office space, especially when any FNA funds can go toward better purposes. To make sure intentions are clear, the FNA agrees that they do not need this much office space, and $1860 per month is too much for the organization to commit to without assistance. Without the FNA in this process however, the building will be fully converted to residential loosing an ideal multi use commercial space in the community. The FNA can act as a conduit to provide a space for a community business to thrive while they share the risk. The goal is for FNA to partner with a business to increase small businesses in Folwell. The letter of intent provides FNA the time to build a sub-lease partner.

The FNA is excited at the chance to explore this unique opportunity and how the organization can make this space be valuable as a community center, business incubator, and/or a co-working space with shared occupancy. A small team of board members and staff are researching opportunities and gathering information to present at the upcoming Neighborhood Night on Monday Dec. 16th at 6pm. (Dinner is served at 5:30pm so come early to enjoy a meal.)

Here are some of the answers to questions we have already been hearing:

The FNA is looking at a 1-3 year lease, not 5 year.

The Building is zoned as C1.

Owner will pick up Water, sewer, and gas as part of rent. FNA will be responsible for electric.

How old is the electrical? It is 240 on the commercial side, three pronged outlets will be everywhere and should accommodate basic fridge and stove if brought in.

The furnace was old so it will be replaced with a mini split – it will do heat radiation and air conditioning.

Would the owner consider doing a community buy with us? It is too late for that option at this point, but the owner might will give FNA a first right of refusal when selling.

The FNA will need an architect to work with on the project.

When exterior damages incur (broken windows, etc) the current proposal on the table is to share damage expenses between FNA and the owner. The owner will be installing a security system on the outside of the building.

We hope you are able to join us on Monday, but if not, we hope you will send your thoughts to info@folwell.org so that all the comments and concerns can be considered.