Folwell partnered with the Cleveland Neighborhood Association to throw a Harvest Party for the neighborhood. The Penn ave Garden was the site chosen this year in large part due to the commitment from both neighborhoods to focus more energy on the struggles on Penn.
Community response, relationship building, and a deeper investment in the area is the path the neighborhood is taking to address high crime and violence on the block. The garden has been a refuge for many this summer, providing food and opportunities to connect.
More than 75 folks showed up to celebrate the season and break bread together. Community gathered a bonfire and listened to elders share stories. Children made scare crows and painted bird houses for the gardens. 50 pumpkins were given away for free and folks took family photos at the photo booth. Students played soccer and tag in the field, having room to run and play. We roasted marshmallows, listened to music, ate amazing food, and learned about one another.
Neighbors shared ideas and strategies they want to see in the neighborhood to address their struggles. Plans were made for future events and building projects. Residents were listened to and bridges were built.
The FNA and CNA are grateful for the funding available through the Penn Ave Safety Grant to provide opportunities for community members to build authentic connection and create grassroots strategies for addressing violence in the community.
Thank you to all the volunteers and staff that made this beautiful fall festival happen!
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.
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.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE SURVEY
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!