Monday, May 21, 2018

Hope Community, 40 Years!

I recommend to you the work of Hope Community, a 40-year-old community development corporation in Minneapolis. They are unusual among CDCs, however, since they don't actually build housing themselves, for the most part. Instead, they partner with other CDCs and even management companies to run the residential aspects of their buildings... and spend their time creating community among residents, providing youth programming, and working with immigrant adults on reading and other life skills.

This is not supportive housing, however. All programs are optional and therefore have to be attractive enough to exist without a forced audience. They have a great community garden program, for instance. They have a summer camp program geared particularly to kids who live in their four large, new apartment buildings and dozens of duplexes and single-family homes arranged around the city block where they started decades ago.

Here are three quotes from their history that are now part of a large collage on one wall of a gathering space in the building they call the Children's Village Center:

Shannon Jones, their recently named executive director, was herself a Hope resident about 15 years ago. I look forward to seeing what she, the staff, and community can achieve together in the next 40 years.

Shannon Jones (left) and Hope founder Char Madigan (right), with an image from decades ago showing what is now the Hope Community neighborhood.

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