Hope Community has a 31-year history
of community connection in one of the most diverse and economically challenged areas in Minneapolis, MN. We began as a place for people to gather in community. Our original shelter and hospitality house was a respite from the isolation and pain of homelessness. When drugs and violence overwhelmed the neighborhood and others focused on the negatives, Hope took a stand for community and children. Over the last 10 years, we designed and built the two-square block Hope Campus in a neighborhood a mile south of downtown Minneapolis – a recognized model of affordable residential place making. We built our reputation as we built a living model, attracting investment and delivering on our commitments. Hope now owns and operates a thriving multi-cultural community in 126 low-income rental units.
The Hope Campus is a place where community is encouraged to happen through the creation of relational environments.
Flower gardens offer beauty and a sense of respectful caring, brightly colored playground equipment invites children to engage with one another, and sidewalks wind from house to house, playground to garden, picnic pavilion to indoor community and children’s rooms.
Building Sustainable Community
Relationships with area residents ground all our work. Our overriding goal is to revitalize community for the long-term, as culturally diverse, low-income residents develop roots and long-term stability. Each year Hope staff create opportunities that involve hundreds of youth and adults from many cultures. Hope’s Community Listening strategies have involved more than 1000 diverse adults and youth in dialogues about their community. Hope tenants and people from neighborhoods surrounding Hope participate in learning and leadership opportunities, activities for children, youth and families, and community and cultural events.
Our Neighborhood Demographics–
Hope Community is located in a neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis that has almost 20,000 residents and a long history of minority and immigrant residents including Native American and African American communities. About 70% of the residents are people of color–the increasingly diverse population includes many more Latino and African immigrants. The median income in the neighborhood is about a third of the median income for the metropolitan area.
In the neighborhood where Hope is working, there is clear evidence of gentrification dynamic (http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/gentry.htm) as developers become increasingly attracted to properties so close to downtown Minneapolis. According to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article, the area had the biggest percentage increase in median single-family home price between 1996 and 2001 in the metro area – a 134% increase. Current residents stated over and over in Hope’s listening sessions that they fear they will be completely displaced in the near future by housing they can’t afford. Low-income people of many cultures who are creating the future of this neighborhood tell us they want to stay in the neighborhood. Hope’s work to create affordable housing and our strong commitment to engaging the community will help make that possible.