Friday, September 24, 2010

Hawthorne Neighborhood Honored by the City!

Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director.  Videos by Jeff Skrenes except where noted otherwise.

Based on the neighborhood's award-winning success in and around the EcoVillage, and in celebration of Habitat for Humanity's and former President Jimmy Carter's partnership in bringing several new families to our community, the Minneapolis city council recognized the tremendous accomplishments of Hawthorne, PPL, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity at today's full council meeting.

Videos are after the jump as well, and the resolution reads...

Friday, September 17, 2010

MetLife Award Presented for Progress in EcoVillage

Post, photos, and video by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director.

The MetLife Foundation yesterday awarded Project for Pride in Living and the Minneapolis Police Department for their work in conjunction with the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and many other partners in the EcoVillage.  Out of 720 applicants from across 48 states, we were one of only eleven recipients this year.  Steve Cramer of PPL said in his remarks that they had trouble putting together a design for the press release because there are so many partners that we weren't sure how to fit them all on one page.

Many of them are pictured here.
 After the presentation, the first new construction of the EcoVillage, 400 31st Avenue North, was ready for its open house...(more pictures after the jump)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meet the New Homeowners! (Yes, ALL of Them)

A few weeks ago, I met some of the folks who will be new homeowners in and around the EcoVillage thanks to Habitat for Humanity.  They were amazing people and we'll be blessed to have them in our community.  Then, last week, I received paper copies of the neighbors' profiles and stories.  Today, I learned they were posted on the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity website.

Halima Abdi, Abdul Wali, and family
For Halima Abdi and Abu Wali, life is about balance. With three energetic young boys and their teenage niece at home, it can be hard for these working parents to find time for their own careers. And for the next few months...(click here for the rest of their story)

Hamza Ahmed, Abdulazize Hamza & family
A room, no larger than a small office, houses four mats, four pillows, and a TV on a stand. Abdulazize, his father Hamza and two younger brothers share these four walls, which hold all of their possessions. “It’s a room to sleep,” Abdulazize says. The family of four, all boys...(click here for the rest of their story)

Drakeima Ingram, Robbie Loyde Jr., and family
Drakeima Ingram moved her family from Chicago to Minneapolis in 1995, hoping to find a better life. Since then, they have been at the mercy of bad landlords, dealing with...(click here for the rest of their story)

Nina Kimmons and family
When Nina heard that she had been selected for a Habitat home, she shouted with joy and then fell silent, stunned by the good news. As she hung up the phone, Nina’s children stared at her in surprise. “Mom,” they asked, “Are you okay?” (click here for the rest of her story)

Melo Lawson and family
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Melo Lawson and her family are an incredible reminder of these powerful words. Since coming to the United States from Togo in 2003, (click here for the rest of their story)

Donjia McDonald
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Donjia McDonald is a friendly, busy, and proud mother of three. She currently works as an overnight counselor at a group home. She had worked at a bank for four years, but she lost that job when the recession deepened...(click here for the rest of her story)

Kitessa Nigere, Ebise Bayisa, and family
By the time their home in North Minneapolis is ready, Kitessa and Ebise’s family of three will become four. Kitessa and Ebise, both from Ethiopia, are expecting a second child at the end of July. For this young and growing family...(click here for the rest of their story)

Just reading these stories and finding out about the new residents we'll have in Hawthorne gives me goosebumps.  I never imagined that we'd be adding this many people to the EcoVillage and surrounding blocks all at once.  Now, if you're like me, you're probably wondering, "How do I volunteer during the first week of October for this completely transformative event?"  (That IS what you're wondering, right?  RIGHT?!)

Well, I'm glad you asked.  Click here to sign up for various tasks; we still need plenty of help.  Or you can email Andy Barnett or Trista Matacastillo.

Once again, thanks a million to Habitat and President Carter, and to all of our new residents, welcome to the neighborhood!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Agenda for the September Hawthorne Huddle

Mike Christenson greets Valeria (aka "The Polish Lady" at the EcoVillage Groundbreaking
Drive by the house at 400 31st Ave N on your way to the Huddle.  You'll hardly BELIEVE what it looks like now!

Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director


To: Friends of the Hawthorne Huddle

At this month’s Hawthorne Huddle, we’ll hear about the Hawthorne EcoVillage, a commitment to the community that is both ecologically friendly and economically affordable. The EcoVillage development represents a shared vision among neighborhood residents and leaders, community agencies and the City of Minneapolis. The goal of the project is to create and maintain a neighborhood that is a model of sustainability. Our panelists will tell us about this neighborhood-driven project which will preserve existing homes, build new single family homes, include mixed-income living opportunities, and create a healthy and sustainable urban community. Please join in the discussion about this great collaborative project. We welcome and encourage your input and ideas.

The Hawthorne Huddle will be held from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room at Farview Park, located at 621 29th Avenue North. A continental breakfast will be available at 7:15 a.m.

WELCOME Ellen Luger
SAFETY UPDATE Inspector Mike Martin, Minneapolis Police Department 4th Precinct
IDEATION RECAP Jeff Peterson, General Mills Community Action
Introduction: The Honorable R. T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis
Diane Hofstede, Council Member, City of Minneapolis
Bev Scherrer, Chair, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Committee,
Chris Wilson, Director of Real Estate Development, Project for Pride in Living (PPL)
Susan Haigh, President, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Andy Barnett, Director, Construction, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Next meeting: Thursday, October 7, 2010

South Hawthornites Raise Concerns

This dumpster has been left on 2228 4th St N, vacant land owned by Hennepin County.
311 and MnDot have been informed of the broken sound wall.

Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director

Residents in the southeastern section of Hawthorne have brought up areas of concern along the 2200 block of 4th St N. Sometimes, as shown above with the retaining wall, those problems spill over to 3rd St - or even, technically, several feet beyond.

Drug dealing, dog fighting, and other illicit activities have been reported along this block, with a notable drug arrest reported by a neighbor at 2210 4th St N. This property is owned by Mohammed Moghul, presumably a relative of Bashir Moghul. Mohammed uses a contact address in Roseville that Bashir and other Moghul relatives have used in the past. And the place is at least $8,100 behind on taxes.

In the first picture above, the vacant lot brought back some fond memories. Once again, someone is misusing Hennepin County land. I called this in to 311, Hennepin County Property Services, Commissioner Stenglein's office, and even Veit Disposal. We'll see which one alleviates this nuisance first.

The other incidents described by residents were not occurring during my visit to the area, but the information has been passed on to our councilperson and the 4th Precinct. We watch, we call.