Redeemer Center for Life receives grant for providing attainable homes

Redeemer holds all kinds of activities for the community including an annual Christmas store – this girl purchased her holiday gifts for 25 cents each.

Redeemer holds all kinds of activities for the community including an annual Christmas store – this girl purchased her holiday gifts for 25 cents each.

Families and friends in North Minneapolis can now rejoice as the well-renowned ArtPlace America group has chosen a Minnesota organization to receive the 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund.

The National Creative Placemaking Fund is a grant for sponsorship presented by ArtPlace America to help community-based organizations reach their goals in “placemaking.”

ArtPlace America is a collaboration of foundations, federal agencies and financial institutions that work to position together arts and culture, to strengthen the community in respects to the physical, social and economic standing of a community.

Director of National Grantmaking at ArtPlace, F. Javier Torres, said that this year’s investment has been strategically chosen to help provide great inspiration in communities all over the country through these projects and organizations.

This highly-competitive and prestigious grant is presented once a year by ArtPlace America to a select number of organizations that are chosen based on their vision for incorporating various forms of art, faith, philanthropy, government involvement, nonprofit work and more.

For the team at ArtPlace America, any recipient of the grant should do four things: Define a community based in geography, such as a block, a neighborhood, a city or a region. Articulate a change the group of people living and working in that community would like to see. Propose an arts-based intervention to help achieve that change. Develop a way to know whether the change occurred.

Along with the 4 Directions Development group at the Red Lake Reservation in Red Lake, MN, the well-deserved Redeemer Center for Life organization has been chosen from 987 applicants as one of the only 23 recipients of the 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund in all of America.

The Redeemer Center for Life is a North Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization that was founded in 1998 by the Redeemer Lutheran Church located on 1800 Glenwood Ave. N.

“We’ve built building complexes for local restaurants to keep [them] in the neighborhood, like Milda’s Café, and we do host a series of events like the annual block party and the community garden,” says Pastor Kelly Chatman, Redeemer Center for Life Executive Director.

The community has come to know the Redeemer Center for Life as a hub for encouraging youth leadership, leading entrepreneurship and community engagement, but they were most likely chosen for their involvement in helping to provide affordable property and housing for families in the Harrison Neighborhood.

“We plan on using the funds on housing [and] stability, in terms of ownership and longer-term lease,” says Chatman, “to mitigate some of the impact on the impending gentrification in North Minneapolis.”

According to their website, redeemercenter.org, the Redeemer Campus is currently operating a total of 26 units of attainable rental housing and a mix of commercial, creative and community spaces.

Coming this next year, are plans to leverage the affordable housing plan with the grant to provide a security pipeline with the partners to support the families living in the Harrison neighborhood.

To continue building a creative outlook on the community, local artists and creative entrepreneurs will work to provide more ways for the neighborhood to get involved in the community by incorporating fun and entertaining gatherings such as staging plays in homes and public venues.

Although the current waitlist for housing in this area is two years, with the $350,000 coming from the grant, the Redeemer Center for Life is planning for bigger and better things, aiming to help every family in the Harrison neighborhood transition into home ownership.

For info on all the above  visit redeemercenter.org or contact Ian Magnuson at ian@redeemercenter.org.