Promise Zone Updates

City of Minneapolis and Promise Zone

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April 26, 2018

Minneapolis Promise Zone Workmark

In this edition of Minneapolis Promise Zone Updates:

  • Minneapolis Mayor Frey Proclaims National Service Recognition Day 
  • Homework Starts with Home - RFP 
  • Watch Northside Storyville's Latest Episode 
  • City of Minneapolis Emergency Solutions Grant Program 
  • Governor's Nominated Census Tracts for Opportunity Zones
  • Governor's Housing Task Force and Work Group May Meetings 
  • News, Events and Jobs
  • About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

picture of VISTAs with Mayor Frey
L to R: Julianne Leerssen, Manager of Equity and Inclusion; Sam Calahan, Economic Development VISTA; Tina Weitzel, VISTA Leader; Jacob Frey, Mayor; Kattie Evans, Resource Development VISTA; Jenny Melin, Communications & Marketing VISTA; Michael Waldegerma, Research Analyst VISTA

Minneapolis Mayor Frey Proclaims National Service Recognition Day, Honors Importance and Impact of Volunteering

On Tuesday, April 03, current and former City of Minneapolis national service volunteers were honored by Mayor Frey and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Minnesota Director Sam Schuth at a National Service Recognition Day event at City Hall. 

CNCS members, such as AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTAs), help communities across the country address critical needs, including increasing academic achievement, locating affordable housing, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for and recovering from disasters, and more. At the Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) five out of seven employees are AmeriCorps VISTAs, without whom the MPZ would not have the capacity to realize much of it's work around racial and economic equity.   

Those five MPZ VISTAs attended the event, along with numerous current and former national service volunteers working for and in Minneapolis and surrounding communities. The knowledge and skills gained during the year of service are integral to the impact and success of many government and nonprofit organizations not only during, but after the year of service ends.   

The first MPZ cohort of nine VISTAs in 2016-17 resulted in four women of color being employed by the City of Minneapolis and partner organizations. Two of those women are employed by programs that received Federal funding: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Resilience in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) program at the City of Minneapolis, which serves North Minneapolis; and the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) Department of Education (ED) Promise Neighborhood, which is located in North Minneapolis. 

Those young women of color, and many other volunteers, are now able to repay in-kind the mentorship and training they received by using the knowledge and skills they gained to continue serving their employers and neighbors as they progress in their careers and communities.   

Homework Starts with Home - RFP 

Minnesota Housing and the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness, announce the anticipated availability of funds for the Homework Starts with Home program. This initiative will support collaborative efforts between schools, housing organizations, and local governments to identify, engage, and stabilize students experiencing homelessness and their families. Minnesota Housing will allocate up to $3.5 million in Housing Trust Fund resources and up to $450,000 in Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program funds. An additional $250,000 will be made available by the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative.

For more information about this initiative, see the Homework Starts with Home web page.

Minnesota Housing anticipates selecting three to eight applicants for funding.

Application Materials 

Application Process 

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2018. Review the RFP Application Instructions for submission instructions.

An information session about the RFP and application process will be held on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Minnesota Housing. The session will also be available over web and tele-conference. To register for this session and for details about participating remotely, please send an email to or call 651.582.8511 by Thursday, April 26, 2018.


Diane Elias at 651.284.3176 or

screenshot of northside storyville episode 4

Watch Northside Storyville's Latest Episode

Northside Storyville is back with it's fourth episode! 

Roots Community Birth Center brings life to North Minneapolis - literally. As Minnesota's first and only African American-owned birth center, Roots is focused on making out-of-hospital births more accessible and affordable to ALL families. Rebecca Polston open Roots in 2015 to invest in the 

community, to serve the next generation of mothers and families, and to create access to quality midwifery care throughout the northwest metro area. Her practice is small by design in order to maintain personal connections and a sense of individuality with each family served.

  • Watch the latest episode here

City of Minneapolis Emergency Solutions Grant Program 

The City of Minneapolis is seeking development funding proposals for the 2018 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program. ESG program funds may be used to renovate, rehabilitate and convert buildings for use as emergency shelters for people who are homeless. There is approximately $400,000 available and proposals are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018.

Emergency Solutions Grant program RFP materials available on-line:

Questions should be directed to Tiffany Glasper at 612-673-5221 or

Governor’s Nominated Census Tracts for Opportunity Zones

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new economic development program called Opportunity Zones designed to encourage long-term private investments in low-income communities. 

The Governor of Minnesota has officially sent in his census tract nominations to Department of Treasury.

  • To see which tracts have been nominated follow this link
  • More Information on Opportunity Zones 

Governor's Housing Task Force and Work Group May Meetings 

Regional Housing Forum in Crookston, MN
Thurs, May 3, 2-5 p.m. 
2900 University Ave., Crookston, MN 

Housing Stability & Opportunity Work Group Meeting #5
Mon, May 7, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. 
400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Paul  

Rental Housing Work Group Mtg #5 
Mon, May 7, 1-4 p.m. 
400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Pau

Homeownership Work Group Meeting #5 
Wed, May 9, 1-4 p.m. 
400 Wabasha St. N., Saint Paul 

Regional Housing Forum in Saint Paul 
Thurs, May 10, 6-9 p.m. 
Chiller Building, Falcon Heights, MN 



Make Homes Happen Campaign Kick-Off
Mon, April 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m. 
The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis 

Penn Ave Garden BBQ and Spring Awakening 
Sun, May 6, 1-4 p.m. 
3558 Penn Ave. N., Minneapolis 

Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan Community Meeting 
Wed, May 16, 5:30-8 p.m. 
North Commons Recreation Center, 4055 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis 

Thinking About Business Workshop 
Sat, May 19, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. 
NEON, 1007 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis


Minneapolis Promise Zone-Communications & Marketing Associate
Minneapolis Promise Zone 
More Information

Minneapolis Promise Zone-Economic Development Coordinator 
Minneapolis Promise Zone 
More Information

Minneapolis Promise Zone-Research & Data Analyst 
Minneapolis Promise Zone 
More Information

Minneapolis Promise Zone-Resource Development Coordinator 
Minneapolis Promise Zone 
More Information 

Minneapolis Promise Zone-VISTA Leader 
Minneapolis Promise Zone 
More Information

Northside Fresh Food Partnership Coordinator VISTA-AFC-C3
Northside Fresh Coalition 
More Information 

NRRC - House Development Coordinator (MCN)
Northside Residents Redevelopment Council 
More Information 

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About the Minneapolis Promise Zone

Promise Zones are federally designated, high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and leverage private investment. The Minneapolis Promise Zone (MPZ) plan is a comprehensive, community-driven revitalization strategy that builds on and aligns numerous initiatives to address the persistent unemployment, crime, housing blight, and poor educational outcomes that affect that area.

Contact information: Juli Leerssen, (612) 225-7721

For more information, please visit

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For reasonable accommodations, alternative formats, or to add content please contact Jennifer Melin at or by phone: 612-597-3406. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. 

TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

"Welcome to North Minneapolis" mural by youth artists from Juxtaposition Arts and TATS CRU