The Whittier Alliance is an independent non-profit serving the residents and businesses of the Whittier neighborhood in Minneapolis.
Greetings and well wishes from the Whittier Alliance Neighborhood Association! As you consider supporting us with a donation, here is a look back at the past year of our organization's work, providing critical resources to neighbors in need, meaningful community building amid uncertainty, and critical grassroots organizing to protect each other in times of crisis. This is how we will put your contribution to work.
- Finalized the purchase of 2116 Nicollet Avenue, the last remaining vacant lot on Whittier's stretch of this important commercial corridor. This purchase presents an opportunity for an inclusive, community-led, innovative real estate development which could have a resounding impact on the neighborhood for years to come. In October 2021, the WA Board of Directors convened a project steering committee to guide the process, develop an RFP (Request for Proposals), and identify a development partner for us to bring it to life.
- Hosted the Eat Street Fall Arts Fest, a one-of-a-kind event with a local artists and makers market, live music and dance performances, mural painting, and hands-on activities from Children's Theatre Company and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
- Continued to distribute monetary aid from the the Emergency Relief Fund launched in 2020 to aid neighborhood residents with rent assistance, monthly bill pay, food, and/or other household essentials. This year, we were able to distribute roughly $10,000 to 21 neighbors. Here is an overview of who was served 2021:
- Renters: 100%
- Cost-burdened households: 100%
- Lowest-income bracket ($0-29,999): 90%
- BIPOC or immigrant or refugee: 95%
- 4 or more people/household: 71%
- Income affected by COVID: 100%
- Primary language other than English: 52%
- Partnered with the Cultural Wellness Center and neighboring organizations on a community engagement series on the future of the Wells Fargo site on Lake Street. This partnership has extended to an exciting project with the Cultural Wellness Center and the McKnight Foundation on the future of the Lake and Nicollet intersection, including the K-Mart site, which prioritizes the existing communities of the Lake Street corridor and uplifts them in the public process and resource procurement.
- Supported work by Save the Boards and Memorialize the Movement, two Black-led efforts, to preserve and archive plywood murals created in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, ensuring that these important works of public art and protest remain accessible to the community.
- Continued our housing process navigation program to help immigrant and refugee families one-on-one to navigate the rental housing process to find a new home in the Whittier neighborhood, helping 50 families relocate to Whittier or nearby.
Developed comprehensive eviction prevention programming in collaboration with HOME Line to prevent evictions where possible. We have worked closely with tenants to connect them with resources such as RentHelpMN, the Energy Assistance Program, Zero Balance Project, and more.
Promoted voter education efforts, including assistance with first-time registrations, polling place research, compiling information on our digital election guide, and other key pieces to getting out the vote. WA organized a Ward 10 City Council candidate forum in partnership with Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza and Latino Media in addition to co-hosting a mayoral candidate forum with other neighborhoods. We hosted speakers on the public safety and rent stabilization ballot measures at our committee meetings.
Continued our work to develop tools and actionable strategies to proactively assess commercial displacement risk for small businesses on Nicollet Avenue as the beginning of the Kmart site redevelopment process nears.
With your help, we can continue to advocate for this neighborhood and create opportunities for our sense of community to grow and flourish. You and your contribution are essential to our work! If a tax-deductible contribution is not possible, please also consider the following in-kind donation needs:
Food and beverage donations for community events
Financial or in-kind sponsorship for the 2022 Eat Street Fall Arts Fest
You! Volunteer your time and talents for Whittier Alliance to power our work
Donations in every amount are welcomed and are critical to continuing and building upon the work we do for the Whittier Neighborhood every year.
Thank you for making the choice to invest in your own community!
-The Team at Whittier Alliance