Neighborhoods celebrate end of Thrivent grant but beginning of a new chapter!

On Tuesday, August 16th, King Irving and Mondamin Presidential Neighborhoods had a lot to celebrate!  For the last three years, they have been participating in a huge neighborhood revitalization project thanks to a $1 million grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.  The neighborhood associations along with 22 other organizations including 7 City of DM departments collaborated to accomplish goals in housing, crime reduction, asset building, youth development and neighborhood pride and perception.  There have been amazing improvements in the two neighborhoods and here are just a few:

  • 71 New or Rehabilitated Homes in King Irving and Mondamin Presidential by the end of 2011
  • 50 No or Low Interest Home Repair Loans
  • 131 property enhancements through Rock the Blocks and Rebuilding Together Days
  • Over 450 residents connected to housing resources through the TBN Housing Outreach program
  • 10 Traffic Safety Improvements on MLK Jr. Pkwy like countdown pedestrian crossings and real time speed displays that will be installed in 2012.  The neighborhood residents advocated for safe streets and made MLK safer
  • 16 Percent decrease in total crime from 2006-2010
  • 6 College Tours for neighborhood youth
  • 127 Youth registered for the summer program at Evelyn Davis Park in 2011
  • $12 Million in additional investment in King Irving and Mondamin Presidential Neighborhoods

As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, residents cut the ribbon on the brand new playground at Edna Griffin Park.  We had visitors from Habitat for Humanity International in Habitat, and Thrivent Financial in Wisconsin. Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly, City council persons Halley Griess and Christine Hensley were all there to wish congratulations to the neighborhoods.  There were a number of great performances by the following people; Deshana Langford, Isiserettes, Wisdom beyond Words, Vietnamese American Youth Dance Troupe, Phillipino Folk Dancers, and Jovenes Embajadores.  It was a fabulous showcase of our community’s talents.

The greatest thing about this project is the collaboration between agencies and neighborhoods, this spirit of working together will continue.  Much more work needs to be done but this project has definitely provided a springboard for continued growth.  Congratulations to all of the Thrivent Builds Neighborhoods Coalition.