Urban Neighbors Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Urban Neighbor?
An Urban Neighbor is a faith-rooted individual who commits to living out his or her faith in Jesus in an urban neighborhood of Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Urban Neighbor is a community engagement model designed for the lives of college students, graduates, and working professionals. Living as an Urban Neighbor means living a life where faith and action are inseparable.
What does the commitment as an Urban Neighbor require?
Urban Neighbors commit to:
- Serve. Volunteer 2-3 hours weekly with a local ministry or organization that is targeting the needs of the urban community.
- Learn. Join with other Urban Neighbors once a month to learn about life and ministry, justice and mercy in the urban context.
- Live. Gather regularly with housemates and go deeper in following Jesus together in the city.
Where will I live?
Urban Neighbor units (duplex or apartment) are located in St. Paul, north and south Minneapolis. Placement will depend on the available openings at the time of application and/or at available move-in date.
Who will I live with?
You will live with 2-5 other people. Placement is determined by a number of factors: house openings, availability date, and “good fit.” Before placement is set, you will meet the other housemates and see the place where you’ll be living. Although the other housemates will know you’ve been approved to be an Urban Neighbor, this meeting provides an opportunity for both you and them to ask any questions before the lease is signed.
What if I have friends who also want to be Urban Neighbors—can we live together?
We try to make it possible for friends to live together, but it depends on where openings are, when individuals are available and available move-in dates. Please apply at the same time if you prefer to live with friends.
Will I get my own room?
Most Urban Neighbors have their own room. There are only a couple of shared rooms in all of our housing, and you have the choice of whether or not you want to share.
How much is rent and what is included?
Your “rent” includes program costs (monthly meeting speakers, location and supplies, individual and house support, volunteering/community connections and other events/activities), as well as water/sewer/trash/recycling costs, routine maintenance, deferred improvements, pest control and property taxes. The average rent is $380/month, but depends on where you live. Utilities are extra (estimated $50–$60/month/Urban Neighbor). You will know exactly how much you’ll pay for rent every month before you sign a lease.
Are the units furnished?
Urban Homeworks provides a refrigerator and stove/oven in each unit. Residents are responsible for additional furnishings.
When do leases start?
Lease start dates vary. Most are September to August, but there are a number of leases that are June–May.
Are all leases for one year?
Yes. Because shorter leases can have a negative impact on the community, your house and your neighborhood, we have all Urban Neighbors sign a minimum one-year lease.
What is the application process and how long does it take?
The application process can go quickly, depending on the immediacy of our openings. After the application is received, you will meet with us for an interview, which allows us to go through your application, get to know you and answer any questions you may have.
Is there an application deadline?
Openings are given on a first-come, first served basis, so apply now!
How do I apply to be an Urban Neighbor?
- Schedule an interview. The final step before the adventure begins!