Rebuilding Neighborhoods | In the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the Twin Cities, Urban Homeworks focuses the combined resources of individuals, churches, businesses, government entities and other nonprofits to transform foreclosed, condemned or boarded properties into dignified, quality places to live.
We often talk about finding stability for families who bounce around moving children from school to school, couch to couch, and even shelter to shelter. Finding stability for Walter Murphy looked a little bit different.
Walter lived in the same rental unit for 17 years during which he raised his daughter and worked hard in the community. He watched the property change hands time and again. When Urban Homeworks took over the Lyndale property and began renovations, he faced, once again, a new landlord. However, it was important that the revamped housing be an asset not just for those walking in our doors needing a home, but also for the individuals like Walter, eager to remain in his. In a sense, he found stability right in his home of nearly 2 decades.
The day before Thanksgiving, Urban Homeworks staff showed up on Walter’s doorstep with a Thanksgiving Basket. His joyous reception was full of stories; it was impossible to not be overtaken by his inherent good nature and warm attitude.
Following basket delivery, staff rang his praises, eagerly sharing what a kind, dynamic, and compelling person they just met. Not surprisingly, he had already made an impression on those staff who work closest with him. They talked about how he takes good care of his home and the property, other residents consistently turn to him for help, and he has been nominated for a role as building caretaker. Feyruza, UHW’s Rental Housing Support Specialist said he “has everything that landlord looks for in tenants, we are so pleased that he and his daughter are part of our big family.”
Through this brief series of stories and interactions, one thing became abundantly clear. The power of a good neighbor reverberates throughout the community. The collective power of good neighbors is building neighborhoods of hope, dignity, and redemption.
Click here to see our People Oriented Development (POD) map. These concentration of neighbors are creating network of support.