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.
Jackie Martin has that proud, strong, no nonsense attitude that ripples with an undercurrent of caring sensitivity and testifies to her strength as a mother. You can feel it...she’s got a college graduate who is headed to play for the Green Bay Packers to vouch for it! She is a 30 year North Minneapolis homeowner who ran the carpool, worked in the education system, and established her home as the safe place for all of her son’s friends. Her son grew up in private school and Jackie signed him up for every sport and activity available.
But Jackie can attest…you don’t know how easy it is to lose everything.
When Jackie’s son was a sophomore in high school, a change in Jackie’s medication turned both of their lives upside down – the unexpected emotional shift she endured as a result landed her in treatment. Within months, she lost her job, house, cars, even family photos. The perfect picture was no more. With the rug ripped out from under them, the importance of community became evident.
Jackie’s son, John, stayed with a family friend, and the track of involvement she had set him became his solace and carried him through. She says, “I fought for my life because I knew it wasn’t the one God had for me.” As she worked her way back to stability, she felt the tension. Life was different, but she wanted her son to know and feel that she was back. She lived with friends while working to realign the pieces, and one day, happened to see an Urban Homeworks truck outside.
Now an Urban Homeworks resident since 2012, Jackie is a Resident Caretaker in the Lovell Square POD. Her son comes home from college (and now the NFL!) to her UHW apartment and it is home. She is involved in POD Council and loves her community, constantly asking the question...
“How can we help each other so we are both ok?”
Instability does not discriminate. It can sneak up when you least expect it. When it does, having a community, a strategic network of good neighbors walking beside you makes all the difference.
To support rental programs for families like Jackie and John, join our >100 campaign.