Urban Strategies has been working in the Heritage Park neighborhood for over 20 years. We were selected because of a legal action due to the disfranchisement of residents. We have spent the last two decades working to develop strategies that liberate and create opportunities for residents within Heritage Park Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood.
In Heritage Park, USI has been working with residents to drive place-based efforts that build on the communities’ inherent strengths to create a more sustainable neighborhood, while improving local systems’ capacities placing housing stability at the core of its efforts. We believe this approach will demonstrate increased education, health, and workforce outcomes, while also demonstrating a marked reduction in the traumatic challenges of poverty.
About the Neighborhood
USI is a member of the National Mixed Income Strategic Alliance, with its partners Center for the Study of Social Policy and the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Community (NIMC), and together the strategic alliance is working to advance the conditions of “place” with the outcomes of people. USI’s work in Heritage Park is one of 4 target communities around the country the Strategic Alliance is working with to advance outcomes particularly with regard to economic mobility.
Improving Health & Wellness
Green Garden Bakery (GGB) is an innovative social enterprise program that was started in 2014 by and for youth in the Heritage Park Neighborhood of Minneapolis. Youth leaders grows vegetables in our community garden, bake them into healthy vegetable-based desserts, markets them using sustainable practices, sell the desserts for “pay-what-you-want” and donate their proceeds back into into community.
Today GGB has developed into an award winning social enterprise led by a group of young minority entrepreneurs driven by the passion to change the world one healthy and delicious baked good at a time. Heritage Park is a predominantly food insecure neighborhood without a lot of access to affordable and healthy food options.
Through GGB’s gardening and cooking classes for kids and families, fresh produce is being introduced in a variety of ways and families are beginning to incorporate produce into their regular diets on a more consistent basis.
Propelling Educational Success
The Green Garden Bakery program, supported by USI, offers ongoing opportunities throughout the year for K-12th grade youth to participate in quality, structured, community-based out-of-school time activities that are designed on sound strategies and guided by caring, positive adult role models. Our goal is to move youth in Heritage Park onto a pathway for lifelong social, emotional, and economic success by building social capital and sparking authentic engagement in their academics, community, and future.
Enrolling Families in Family Support
The addition of a Family Support Specialist to our team in Fall 2020 allowed for more intentional, proactive contact with residents including an increase of 1000 contact hours with residents per year.
The Family Support Specialist works with residents to complete a comprehensive household assessment to better understand the needs and strengths of the household, create an individualized development plan to address underlying factors causing instability and distress, and then link residents to appropriate supports.
13-19 year old youth are served by a work-readiness program annually
percent of Heritage Park households assessed as food insecure, down from 33%
percent of Heritage Park high school seniors graduated in 2022
households are actively receiving family support
Understand how we’ve impacted the Heritage Park neighborhood since we were first introduced by checking out our dashboard.
June 2022 Events Calendar
Here is the full calendar of events for June 2022 that will be happening for Heritage Park residents and community members.