As you know, Superintendent Ed Graff made an announcement about returning to distance learning Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week, due to civil unrest. We understand the changing needs of families during the pandemic and civil unrest. Ultimately, not one size fits all. There remain some families who, for whatever reasons, don’t feel safe having their students return to live classes, need after-school support, or even those who benefit from a place like ours on distance learning days. As tensions continue to rise in the cities we want you to know that our doors will remain open. In addition to the increase of Midtown Global security guards canvassing the building, Allina Health has also upped its security measures to make sure everyone is safe (no one has access to our door without an HYC badge). We also invite your students to bring their friends along (siblings are also welcomed). We want you to know that safety is, and always has been our #1 priority.
We are here to serve families as situations change and different needs arise so our doors will remain open until 5:00 pm Monday through Friday for the remainder of the school year. Questions about getting your student(s) signed up?? Email maryclaire@realmpls for more information!
OUR STORY: Hope Youth Center was created by the nonprofit The Real Minneapolis. We are the first true equitable learning pod in MN, free and open to all. We cultivate and provide whole community health and healing by supporting full-time distance learners with tech, tutors, tools, enrichment, engagement, art, music, mental health support, etc. in a safe space. 95% BIPOC and qualify for free and reduced lunch, 85% with IEP or 504 (special ed), open every day, all day 8-5 pm -- NOT a drop-in or after-school program. Parents are essential workers, single w/multiple children, language barriers, etc. Even if there is a hybrid or FT option, some families do not want their kids in school during a pandemic.
Yet our doors are at risk of closing because we have not been able to secure sufficient funding from corporate donors, Mayor Frey, Superintendent Graff, nor foundations or grants - all purporting to support racial equity and justice and narrow the achievement gap. The primary reasons?
* We are a nonprofit that has not existed for decades (We formed in response to the murder of George Floyd.),
* We are not large enough of an organization (yet we cannot grow without funding), or
* We are not in North Minneapolis, St. Paul, or specifically on the Lake Street Corridor prior to the riots and fires. The area immediately surrounding George Floyd Square -- our neighborhood -- does not meet the criteria. Our team was the 1st to respond immediately with brooms and hearts and clean those streets starting at Target (1st to get hit), then we moved to Chicago and Lake and scoured there, placed flowers in the burning rubble to shine hope, and planted youth gardens while mentoring teens.
We, my friend, are The Real Minneapolis.
We saw a need and filled it when no one else did. Our team has worked 9 MONTHS AS FULL-TIME VOLUNTEERS! True love and service are not about tax write-offs; it is about serving the needs of a community that deserves healing.
Those who hear us, hear us.
Those who see us, see us.
Those who believe in us, believe in us.
Hold on to HOPE.
HOPE - the new 4 letter word.
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