Portions of the Great Longfellow community are unrecognizable due to looting and fires in South Minneapolis. The Third Precinct Police Station is located in Greater Longfellow, which meant we were a focal point for both righteous peaceful protest but also the violent destruction. Now burned and vandalized, this area was a hub of community activity with businesses and non-profits that provide essential resources and jobs. We must rebuild and we need your help now.
The Longfellow Community Council is the neighborhood organization for the Greater Longfellow community. Racial equity is central to the work we do. We will rebuild a stronger and more just community. Our initial assessment finds that 31 buildings have been completely destroyed, including 3 major grocery stores, and 2 pharmacies. Beyond that at least 49 other businesses sustained significant damage. Many are locally- and minority-owned.
We are raising money to implement a three-pronged strategy to aid in rebuilding our community: (1) Food Security, (2) Safety & Security, and (3) Business Restoration (details below.) COVID-19 has already taken an economic toll throughout the US, including Greater Longfellow. Without financial assistance, many of these small businesses are unlikely to recover. The potential loss of these businesses would negatively impact the whole community (Note: many business insurance policies don’t cover damage caused from rioting). Thank you for your compassion and donations.
1. Food Security: Part of the funds raised will help our residents who have been impacted by the indefinite loss of food access because of the 3 destroyed grocery stores . Since public transportation is also disrupted, many are struggling to get to necessary supplies. These funds will also be used to support food banks and other meal assistance programs over the long-term.
2. Safety & Security: Many in our neighborhood initially felt helpless as they watched their community burn . Residents have now come together working tirelessly to clean up , support each other, and help secure our community. These funds will be directed towards safety needs, including safety lighting for places left dark by destruction, graffiti removal supplies, reflective vests for neighborhood patrols and other community requests.
3. Business Restoration: With these funds, we will coordinate short and long-term support for rebuilding businesses. First, we’ll develop a Small Business Assessment & Stabilization Plan to survey the damage and provide a roadmap for businesses to rebuild. Secondly, we’ll create a Small Area Development Plan to help residents take an active role in future development as things are rebuilt.
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- Lowell Karen Swenson
- Robert Briscoe
- Dana Carlson