Nearly six years ago, in August 2013, after Lydia Apartments, after Nicollet Square and some other smaller projects creating affordable housing, the Housing 150 Task Force enthusiastically and optimistically announced that we were undertaking the challenge of creating homes for a chronically underserved group—men emerging from incarceration. The task force included members from Plymouth Congregational Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church, working together with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and Better Futures Minnesota. Now, six years later, we excitedly announce that Great River Landing will become home to 72 men next month! Your emotional and financial support has made this happen!
We chose the name Great River Landing, or GRL, because that was what Native Americans called the place years ago, as a creek runs under one corner of the property. On that site, at 813 North Fifth Street, the architects have created a beautiful and functional structure including 72 apartment homes for men who want to change their lives.
Better Futures Minnesota, our service provider in this building, has had outstanding success helping men turn their lives around within a caring and supportive community that provides health services, job training and jobs, counseling and coaching. The North Loop Neighborhood Association and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey both welcome GRL and support the mission of Beacon and Better Futures Minnesota.
Now, as move-in day approaches, we ask you to help us welcome these men to their new homes. The tenants will need some basics: sheets and pillow cases, pillows, towels, as well as T-shirts, underwear and socks. One Plymouth group, One More Chair, already asked members to bring towels to a get-together and collected 22 sets of towels! Thanks!
So to make this process easier, with the help of Target, we have created a Charity Gift Registry for Great River Landing! Amazing how technology can do more and more for us! Just think “Welcome home!” and click on or go to this gift registry website to make it happen. [If link does not work, please go to: www.target.com/giftregistry/; below the main search area, find the line that says “Search for an organization”; you may type in “Plymouth Church” or “Great River Landing” and you will be taken to the registry for the new residents at Great River Landing.]
Make your selections from the several options listed on the site; gifts over $35 ship free right to Plymouth Church. You will be asked to open a Target account if you do not already have one. If you don’t want to do that, you can go to any Target store, buy the gifts listed in the registry, and bring them to Plymouth Church.
Plymouth has always been more than generous in the past, and we know you will overwhelm us again. Bring it home! This work is what Plymouth is about: bringing hope, supporting one another, changing lives for the better, sharing God’s grace. Being a blessing to others is a blessing.
—Betsy Cussler, Housing 150 Task Force