The transformation of the corners of Penn and Plymouth Avenues in North Minneapolis is continuing with one of the community anchors, NorthPoint Health & Wellness, expanding.

While much of the current location at 1313 Penn Ave. N. is under construction … demolition crews have already torn down the north end of the NorthPoint clinic and the former site of Estes Funeral Home has also been reduced to rubble … NorthPoint is still providing much needed care to residents; just as it has been for the past 50 years.

An exhibit inside the new executive offices across the street at 1256 Penn Ave. N. chronicles history of NorthPoint. Born Pilot City, NorthPoint began as an all-encompassing service institution, providing social services, mental health care and a food shelf … services still provided by the staff at NorthPoint. The creation came out of a President Lyndon B. Johnson initiative to serve low-income and disenfranchised communities in the United States. Pilot City was one of 13 to be born out of the federal program.

Mariann Beard-Goss has been there from the beginning.

Beard-Goss first came to NorthPoint, then Pilot City, as a dental patient in 1969. Now she is a volunteer with the agency, working as a greeter and assisting in the facility’s computer lab.

Speaking fondly of NorthPoint, Beard-Goss said, “It’s our community resource. We would be lost if we didn’t have the many things offered here.”

Beard-Goss said when Pilot City first opened it provided furniture and even tools to area residents.

“And we’ve always had a food shelf,” said Beard-Goss.

That food shelf now has a new home, a few blocks north on Penn and Golden Valley Road at the location of the former Wirth Co-op, 1835 Penn Ave. N., which shut its doors last year. The food shelf is open to the public Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Those receiving SNAP or MN Sure are also offered the opportunity to benefit from the food shelf on Fridays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In addition to the food shelf, every other Friday – the next being this Friday (May 31) – on the UROC parking lot at 2101 Plymouth Ave. N., NorthPoint is offering free healthy foods for area residents. That food giveaway takes place at 8 a.m. and goes until supplies are exhausted.

“NorthPoint is not a building or an institution, it’s part of the community,” said Juan Jackson, board chair for NorthPoint. “And as the community has evolved, so too has NorthPoint.”

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