Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and Better Futures Minnesota celebrated the groundbreaking of Great River Landing.

Located at 813 North 5th St. in Minneapolis’ North Loop, the apartment homes for 72 people at Great River Landing will be an innovative employment and housing community, for those impacted by homelessness, unemployment and incarceration. The May 3 groundbreaking featured local dignitaries including Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Fifth Ward Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison.

Developed by Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Great River Landing will provide supportive housing for people who have been incarcerated. Better Futures Minnesota will be onsite, providing employment services, coaching, and other supports. Supporters say the combination will position tenants without job or rental histories - factors which currently prohibit them from finding a stable home - for long-term success.

“Great River Landing is a visionary endeavor coming at a time when we are grappling with the interconnected issues of homelessness and a criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts people of color, and particularly African-American men,” said Beacon’s executive director, Lee Blons. “And it will set a new standard for how a community can unlock doors for people who have too often been locked out of systems of stability where they can thrive.”

“As we break ground at Great River Landing, we break ground on a new chapter of hope and possibility, not only for the people who will call it home, but for all of us,” said Timothy Hart-Andersen, senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Westminster and Plymouth Congregational Churches, collaborating congregations within Beacon, provided leadership in bringing Great River Landing to life. Paula Northwood, acting senior minister at Plymouth, added, “Providing a home, support services, and employment to over 70 people at a time, we’re affirming that our community has the resources and the desire to break the cycles of poverty and incarceration. And we want to see more phenomenal homes like Great River Landing.”

“Creating success stories isn’t just about a getting a job or getting a place,” said Thomas Adams, CEO of Better Futures Minnesota. “It’s about having a support system in place that can help people start rebuilding their lives on their own and Great River Landing will make that possible.”

Great River Landing is scheduled to open in 2019.

(Left to Right) The Rev. Paula Northwood, Plymouth Congregational Church, the Rev. Timothy Hart-Andersen, Westminster Presbyterian Church, David Frank, director, Community Planning and Economic Development, City of Minneapolis, Dr. Thomas Adams, CEO, Better Futures Minnesota, Lee Blons, executive director, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Milton Dodd, Better Futures Minnesota board member, Minneapolis Ward 5 councilman Jeremiah Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey break ground on Great River Landing. A. Botz Photography

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