I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for doing your part to help flatten the curve by staying at home. And to all of you workers (doctors, nurses, grocery store stockers and cashiers, truck drivers and transit workers) who are on the frontlines, we say thank you.
As I’m sure many of you are aware, Governor Walz has extended the closure of Minnesota schools through the end of the year. This will certainly create a lot of stress for families and young people. To that end, we are expanding a Public Works program we are calling “Stay Healthy Streets.” There will be three routes, one of which will be in the heart of the 8th Ward. These routes were selected to expand access to walking, biking, and rolling in areas farther from, and to complement the parkway system, and are all routes on existing or planned bicycle boulevard or neighborhood greenway routes. The actual maps for this project will be released on Monday, and we will share them with neighborhood organizations as well as additional means of media and communication.
I know these are difficult times. Some of you may have lost loved ones or are caring for sick families, in both instances, I offer my sincere sympathies.
Some of our Asian and Asian-American neighbors are experiencing high levels of racism and hatred; this is unacceptable. If you witness this or are a victim, please report to the Minneapolis Civils Rights Department by calling 311. This type of bigotry has no place in our society.
Finally, I hope that many of you will join us for a “Ward 8 Virtual Town Hall” featuring Mayor Frey and a robust discussion of the Neighborhoods 2020 proposal.
When: Tuesday, April 28th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
How to join: Tune in at 6 pm to the Facebook Live event through the Ward 8 Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/MinneapolisWard8/.
As we, as a city and a community, are experiencing the unprecedented and devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ward 8 Council Member and Vice President Andrea Jenkins will be hosting an opportunity to provide Ward 8 residents, neighborhoods organizations, community organizations, and businesses alike to participate in a virtual town hall to get updates directly from the Ward 8 Council Member and the City of Minneapolis about the City’s response efforts to COVID-19 and to hold space for a discussion about the extension of the Neighborhoods 2020 comment period.
We will be joined by Mayor Jacob Frey, Deputy Commissioner of Health Noya Woodrich, and NCR Director David Rubedor and C Terrence Anderson, the Director of Community Based Research at CURA.
6 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Updates on COVID-19 from Mayor Jacob Frey and the Deputy Commissioner of Health Noya Woodrich.
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Discussion on Neighborhoods 2020 with Neighborhood and Community Relations Director David Rubedor and Council VP Andrea Jenkins
The City of Minneapolis began taking applications April 22 for the City’s $3 million in Gap Funds for Housing for renters. The online application went live on Wednesday, April 22, and will close noon Monday, April 27. Applications will be available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali and Oromo.
Apply online or call
Applicants can apply online or call the Tenant Resource Center at 612-302-3129. Callers will need to leave a voicemail message. An intake worker will return the voicemail message within three days.
The Gap Funds for Housing will establish an Emergency Housing Assistance program for citywide emergency rental assistance and open the successful, existing Stable Homes Stable Schools initiative to all Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) elementary schools.
The amount of assistance provided will depend on the individual needs of the household, taking into consideration other resources the household is eligible to receive. In most cases, the maximum amount of assistance will not exceed $1,500 per household, but providers will have the flexibility to provide up to $2,000 under extraordinary circumstances. Eligible expenses include rent payments, utility payments and/or other housing stability related costs.
Payments will be made directly to the rental property owner, utility company or the housing cost payee.
The City has worked with the Tenant Resource Center to establish a broad team of Community Prevention Providers to facilitate the Emergency Housing Assistance program.
Learn more about Minneapolis Gap Funds for Housing.
How to Donate to the City’s Gap Funding efforts
The City is open to accepting donations from private individuals or entities for the Gap Funds for Housing and the forgivable 0% interest loans for Small Business Program. Donors could direct their donations to be expended in a manner consistent with the program guidelines but would not have any additional control over how the donation is allocated. Please contact the City if you are interested in donating.
Hennepin County has announced a Small Business Relief Program for forgivable loans up to $7,500 to help small local businesses meet immediate financial needs. The application period opens on Monday, April 27 and closes on May 8.
Loans can be used to pay for critical operating expenses, such as:
- Rent payments
- Mortgage payments
- Payments to suppliers
- Other necessary expenses
Eligible for-profit businesses must:
- Be locally owned and operated
- Have a physical establishment in Hennepin County
- Have 1-20 employees
- Have under $1 million in annual revenue
- Have been financially impacted by COVID-19
- Application forms will be posted to this website on April 27.
- Applications are due by noon on May 8, 2020.
- If applications exceed funding, awards will be made through a lottery system.
- Recipients will be notified by email on or before May 15.
- Translated application and program materials will be available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali and Oromo
Read the program guidelines here.
Applications are now open for the Small Business Relief Grants, which are part of LISC’s Rapid Relief & Recovery Fund programs. These programs help businesses deal with immediate financial impact due to the pandemic.
Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
Apply by visiting https://www.research.net/r/LISCreliefgrant. Applications must be completed by Tuesday, April 28th, at 10:59 p.m. CT.
Before completing the application, LISC recommends applicants review the Grant Information Overview and FAQ.
If you have any questions not answered by the FAQ, please email email@example.com. LISC monitors this inbox and updates the FAQ accordingly.
Please apply or forward to any business owners that may benefit from this grant.
With recommendations coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health to cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others and even requirements starting up in places such as New York, you can make your own face covers whether you sew or not.
The CDC website offers simple instructions for making homemade cloth masks with or without sewing.
Why wear a face cover?
We now know you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you have no symptoms. The cloth face cover is meant to help protect other people in case you are infected and are not showing symptoms, and their cloth cover is meant to help protect you.
Keep in mind
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for keeping a safe distance.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Exceptions: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do not wear medical-grade or surgical masks. Those are in high need in health care facilities to protect health care workers.
- Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. Help fight the stigma around mask wearing. Report discrimination to the State anti-discrimination helpline: 1-833-454-0148.
See an infographic on using masks.
Figures presented in the photo were updated at 1 pm on 4/24/2020.
The City of Minneapolis has a new online dashboard tracking the number of confirmed Minneapolis COVID-19 cases.
The dashboard shows the total number of laboratory confirmed Minneapolis COVID-19 cases, how many people needed hospitalization, how many have recovered and how many people have died. It also includes those figures for the entire state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health is the source of the data.
Note: the Minnesota Department of Health estimates that for every confirmed case in the state, there are 100 more cases.
Find the dashboard at minneapolismn.gov/coronavirus/dashboard.
The City is hosting two more online open houses to get your input on the draft Transportation Action Plan before the comment period ends May 22.
The 10-year action plan will guide future planning, design and implementation of transportation projects for all people in all the ways they move around.
Join us to hear about the plan and interact with staff in real time. Learn more at go.minneapolismn.gov/get-involved.
Upcoming online open houses
As everyone is well aware, 2020 Census in person outreach plans shifted due to COVID-19. Census door knocks and community gatherings were cancelled in an effort to ensure the safety of community. Although we may not be able to visit our neighbors in person to remind them of the importance of completing the census, all is not lost.
The City is collaborating with the Minnesota State Demographer’s office to offer neighborhoods and community organizations the opportunity to Get Out The Census Count via phone.
Organizations and individuals have the opportunity to place calls directly to community members to encourage them to complete their census form. The MN State Demographers office is providing access to a predictive dialer system which will allow individuals to make calls from the comfort of their own home. A predictive dialer is an outbound calling system that automatically dials from a list of telephone numbers. The predictive dialing system makes phone banking easy and efficient. Calls can be made from a phone or from a computer. (F.Y.I – calls made from your phone will be masked. Your personal number will not be displayed on caller i.d.)
Phone banking shifts are available 1:00-4:00pm (days vary) or 5:00-8:00pm (days vary). If you would like to call into a specific neighborhood or geographic location, we ask that you organize a volunteer call team of at least 10 individuals and designate at least one person to serve as the team lead.
Training for team leads and then to the entire team will be provided at the beginning of each shift. More information on this will be available soon.
Please send sign-up if you or your neighborhood/community organization would like to Get Out The Count.
Calling is expected to begin April 27th.
The Minnesota State Demographer’s office hosts 2020 Census completion webinars April 21-30
“How do I fill out the Census? How-To and Q&A” is an interactive video event designed both to show individuals how easy it is to complete the census online, AND to empower census partners to help others fill in their questionnaires. Sessions take place Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays, April 21 through April 30, beginning at noon.
It’s easy to join the sessions by computer or by phone.
- Option #1 – Joining by Computer
Census 2020’s Personal Room: https://minnesota.webex.com/meet/andrew.virden
You can also dial 18.104.22.168 and enter your meeting number: andrew.virden
- Option #2 – Joining by Phone
Join by phone: +1-415-655-0003 United States Toll
Access code: 965 456 268
Northbound I-35W daytime lane closure April 27-May 1
As crews continue to make progress on the new transit station bridge over Lake St., MnDOT will need a daytime lane closure on northbound I-35W. Beginning Mon, April 27, northbound I-35W will be reduced to two lanes between 35th St. and 28th St. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Fri, May 1.
Rescheduled: Overnight I-35W closures May 4-7
The overnight closures of I-35W have been rescheduled. I-35W will be closed in both directions between Hwy 62 and I-94 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Mon, May 4; Tue, May 5; Wed, May 6 and Thu, May 7. Drivers will be detoured to use Hwy 62, Hwy 100 and I-394.
Midtown Greenway closure May 7-8
The Midtown Greenway will be closed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thu, May 7 and Fri, May 8 to allow crews to safely set the bridge deck beams on the new northbound I-35W bridge over the Midtown Greenway. The detour routes include:
- Westbound bicyclists: Northbound 5th Ave. to westbound 26th St. to southbound Blaisdell Ave. to eastbound 29th St.
- Eastbound bicyclists: Northbound Nicollet Ave. to eastbound 28th St. to southbound 5th Ave.
- Pedestrians: Nicollet Ave., 28th St. and 5th Ave.
For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.
The Council on Foundations has compiled a helpful state-by-state list of community foundations and more grant-makers offering relief funds.
Take this survey by May 31 to help guide the City’s violence prevention priorities for the next three-five years. It only takes a few minutes to share your thoughts on what forms of violence are most pressing in our community.
Knowing violence affects so many different communities in so many different ways and yet having limited resources, we need your feedback to help develop a citywide approach to addressing violence in a new strategic plan.
If you’d like to use the survey in an alternative format or a different language, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minneapolis property owners can now order a 3- to 8-foot tree for $25 from the City of Minneapolis to plant in their yards. About 1,000 trees are still available for property owners to plant on their private property. You can be outside and keep a safe 6-foot distance from others while doing something good for our environment and quality of life in Minneapolis.
The 22 varieties available this year include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery.
- Low-cost trees are available first-come, first-served for Minneapolis residents.
- Limit one tree per address.
- Trees must be picked up May 16, 17 or 18 at the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot. Volunteers onsite will help load each new tree and a complimentary bag of mulch into vehicles.
Order your tree here.
In the past 13 years, the City Trees program has provided approximately 15,000 trees for planting on private property. Since 2006, the City of Minneapolis has funded the City Trees program, a low-cost way for folks to help the city’s tree canopy grow.
Watch this video and spread the word about helping our urban forest
Healthy trees are an important part of our quality of life in Minneapolis, but they need our help. Watch this short video about some of the benefits of our urban forest and how we can help.
The State offers Minnesotans special resources during this unprecedented crisis including a website with mental health resources, resources and information for child care providers and families, a webpage with all Minnesota housing updates related to COVID-19, emergency food support, unemployment and more.
Mental health: The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a tremendous amount of stress, fear and anxiety for many people. Check out these resources for yourself or a loved one, and know that you’re not alone.
Child care: Find resources and information for child care providers and families here.
Housing: The State has compiled Minnesota Housing information related to COVID-19 here.
Emergency food support: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you buy food while budgets are tight.
Unemployment support: Find help with unemployment benefits and other unemployment questions here.
You can find links to these resources and additional help for employers and employees, volunteer opportunities, and information about donating personal protective equipment on the State’s COVID-19 website.