Y Renaissance

by Donna Martinson | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

In a 1999 speech to the Sheet Metal Workers Union, Paul Wellstone stated: “Whatever happened to the idea…that we all do better when we all do better?” It’s true, and backed up by research. When we have an opportunity gap and leave more people at the ‘bottom of the ladder’ the economy, educational achievement and vitality of the whole city falters. Let’s make St. Paul a great city by addressing the gap between available housing and the families of all kinds that need it. Let’s make St. Paul great by recognizing that we all do better when we all do better, and acting on that knowledge.

After ten years volunteering for Project Home, which supplements the Ramsey County shelter by hosting temporary sites with beds and cardboard dividers for families, I saw the number of children and adults increase from 40 to 60 at the temporary sites. Would you want to spend a month in a church basement with cardboard dividers marking your sleeping space?? Money spent each month for temporary sites could better go into a building and program with complete services and private rooms for families.

At a member focus meeting I learned that the Midway YMCA is considering moving to a newly-built facility in 18 months. Voila!
The current building would be perfect for a remodel into expanded housing for families in transition! $1 million would go a long way in renovating the space for this program. With Goodwill a block away, a school next door, and Episcopal Homes senior living down the road, the location is ideal.

About You

read more ↓↑ hide↑ hide

About You

First Name

Donna

Last Name

Martinson

City

Saint Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN, Ramsey County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

from a friend

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Title of your idea

Y Renaissance

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

In a 1999 speech to the Sheet Metal Workers Union, Paul Wellstone stated: “Whatever happened to the idea…that we all do better when we all do better?” It’s true, and backed up by research. When we have an opportunity gap and leave more people at the ‘bottom of the ladder’ the economy, educational achievement and vitality of the whole city falters. Let’s make St. Paul a great city by addressing the gap between available housing and the families of all kinds that need it. Let’s make St. Paul great by recognizing that we all do better when we all do better, and acting on that knowledge.
After ten years volunteering for Project Home, which supplements the Ramsey County shelter by hosting temporary sites with beds and cardboard dividers for families, I saw the number of children and adults increase from 40 to 60 at the temporary sites. Would you want to spend a month in a church basement with cardboard dividers marking your sleeping space?? Money spent each month for temporary sites could better go into a building and program with complete services and private rooms for families.
At a member focus meeting I learned that the Midway YMCA is considering moving to a newly-built facility in 18 months. Voila!
The current building would be perfect for a remodel into expanded housing for families in transition! $1 million would go a long way in renovating the space for this program. With Goodwill a block away, a school next door, and Episcopal Homes senior living down the road, the location is ideal.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

read more↑ hide↑ hide

What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Time for a bigger answer - Since 2008 the approach to increasing need for transitional shelter has been met by a ‘band-aid’ approach. That doesn’t work for bridges and roads and it doesn’t work for children and adults in families that have experienced the lack of affordable housing first-hand. It’s time to look at the big picture, supporting what Mayor Coleman has set as a goal for housing in St. Paul, and this would be an excellent step forward and upward.

Impact

read more↑ hide↑ hide

This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Make a difference – When you add it up, hundreds of volunteers in churches have given time to hosting temporarily homeless children, parents and grandparents over the past fourteen years…every month! Their consciousness about this issue has been raised. Imagine unleashing all those volunteer hours in new ways to take on new challenges and needs, build community, provide access, feed the hungry, visit those in prison, care for our seniors, teach kids, and do good so we all can do better!
And then, there’s the saving of an important neighborhood center instead of dumping it in a landfill, and giving the Midway Y new life.

Sustainability

read more↑ hide↑ hide

Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

Recognize and inspire – During the eighteen months of building a new facility, all the Y members at the current Midway building can learn about the future of their building and be invited to engage in ways to add value: employers and small-business owners can plan to address employment growth; community leaders can develop strategic plans to include this new transitional family shelter; neighbors can get involved with the possibility of new garden and green space. The visibility on University Avenue will be instantly recognizable. This can provide a model for converting other historic buildings in ways that mitigate the effect of gentrification and include people of all incomes in the renaissance of St. Paul.

johnshantelle143 johnshantelle143 said: Some people believe in that. Some religion will make some proof on these things. - Integrity Spas about this Competition Entry. - 2614 days ago read more >

Donna Martinson updated this Competition Entry. - 2851 days ago

Donna Martinson submitted this idea. - 2851 days ago