Happy New Year from EPNI

Ringing in 2021!

2020 was challenging to say the least. Many of us lost loved ones, struggled with our own mental and physical health, experienced financial challenges, and navigated social isolation. This year has highlighted the simple things that we may take for granted and has shined a spotlight on the limitations to the systems designed to support us. As we enter the new year, I hope that you are able to connect safely with others and ready yourself for the long road but exciting adventure 2021 will be!

As we enter 2021, I want to take a moment to reflect on the impact of EPNI's work during this challenging time. While our initiatives weren't quite what we and many others expected going into the year, we feel good about our ability to pivot and adapt our work in response to our communities developing needs. We are grateful to the many volunteers that came when called and to our dedicated board members who made it possible to launch new initiatives and support the community in new and creative ways.

As we consider 2020, we would like to highlight some of our adaptive events we were proud to be part of:
• Distributed over 500 cloth masks to community members
• Hosted 4 pop-up low-cost food markets
• Pivoted to virtual community meetings
• Launched our EPNI Facebook Group to encourage connection
• Hosted a socially distanced Elliot Park Art Walk
• Delivered weekly food to 150 households in partnership with House of Charity
• Hosted two socially distanced anti-racist conversations
• Hosted a number of community safety meetings and created a new Community Safety Committee
• Supported relationship building among businesses to address issues
• Supported small businesses in navigating COVID-19 relief resources

We look forward to continuing our work in 2021 and seeing you in person when it's safe to do so. I wish you all a safe and healthy new year!

Vanessa Haight
EPNI Executive Director

EPNI Calendar 

What’s, what in the New Year!

Monday, January 11th - Board of Directors Meeting: 6-7:30PM • via Zoom
The EPNI Board of Directors meetings monthly, on the 2nd Monday of the month, at 6 PM.  Guests are welcome to attend and observe.  If you would like to attend, please email
[email protected] and request the Zoom meeting link.

Thursday, January 21st - Building, Land Use, and Housing (BLUH) Meeting: 6-7:30PM • via Zoom
Join your neighbors in advocating for development that fits our community needs.  EPNI convenes the community at the Building, Land Use, and Housing (BLUH) meeting, where residents can review & give feedback on proposed changes to the neighborhood.  Agenda will be posted one week ahead of the meeting.

- Register in advance for the BLUH Meeting

Monday, February 1st - Community Safety Committee: 6-9PM • via Zoom
Join us for the Community Safety Committee meeting!  This month, we will be discussing the safety issues and suggested solutions raised at the December meeting and working on advancing some of the recommendations.  A more detailed agenda will be posted one week prior. 

- Register in advance for this Community Safety Meeting

Help Build Community Vitality in Elliot Park!

We know 2021 will not be a year like the one we have all just survived, however 2020 has made some lasting impacts that we will be rebounding from for the near future. If you are able, please consider donating to EPNI so we may be able to continue the community support that Elliot Park needs for our future! Your donation goes directly toward supporting EPNI's work to build community vitality by connecting & empowering neighbors.  

Your generosity through financial contributions is the reason we are able to continue our important work in the community.  Your support, coupled with your neighbors’ support is what fuels our organization.  Please consider making a financial donation to EPNI today to support our work in responding to community need.


Any amount helps, please donate today at: www.elliotpark.org/donate 


 December Building, Land Use, and Housing Meeting

Missed the BLUH meeting? We've got you covered! Qannani Omar & Nichole Buehler of Harrison Neighborhood Association presented information on the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) that is currently be considered by the City of Minneapolis. The group discussed and a motion passed to support TOPA, with a preference for "Option 2", the right for tenants to purchase or assign their right to purchase to a qualified buyer/developer. This motion will be forwarded to the EPNI Board of Directors for consideration. Want to know more about TOPA? Be sure to watch Qannani's presentation in the meeting recording.

Glen Johnson, BLUH Chair, shared updates on the many developments happening in our neighborhood. An astonishing 1,618 units of housing are expected to be added by 2022. Be sure to check out the presentation slides for details!

Find the recording of the December BLUH meeting herereview the presentation slides by clicking here

Questions? Contact [email protected] or call the EPNI office at 612-335-5846.


A sense of “community safety” is a key component for any neighborhood to thrive and grow.  In recognition of the spike in crime across the city this year, EPNI has relaunched our community safety committee.  As a small urban neighborhood, Elliot Park faces challenges in confronting this issue and EPNI is working collaboratively with our community members to address neighborhood safety. We highly encourage your individual involvement based on your comfort level with activity.  If you see something, please say something! 

It is important to realize that as a neighborhood association, EPNI has limited resources to directly apply to any solution(s) by itself.  Therefore, it is essential that residents’ along with your fellow neighbors’ get involved and partner with us to collectively achieve anything!  EPNI acts as your voice with our elected officials and city agencies, and we will continue advocating for needed attention pertaining to law enforcement, social services, and housing as they all intertwine with community safety overall.  However, your ongoing participation with us will make our voice even more effective!

The next regularly scheduled EPNI community safety meeting will occur Monday February 1 at 6:00pm.  Currently we are collecting information based on input gathered at the last meeting, including best formats for any local volunteer driven neighborhood watches and possibly creating a local Elliot Park data base for reporting safety issues. 

Meanwhile, EPNI has also created a designated email address to contact us about community safety issues intended to further our dialogue with you.  When contacting us at [email protected], please provide your name, location of issue, and any pertinent details or suggestions you wish to relay, and always in a respectful manner. 

To learn more about community safety & precautionary suggestions please visit our Public Safety Webpage.

FREE COVID-19 tests and flu shots, let's all do our part to help stop the spread.
All are welcome.

Home testing
Minnesota and Vault Medical Services have teamed up to offer at-home saliva testing for everyone at no cost. Go to Vault: No-Cost COVID Testing For All Minnesotans to order a test.

Testing is encouraged and available to everyone, whether or not they have symptoms. Testing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent exposing your loved ones to the virus. The COVID-19 test is FREE, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

HCMC Downtown Viral Screening Clinic | 900 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Weekday hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Weekend hours: Closed

Adult and pediatric patients will be seen in order of arrival (by adult and pediatric teams respectively) until we reach capacity. Generally, we can see pediatric patients and anyone who has already completed an e-visit or has a COVID order placed until closing time. If you do not already have a COVID order and are ill and need to see a doctor, you will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis until the clinic has reached capacity for the day. The time in the map below reflects current wait times and access to the Viral Screening Clinic based on the most recent demand and can change quickly.

Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S, Exhibit Room E | Entrance on west side of building located off 1st Ave. Find FREE curbside parking on 1st Avenue South

Weekday hours: 9 am – 7 pm
Weekend hours: 10 am – 4 pm
Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are welcome: Make an appointment here

Please note: 
1. Do NOT eat, drink, smoke or chew gum 30 minutes prior to testing
2. Bring Smartphone (if you don't have a Smartphone, one will be provided)
3. If you have health insurance, please bring your insurance card with you.

Find information and instructions from the State the full current list of free COVID-19 tests and flu shots

Additional FREE COVID-19 test sites in Minneapolis: 

Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave. 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.

Somali Community Resettlement Services, 4020 Minnehaha Ave. S. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting Dec. 14 Saliva test. No appointment needed. Somali interpreters available onsite.

Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St. 2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment. You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days. Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.

COVID Care Project

North Point Health & Wellness Center: northpointhealth.org
1256 Penn Ave N Suite 5300 Minneapolis, MN 55411


Who we are:
The COVID Care Project helps individuals who were impacted by COVID-19 by offering support for emotional and physical needs. We intend to help people who have been affected by COVID (and haven’t we all) or other major or minor life stresses. We are a call-in line that can help support people, because everyone needs a little help sometimes. We can talk to callers about what is bothering them and how to manage it. We are good listeners and want to support the community with all that has been going on.

People who have been impacted by COVID-19. It is an anonymous, confidential and free service that has access to interpreters as well.

We also can help them find resources to make their life easier. We can connect them to numerous local and national resources for their health, financial well-being, housing, employment and other things. We are available to talk with groups about life with COVID and how to manage it.

  • Emotional support/a listening ear
  • Education about responses to crises, like COVID-19
  • NorthPoint services like food shelf, MNsure, housing, medical, dental, behavioral health and other human services
  • Local and county resources such as financial assistance,  case management and emergency services

Please feel free to call or e-mail Kathy or Zae with any questions: 

Kathy - Counseling Lead (se habla español)
612-767-9171 or email [email protected]

Zae -Community Health Worker
612-767-9151 or email 
 [email protected]

What are things that make you feel good?

We wish you a safe and joyous New Year as we all work together for success in 2021!

As we kick-off 2021, sit down with yourself and/or a loved one to create a list of the things that make you the happiest. We found out it's the littlest things that can make the biggest difference! 

In a recent survey, these were just a 10 of those little things that brought us happiness:

  • Sleeping in a freshly-made bed.
  • Feeling the sun on your face.
  • People saying "thank you" or a random act of kindness from a stranger.
  • Finding money in unexpected places.
  • Creating time to read a new book.
  • Laughing so hard it hurts.
  • Snuggling on the sofa with a loved one.
  • Visiting a local gallery or museum.
  • Listening to the wind in the trees.
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Enjoying a cup of coco on a cold night. 


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