May 2020 E-News


Dear community,

We are overwhelmed by your generosity in this time of need.  On Monday, April 27th, we launched a fundraising campaign to purchase cloth masks from Steller Handcrafted Goods, an Elliot Park business, and distribute to our neighbors.  Within 24 hours, we met our fundraising goal and were able to begin distributing cloth masks to neighbors immediately!  By May 1st, we expect to have distributed 250 masks. 

 If you or your neighbors need masks, please contact our office.     

We know there will continue to be need related to COVID-19. If you haven't donated yet, you can still do so at

A huge thanks to Steller Handcrafted GoodsBethlehem Baptist ChurchFirst Covenant Church MinneapolisHope Community Church - Downtown MinneapolisKraus-AndersonICCM, 9th Street Brownstones, and many community donors.

Elliot Park neighborhood is resilient and we will get through this together! 

Vanessa Haight
EPNI Executive Director 

EPNI Calendar 

For the foreseeable future we are holding meetings via Zoom (with access by computer, smart phone, or dial in).  Please let us know if you need any assistance connecting to these virtual meetings.  Hope to "see" you at a meeting soon!

Thursday, May 21st - Building, Land Use, and Housing (BLUH) Meeting, Zoom (access with a computer, smart phone, or dial in from a phone), 6-7:30PM. Tentative agenda includes: Elliot Park Skate Park & Plaza and Sherman Development (500 S 7th Street) revised proposal.

September - Save the Date! EPNI Annual Meeting & Board Elections, details TBD. Interested in joining the EPNI Board of Directors? Contact the EPNI office for more info.


COVID-19 Update & Resources

Stay in touch with EPNI for local updates, resources, and connection to the community. Check out our COVID-19 webpage for local resources and our new Facebook group.

Update from the Food Solutions Team

The EPNI Food Solutions team, which has been working to address food access in the neighborhood, has been discussing how to proceed in light of Covid-19 and social distancing. Just before the state set regulations on gathering in public and social distancing, the team was working directly with the Twin Cities Mobile Market to bring a stop to our neighborhood. However, in these new circumstances the Mobile Market is operating as a mobile food drop rather than a store, and has chosen to not open any new sites in this time. The team has maintained connections with staff at the Mobile Market and will continue the efforts to bring the food bus into Elliot Park in the future.

In the earlier part of the year the team was also spending time in the community, holding listening sessions and asking questions about food access at various apartment buildings in the neighborhood. Those efforts have stopped for the time being, but they are discussing new ways to get engaged in this unique time. Because of limited access to technology the team is hoping to find creative ways to hear from ALL residents on the issue, and is taking this time to think strategically. They are now thinking of the increased barriers to accessing healthy and affordable food and is continuing to discuss their role in finding or creating a solution. The work of the Food Solutions team has not stopped, but is being reshaped for now as we navigate this new normal together.

Learn more about the Food Solutions Team here:

Development Updates


Missed April's Building, Land Use, and Housing (BLUH) meeting? Read our blog post to see what we covered, including updates on all pending/under construction projects in the neighborhood.

Did you know that you can find more development updates, including info on the ongoing Larking construction, on our website?  We post construction updates weekly or bi-weekly on Thrivent Headquarters, The Larking, and 1400 Park.  Check it out at

Help House of Charity keep its food shelf open!


Message from Deb Moses, CEO of House of Charity:

We’ve said it before: Hunger and addiction don’t discriminate or take a day off, and neither do we. The Food Centre is open every day of the year, and despite the uncertainty of our daily lives, that’s not changing. The same is true for our food shelf. We've had to make some changes and those changes have increased costs.

We need $10,000 to ensure that we can keep providing food for our hungry neighbors.

Our Programs Have Changed

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do everything and has caused our costs to skyrocket (you can read about all the changes here).  The same is true for nonprofits and schools throughout the state and across the country. That is why GiveMN is partnering with us for another state-wide event, similar to Give to the Max Day.

May 1 - 8, we as Minnesotans will come together to support the organizations that are working every day to ensure that our neighbors in need are not forgotten. Please join us on those days to keep our food shelf open!

Give, share, advocate. We need you now more than ever.

We need $10,00 to ensure that we can keep providing food to our neighbors. Give now at

FINNOVATION Lab Fellow Program

Applications are open until May 15th for the FINNOVATION Fellowship Program, a nine-month, full-time program for people who have ideas for how to address social and environmental issues through entrepreneurship.

Fellows receive a $50,000 living stipend, $3,000 healthcare stipend, workspace at the FINNOVATION Lab in downtown Minneapolis, tailored curriculum to build leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and mentorship, all to help turn their idea into a sustainable social enterprise.

Learn more and apply at

Minneapolis Parks Update

 On April 24, 2020, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board made the decision to keep parks open but modify or close specific amenities, including:

  • By May 1: playgrounds, skateparks and athletic fields will be closed; tennis court nets removed; basketball court rims blocked or removed;
  • Already in place: volleyball nets will remain down and trail users need to remain six feet apart
  • As weather warms: signage will soon be added at picnic areas to limit gathering to 10 people or less and signage will be added to disc golf areas with social distancing guidelines, similar to new guidelines at MPRB golf courses

See more information about these changes on the MPRB website. 

Energy Assistance Program

There have been changes made to the eligibility requirements and deadlines for applications to help those that may be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and quarantine.

Energy Assistance Program (EAP) facts

  • Renters and homeowners making up to the following amounts within the last month are eligible:
    • $2,253 for a household of 1
    • $2,947 for a household of 2
    • $3,641 for a household of 3
    • $4,334 for a household of 4
    • $5,028 for a household of 5
    • $5,721 for a household of 6
  • Assets such as home value are not considered in determining eligibility.
  • Grants range from $200 to $1,400, based on household size, income, and fuel cost.
  • The average grant is about $500.
  • In addition to the initial grant, additional Crisis funds are available to:
    • Help pay a past due bill or get an emergency fuel delivery.
    • Help homeowners get their broken furnace repaired or replaced.

EAP changes made to help during COVID-19

  • The application deadline is extended to July 1.
  • The annual Crisis maximum is increased to $1,200 (up from $600).
  • EAP can help households pay a past due bill, even without a shut-off notice.
  • Income eligibility is based on past one month only.
  • EAP still has sufficient funds and expects more from the CARES Act.


Thank you to our sponsors!

Hennepin Healthcare



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