Families do better when they live in a strong community with economic mobility, employment security, and self-advocacy. Since challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and housing instability tend to concentrate in areas negatively impacted by a history of disinvestment, targeted investments in these neighborhoods can develop them into the kind of place that allows families to reach their full potential.
Established in October 2018, the Meadow Park Initiative focuses on a neighborhood with significant barriers to long-term financial stability and educational attainment. Residents are leading the way in developing an action plan for working together to make a difference in people’s lives in the neighborhood by identifying and cultivating local leadership, building meaningful connections between neighbors, and learning about residents’ hopes and dreams for the community.
In early August 2019, the Meadow Park Initiative kicked off its first major undertaking, a youth soccer program organized by local residents.
At launch, nearly 40 Somali and Latino players were signed up representing the largest cultural groups in the neighborhood. Teams for both boys and girls are organized by age group with volunteer coaches. Play is scheduled five nights a week.
The youth soccer program was made possible by grants from Scheels and Olmsted County Public Health Services. Space for the soccer fields was provided by Hope Summit Church.