Last Sunday’s tornado took only a matter of minutes to race throughNorth Minneapolis, but it left a broad swath of devastation behind it from which it will take many people a long time to recover. Tragically, it took one life during the storm and another the day after. It left thousands more people frightened, without somewhere to go and uncertain about where to turn.
If you live in North Minneapolisand need housing immediately, the Red Cross shelter has just moved to the North Commons recreation center at 1801 James Ave. N. If you have needs beyond or other than shelter, the Disaster Recovery Center is now open and is open through the long weekend at Farview Park. There you can pick up basic supplies and get help with a wide variety of services. We will keep both centers open as long as we need to until people’s lives are firmly on the road to recovery.
Amid the pain and confusion, though, this weekNorth Minneapolishas also shown its deeply-rooted strength. On every block I’ve been to, I’ve seen people checking on their neighbors, lending each other a hand and sharing what they had, even when their own, personal needs were great. This is a neighborhood of strength and of heart.
No matter where you live, if you want to help, we want your help, because this city that is filled with heart needs the hands of everyone in the region to help rebuild. The largest volunteer effort we’ve ever seen, the Great Northside Volunteer Clean-Up, is happening on Saturday, June 4. In fact, we’re going to need the help of 2,000 people.
That’s a lot of hands, but all you need to do to lend yours is callMinneapolis311 and tell us you want to help. But you must call 311 to volunteer: we can’t accept your help if you don’t, so please call today. (311 is staying open this Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. to take your calls. They’ll be closed Monday for the holiday but will reopen on Tuesday.)
We have made progress: so far, over 3,000 volunteers, working alongside crews from the City, utility companies and many other jurisdictions, have cleared 1,700 truckloads of debris. As a result, now all our streets are passable and everyone’s power has been restored. We’re very grateful for everyone’s efforts, and we hope that one last, big, volunteer pass on Saturday, June 4 will clear out the last of the debris. Please call 311 today to volunteer.
State and federal emergency-management crews are also on the ground helping us assess the full extent of damage, which we hope will qualify us for additional aid. We are very grateful for all of those efforts.
If you can’t volunteer but still want to help, please consider a financial contribution to one of these funds, both of which have been set up with the help of the Minneaoplis Foundation: Minnesota HELPS—North Minneapolis Recovery Fund supports immediate humanitarian relief, and Northside Home Fund—Tornado Relief is specifically designed to support housing-recovery and rebuilding efforts. You can donate online.
To stay current on the latest news on tornado relief, please check the City’s regularly updated tornado-relief webpage.
In addition to continuing to meet the immediate challenges of making sure that people have food, clothing and shelter, we will face ongoing challenges for some time, particularly related to housing. We have a long road ahead of us as a city: it won’t be easy, but I believe deep in my heart that with everyone’s help and generosity, we will come out stronger.
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