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Sunday August 20th 2017

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Banyan Community Neighborhood Center Opens

Banyan Community held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony with many donors and neighborhood families for a new home on Thursday, August 18, 2016 – a prototype space for holistic community development with 18 years of proven outcomes! It is a 30,000 square foot two story wood frame building with a precast basement. The ceremony was a historic moment in Banyan’s story of developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community. Banyan Community is now poised to grow and partner with more youth and families, doubling in size over the next five years!

Banyan Community held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony with many donors and neighborhood families for a new home on Thursday, August 18, 2016 – a prototype space for holistic community development with 18 years of proven outcomes! It is a 30,000 square foot two story wood frame building with a precast basement. The ceremony was a historic moment in Banyan’s story of developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community. Banyan Community is now poised to grow and partner with more youth and families, doubling in size over the next five years!

BY BANYAN COMMUNITY STAFF

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for new fully funded $6.4M home

of Banyan Community was August 18th. “This is a historic moment in Banyan’s story: a one of a kind, permanent home that will allow us to double the youth and families we partner with in the Phillips neighborhood,” says Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder and Executive Director.

Banyan has been creating transformation in the Phillips neighborhood since 1998. Youth and families are building new pathways as 100 % of Banyan high school youth graduate and are accepted to college! “The building is a prototype for our approach to holistic community development, one with a long history of success and proven outcomes”, says Essenburg.

Banyan purchased the parcel of land from the Minneapolis Park Board in early 2013 and has been running a capital campaign (Growing Responsibly) to raise the funds to build the center – debt free. Banyan raised $6.4 million dollars from generous donors, including community members, and New Market Tax Credit revenue. According to Essenburg, “the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was an opportunity for Banyan to say ‘thank you’ for the support of everyone that made this building a reality”.

Frana Companies and InSite Architects led the construction project which began Fall 2015. The building is a 30,000

square foot Community Center complete with preschool space, gymnasium, community rooms, youth development rooms, study rooms, commercial kitchen, laundry, and computer lab.

Banyan is a Christian Community Development Organization, founded in 1998, and rooted in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis to develop youth, strengthen families, and create community. The challenges include a neighborhood make up of 56% of children living in poverty, and a four year high school graduation rate of 59% (47% for African Americans, and 45% for Latinos). The median income for a family of four is $41,000. The unemployment rate is 14%, and the poverty rate is 31%. Crime is a constant with gangs, prostitution, and drugs.

There is neighborhood success at Banyan – youth, family and community are synchronized to achieve the greatest impact. Youth engage in year round out of school time programs to succeed in school, build life skills, and cultivate healthy relationships (100% of Banyan youth graduate from high school). Family is strengthened with Banyan staff building on assets and bringing together parents and children (Banyan annual retention rate is 96%). Community is strongest when neighbors know each other and begin to care for each other (99% of Banyan families participate in Banyan events). The Lighthouse Network is Banyan’sbrand of community building through the 32 block clubs currently

in action in the Phillips Neighborhood.

For more information about Banyan visit our website: www.banyancommunity.org

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