Riverworks Newsletter - August 2021
Greeting Friends and Neighbors:
The Riverworks team is growing rapidly! We are excited to introduce you to our newest team members, who bring a wide variety of skills and knowledge so we can offer more services to Harambee, Riverwest and the surrounding communities! Please join us in giving them a warm welcome!
Jamal Washington - Financial Coach
Jamal has worked in the financial industry for over twenty years. He works with clients to increase their credit scores, pay down debt, and prepare themselves financially for homeownership.
Donna Hopkins - Financial Clinic Program Assistant
Donna acts as the gatekeeper for all clients seeking help from the Financial Clinic. She greets clients on the phone and in office, enters and tracks data, and keeps the office running smoothly.
Yolonda Hardnett - Financial Clinic AmeriCorps Member
Yolonda has been a Riverworks volunteer for the VITA tax program since 2019. As an AmeriCorps member, she assists clients with preparing and filing their homestead, child tax credit, and stimulus.
Sara Czarnecki-Reynolds - Harambee Neighborhood Development Manager
Sara oversees the Harambee Quality of Life Plan, while developing strong relationships and promoting collaboration among the Harambee community. She looks to foster neighborhood cohesiveness.
Javon Dean - Harambee Quality of Life Support Coordinator AmeriCorps Member
Javon is implementing the Harambee Quality of Life Plan, which ensures that residents are aware of available resources and are able to access them. He also coordinates events and facilitates meetings.
Travis Spell - Business Development Manager
Travis works with small businesses and entrepreneurs by offering technical services including assistance with writing business plans, applying for grants, and securing financing for projects.
Don't miss out on this year's Beerline Celebration Weekend!!! On Friday, August 27th, we will have the third annual Music on the Beerline event from 5:00 - 8:00 pm, which will feature amazing local talent of various genres celebrating unity and art.
Then, on Saturday, August 28th, we will have the first ever Beerline Shuffle from 9:00 - 11:00 am, which is a 3 mile walk along the Beerline Trail, with art, music, community events, and lots of activities for the whole family! REGISTER NOW for only $15 to get some great swag and to help support this event!
Extraordinary Care from the Financial Clinic
Check Out Our New & Improved Website!
After a lot of hard work and dedication, Riverworks' Financial Clinic website has officially been launched! The new and improved website is interactive, and user-friendly! Check it out to learn more about our programs, resources, staff, and partners. With a newly expanded team of experts in all things financial, we will continue to grow our available services to help residents manage financial crises.
Center Street Fence Cup Mural PLUS the Alert Neighbors Program
Center Street Realized is a group of residents, community stakeholders, and business owners that came together with a concern for safety along Center Street. With the help of Riverworks, the group was awarded a grant from the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW), that is aimed at reducing reckless driving. Big art projects, such as murals, have been shown to passively slow down drivers as they experience the art. Students from Riverwest Elementary came up with ideas for the mural, and local artist, Aisha Valentin, created a master design. Then, during the Riverwest 24, hundreds of riders got to participate in installing plastic cups in the fence to bring the mural to life! Light pole banners will also be installed along the corridor in the coming months. Visit our website for more information!
Residents of the Keefe Avenue Safety Task Force were able to have RING doorbell cameras installed at their homes as part of the City of Milwaukee's Alert Neighbors Program (ANP). The ANP is a pilot program that provides funding for cameras, lighting, signage, and other crime prevention improvements to organized groups of residents, in an effort to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.
Creative Placemaking on the Beerline Trail
New Murals at Vienna on the Beerline Trail
Riverworks partnered with local artist Vedale Hill, in collaboration with Hood Design Studios of Oakland, CA, to kick off the development of the Vienna access way with two new murals on the Beerline Trail. The first mural transposes the image of homes on 1st Street in Harambee onto the largest industrial building along this section of the trail; Vedale was able to not only bring residential life to a space flanked by industry, but also pay homage to the work-life culture that existed when these factories were fully operational and many neighbors worked in them. The second mural boldly identifies the Beerline Trail and the work that’s still taking place in the district today.
We invite you to go take a look, take pictures, spread the word and enjoy the Beerline Trail. Make sure you tag us @RiverworksMKE!
Building and Beautifying the Community
Construction Starting Soon!
With fall quickly approaching, Riverworks is gearing up to kick off the construction of the Beerline Plaza Green Infrastructure Project. With the support of MMSD, Fund for Lake Michigan, the City of Milwaukee and Walnut Way, the Beerline Plaza will become an even stronger asset to the community. Construction is expected to start around early September, which means trail traffic will be rerouted around the perimeter of the block, following the sidewalk. Keep a look out for Green Infrastructure educational videos posted to our Facebook page, where we plan to keep you informed on our progress as well as help you understand the benefits and best maintenance practices of the site’s new features!
Small Business & Entrepreneurial Resources
Business & Life Achievement Action Plan Webinar Series
Riverworks' Small Business Program is offering a series of webinars that provide knowledge and resources to businesses and entrepreneurs who are seeking self reliance and the ability to take ownership of their lives. All of the webinars are completely free, and are recorded so they can be shared and viewed at any time. Please check out the links below to view previous recordings, and reach out to Temo for information on upcoming webinars.
Riverworks Coin Laundry
NEW! Discount Days are Tuesday & Thursday!
Riverworks Coin Laundry, located at 3334 N Holton Street, is happy to announce new weekly deal days! Every Tuesday and Thursday, customers get a dollar off any cycle in our three, four, six and eight-load washers. Also, don't forget about our children's library; just ask an attendant and they will provide a free book that is yours to keep. Riverworks Coin Laundry is open seven days a week from 7:00am - 8:00pm, with last wash beginning at 6:45pm. Please visit our website for more information!
BID #25: Milwaukee's Creative District
Keeping the Riverworks BID Beautiful
Every year the Riverworks BID #25 works to improve the beauty, safety and infrastructure of the business district, and 2021 has brought new incentives and promotional projects to the area. Recently, the Riverworks BID Board voted to build upon the property improvement grant by raising the 50% matching funds up to $10,000, increasing the variety of exterior project types that would qualify and including additional funds for professional designer fees. For more information about the grant and to apply online, visit our website.
In addition to the property grant upgrades, the Riverworks BID is also working to reduce litter, through a new litter campaign that will launch in the coming weeks. Keep a look out for new trash cans, promotional signage and much more!
Harambee NID #7
New Home Repair Grant Guidelines for 2021
Since 2018, the Harambee NID #7 has provided access to funding to assist resident homeowners with home repair grants. We have helped over 50 families in Harambee have access to an alternative fund to make important, essential home repairs when other agencies or financial institutions were not able to. We continue to see the extreme difficulty many homeowners are facing during COVID-19, and the additional barriers to fixing needed for home repairs.
Our home improvement grant can be used for a number of essential improvements including roof repair/replacement, porch repair/replacement, foundation/tuck-pointing, structural repairs, energy/water efficiency improvements, HVAC repairs, replacement of sewer laterals/piping, installation of rain barrels, some exterior painting, and security improvements. While funds are still available please visit our website for more information regarding our program and to apply.
Shout Out to Our Supporters!
A special thanks to all of the volunteers who come out and participate in community cleanups, art projects, park improvement projects, events, committee work, and more!
We couldn't do it without you!
We are currently seeking volunteers for The Beerline Shuffle, as well as several upcoming cleanups on the Beerline Trail. Click the link below for more information and to register.