My Neighbor to Love Coalition Presents Next Steps of Brainerd Housing Project
A group spoke to the Brainerd Planning Commission last week to give their proposals for the next phase of a local supportive housing project.
The non-profit My Neighbor to Love Coalition broke ground on their new project this month. That project was phase one of a new supportive housing development to help get homeless people off the streets and into an uplifting environment. The coalition believes that providing these people with the right support can help them turn their lives around for themselves and their families.
On Wednesday, the coalition presented three different proposals to the Brainerd Planning Commission for the next phase of their Creekside Community project. The first proposal was to build a centralized building that would serve as a central hub for community members to have access to different recovery resources.
“Originally we called this building a community center, but it was creating such confusion with the public, because a community center’s usually a public type of building, and this is really meant for the Creekside Community, just local residents, and then of course opening it up to different classes that we’d invite the public in once in a while,” said Vicky Kinney, My Neighbor to Love Coalition executive director. “So we changed it, we thought, ‘what is this really about?’ And so we decided it was really about holistic health, so we’re looking at physical health, mental health, relationship health, financial health. So we decided to do a health center instead.”
The health center would also be able to house individuals until apartment units have been constructed. Those apartments were in the second proposal, which would be part of one building. There would be two units made up of two bedrooms, two units with three bedrooms, and then eight studio apartments, combining for a total of 12 units.
“It’s a unique design, intentionally,” explained Kinney. “I know, people ask about that, but we’re trying to not just create box-style apartment housing, we’re trying to create a neighborhood, and because we can only have one building per lot, this is kind of a compromise to keep that neighborhood filled with front porches and still have one building.”
The third proposal is to acquire 11 lots in the hope of colliding them into four larger lots.
All three proposals were approved by the Planning Commission. The coalition will now have to present them to the Brainerd City Council.