The following article appeared in the May 2017 issue of Inspire, the newsletter of Wayzata Community Church in Wayzata, MN. Wayzata Community is one of a number of West Metro congregations working to make Cranberry Ridge possible.
Were you aware that there are now more homeless people in the suburbs of the Twin Cities than there are in the urban areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul? Hard to believe, but it is true. Homelessness, and the lack of affordable housing, are challenging issues everywhere, including the West Metro.
It is against this backdrop that the Community Housing Committee joined with non-profit developer Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and Interfaith Outreach, the provider of on-site services, to build a 40-50 unit affordable housing initiative for working families. Approximately 10% of the units will be designated for families experiencing long term homelessness. In order to broaden the reach of community support the West Metro Housing Initiative was formed, currently with six active west metro congregations. After meetings with city staff and elected officials from surrounding communities the city of Plymouth was recommended for the site. Beacon recently signed a purchase agreement on a two acre site near the intersection of Hwy 55 and County Rd. 101. WCC has pledged $500,000 toward the funding of this initiative.
On March 30th about 100 leaders from the west metro faith community gathered in Mithun Hall to celebrate the public unveiling of initial plans for Cranberry Ridge. However, there is still much work to be done. This summer the Plymouth Planning Commission will hold a public zoning meeting for the site. In anticipation of community resistance, it will be crucial to have as many supportive members of the community as possible at the meeting. Final approval will then need to come from the City Council. If you are able offer your support at the Planning Commission meeting (you do not need to be a Plymouth resident) please contact Mark Bayley at firstname.lastname@example.org or Erika Kringen at email@example.com.
Each Sunday in worship we repeat the words from Micah: “Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.” What does justice look like? A banner hanging outside Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis says it best: “Justice is what Love looks like in public.”