Vista 44: A Fabulous Opportunity

Dan Gregory November 13, 2019

On Monday, November 4, Ann Van Sickle testified at a Hopkins City Council meeting regarding her support of Beacon’s Vista 44 development. The following is her statement to the council, lightly edited to remove personal information.

My name is Ann Van Sickle and I support Vista 44 for Hopkins.  

My husband and I live just four blocks from here. We have owned our home for eleven years and have occupied it for four so we have been on both sides of the ownership/rental equation. Six of our children attended and graduated from the Hopkins Public schools so we know first hand the benefits of living in a community with schools of this caliber. This would be a critical advantage for the families of Vista 44.

I believe that we, as individuals and as a community, have a moral obligation to help families out of poverty and homelessness. The Vista 44 project proposed by Beacon is our best opportunity as a community to do this. Their track record is solid and their model is proven. They not only put a roof over a family’s head – they provide the support and tools needed to stabilize their lives and help them move forward as contributing members of the world. Starting right here in Hopkins.

As a volunteer receptionist at Resource West, I have met some of the folks who might live at Vista 44. When they come to us looking for help, I am consistently impressed by the fact that they are hard working, hopeful people who are always, always grateful for whatever assistance we can provide. They are not “entitled”. They fully expect to do their part. If we can give them a chance to focus on something other than where their children will sleep at night I believe that they will seize the opportunity and run with it.

I agree that there are other needs to be addressed in our community. Senior housing in downtown Hopkins for long-term residents who want to downsize and stay here is really important – that will be us one day!  Improved parking – absolutely! Thoughtful development of the light rail corridor – essential! But these are NOT mutually exclusive propositions.  Sooner or later we WILL have all those things. But right now – right here – today – we have this fabulous opportunity – let’s not waste it!

Please – approve this project – for Beacon – for Hopkins – and for the families that need it so desperately.