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Service providers and volunteers offer help in North Minneapolis as reality sets in

The Salvation Army reported raising and spending more than $120,000 so far for emergency assistance to 4,238 tornado victims.
Tony Webster/Creative Commons
The Salvation Army reported raising and spending more than $120,000 so far for emergency assistance to 4,238 tornado victims.

Northside Minneapolis neighbors reeling from the effects of Sunday's killer tornado continued to line up at the city's disaster relief station at Farview Park Thursday, with another 1,000 expected.

With winds calmed, the sun shining and reality setting in they're seeking the stuff of beginnings: housing, food stamps, duplicate state I.D.s, duplicate prescriptions for medications, mops and bleach for cleanup.

It was the second day in a row that 300 public- and private-service providers and volunteers have set up at the park on 29th Avenue N., drawing about 2,000 there so far. The recovery center will be open through Monday.

In addition, a $200,000 rebuilding fund set up by The Minneapolis Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way in partnership with to help return the community to normalcy was fast closing in on its goal Friday morning with only about $26,000 to go.

Both United Way and the Foundation early this week announced their pledge to give $100,000 each to the rebuilding effort, if matched by community donations. The response to the Minnesota Helps-North Minneapolis Recovery Fund so far has been "huge," says Becky Borsheim, the project contact at the Foundation (which is a sponsor of Community Sketchbook). Borsheim said she has no doubt donations will exceed the match.

"We're hoping to raise a lot more money than that for the Northside and rebuild with them,'' Borsheim said.

Late yesterday the Salvation Army reported raising and spending more than $120,000 so far for emergency assistance to 4,238 tornado victims and announced it is setting up its familiar Red Kettles at tonight's Twins' game to accept additional donations.

The city was poised to announce a volunteer cleanup day.

In another fundraising effort, singer and recording artist Larry Long and a slew of other local performing artists are coming together for a June 12 concert at the State Theatre, thanks in great part to donations of the performance space and theater union help, Long says.

"It doesn't matter what side of town you live on, when tragedy strikes, we're all on the same side,'' says Long, who counts among his friends many musicians with Northside roots.

Signing on for the concert "Northside: A Twin Cities Community Benefit," Long says, are: Sounds of Blackness, Soul Asylum, Robert Robinson, GB Leighton, Tonia Hughes, Sara Renner and Paris Bennett. Details are still being worked out but will be available here.

The NorthPoint Food Shelf is seeking donations of easy prep food items like canned tuna and peanut butter, personal hygiene items, diapers and bottled water.

Yesterday at the park, Minneapolis school reps were present to talk about revised bus routes to get kids to school, buses were on hand to shuttle people to nearby clinics, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center staff to write those prescriptions, and a mental health stress team ready to listen, said Matthew Ayres, with the Office to End Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, at the site.

The Salvation Army continued handing out food and clothing vouchers, bus tokens and more. At last report, overwhelmed by donations of items such food, clothing and diapers, The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to sort and distribute the goods, as well as cash donations.

For continuing relief updates, checkout the City of Minneapolis' Facebook page.

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Comments (1)

Its really good feeling that you can help your neighbor. The volunteers who helped in North Minneapolis helping poorly made. ​​