American Indian Family Center
on St. Paul’s East Side underwent a $50,000 renovation.
The center provides family and employment support services to American Indian families, many of whom live in the neighborhood.
Funds for the project came from Drops of Good: The Maxwell House Community Project,
which awarded grants to three similar centers across the country, according to center information.
Renovations at each center began in July, according to the program’s website.
Minneapolis’s Rebuilding Together Twin Cities,
a nonprofit organization that focuses on home repair, nominated the American Indian Family Center for the grant.
Michaela Brown, a spokesperson for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, says via email that the project has helped to create a “more welcoming and functional space for the 800 families served each year by the Center.”
It’s a visible transformation, inside and out. For starters, the building’s exterior went from a drab gray to bright yellow, with a decorative trim that has Dakota and Ojibwe designs. The site has been landscaped as well.
Over the summer, 250 volunteers helped knock down interior walls, tear out carpet and ceiling tiles, paint walls, and more, an East Side Review
One major addition to the building through the remodeling project is a “teaching kitchen,” where the organization can expand its programs related to nutrition and cooking, Brown explains.
Previously, the center, which works to prevent diabetes, had to rent kitchen space elsewhere.
The lobby and play area have also been upgraded.
Janice LaFloe, a center staffer, says in the East Side Review story, "We're in a pretty worn and used building and so certainly the significance for me is to create that new, fresh, welcoming environment."
In a thank-you note to those who pitched in, Elona Street-Stewart, president of the board overseeing the center, adds that the “miracle makeover” puts the agency in a better position to serve the people who come in its doors.
Source: Michaela Brown, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities
Writer: Anna Pratt