Spring 2015  
Opening Doors Newsletter
From your friends at NeighborWorks Lincoln

In This Issue
High School Students Use Art to Engage Capital
Vision Planning Underway
NeighborWorks Lincoln receives award
Lincoln Policy Network hosts City Council Candidate Forum
NWL's Post-Purchase Education Class a Success
Upcoming NWL Events
Quick Links
Be A Good Neighbor

Establish a Neighborhood Watch group: It is a great project for a neighborhood watch group to develop a contact list with residents' names and phone numbers. A neighborhood watch group can be set up on a city block, in an apartment complex, or on one floor of an apartment complex. Investing some time in getting to know your neighbors will help keep relationships harmonious and make it easier to handle any problems that may arise.


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High School Students Use Art to Engage Capital View Residents


Map of Capitol View area.


Capitol View is one of the most diverse areas in the city with regards to age, income, language, cultures and education. The neighborhood boundaries run within 13th Street east to Capitol Parkway and L Street south to G Street. Capitol View is rich in history with many of the area houses and apartment buildings providing a glimpse of Lincoln 100+ years ago. The location could be its biggest asset with downtown, the Capitol Building, state and city government offices and UNL nearby; its location is so convenient that 21.4% of its residents walk, bike or use public transportation. Finally, there are new landlords in the area who are investing in their properties which is making a very positive impact on the area. Capitol View neighborhood has seen its share of changes over the years. In the 1960's-1980's, single family houses were replaced by multiplex apartment buildings at a high rate. As more properties have been transformed to rentals throughout the years, resident engagement has fluctuated. The area is densely populated with 2,573 residents; Capitol View is 96.4% rental, 3.6 % owner occupied with a 15% vacancy rate.


Recently, NeighborWorks Lincoln received a $10,000 grant from NeighborWorks America to work with the neighborhood to increase resident engagement. These funds will allow NWL to team up with the recently organized Capitol View Neighborhood Association, collaborate with the Lincoln Police Department to provide landlords with resources for property management, and lastly, to carry out an engagement project with area residents and youth. Thus far, there have been two stakeholder meetings to discuss property management resources and to identify action steps to begin engaging the community. Tree planting and landscape projects have been planned for the summer and fall.


On Saturday, May 2nd there will be a Block Party at 18th & H Streets hosted by Jacob's Well, a resident-led youth group in the area, NWL, and the Capitol View Neighborhood Association. Students from the Lincoln Public School's Arts & Humanities Focus Program have been working on a portable mural and chalk board that will be used to capture people's ideas of what they would like to see the vacant commercial building at 2001 J Street become. Suggestions so far have included a coffee shop, a youth gathering place with computers and tutoring or an art studio.  If you have an idea for a new use for the 2001 J Street building, stop by the Block Party on May 2nd from 2PM - 4PM at 18th & H. Join in on the conversation!


Vision Planning Underway in
South Downtown


Map of South of Downtown area (courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star)


There is a new revitalization project in town, and NeighborWorks Lincoln is excited to be a part of it. The wheels are churning and a development plan is in the making for the revival of South of Downtown aka SoDo (A - M Street and 9th - 17th Street). The Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) says that "the new initiative blends community involvement and planning to develop the next chapter in the exciting story unfolding in and around Lincoln's downtown." 


A call for action was initiated by Barbara Bartle, President of LCF, after which a Steering Committee was formed full of diverse key stakeholders. Michael Renken, NWL Chief Executive Officer has been asked to be on the SoDo Steering Committee and is thrilled to have a seat at the table. According to LCF, the planning will be facilitated by the consulting firm H3 Studio and Sinclair Hille Architects and will involve community input with a broad grassroots approach over the next six months.


NWL Chief Operating Officer, Shawn Ryba, says of the project, "There is so much energy and excitement in Downtown Lincoln right now. The momentum is creating a buzz for people who are wanting opportunities to live and work in or near downtown. There are so many cool things about SoDo including the cultural and ethnic diversity, small businesses, historic architecture and urban vibe. NeighborWorks Lincoln is excited to be a part of this effort. We believe the community visioning and planning process will work hard to engage the public in helping to set the stage for future progress in the SoDo area."


NeighborWorks Lincoln receives award 

from PAL


Integration of Old & New Award from PAL

NeighborWorks Lincoln received an award at the Preservation Association of Lincoln's 23rd annual meeting and awards presentation on March 8th. NeighborWorks Lincoln was presented with the Integration of Old and New Award for our recent renovation of the historic house at 2530 Q, which we proudly call our new home. NeighborWorks Lincoln was among 16 recipients to be honored for their preservation work in Lincoln.

As a result of initiating a Capital Campaign, NeighborWorks Lincoln purchased the home at 2530 Q Street in 2012, with the intention of transforming it into our permanent office space.  The City of Lincoln designated the Reynolds House as a Lincoln Landmark and approved a special permit to accommodate NeighborWorks Lincoln's plans.  Construction began in early 2013, and staff officially moved into the completed office space at the end of 2014.

NWL office at 2530 Q Street

Lincoln Policy Network hosts City Council Candidate Forum


Lincoln City Council Candidates field questions from LPN members

On March 25th, Lincoln Policy Network hosted City Council candidates who took questions from LPN members. Six of the eight candidates were able to attend and discussed various aspects surrounding LPN's first priority, neighborhood preservation. Find meeting minutes detailing questions and answers on our website: http://nwlincoln.org/lincoln-city-council-candidates-form-panel-lpn-meeting/.

NWL's Post-Purchase Education Class
a Success


Nebraska Watershed Management's Ellen Wright presents to the class.

NWL held its first Post Purchase Education class at our new training facility on Saturday, March 21st, where nineteen homebuyer clients were in attendance.


Our own Gary Rumbaugh told attendees all about lawn mower maintenance to ready their mowers for the new spring and summer seasons. He discussed how keeping the filters clean, oil changed and wheels straight can help your mower have a longer life. Ellen Wright from Nebraska Watershed Management informed the class on ground water supply and how to tell what your lawn needs before purchasing costly fertilizers and weed killers. Attendees also learned about the types of grasses and plants that require less water and upkeep. Claire Pohlen rounded out the panel of speakers with a presentation on the importance of budgeting and how costs of home ownership is typically greater than the costs of renting.


NWL's Gary Rumbaugh (right) presents a new lawnmower to winner Majid Alhijam (left).

Several drawings were held for Home Depot "DIY" manuals, t-shirts and NWL mugs. The coup des gras drawing was for a self-propel lawn mower, and Majid Alhijam was the lucky winner! As you can see by the photo to the right, Majid was a happy homeowner that morning!


Post Purchase classes are held two times a year in spring and fall, and are intended for our recent home buyer clients. If you were not invited and would like to be, please email Bill Porn at billp@nwlincoln.org and we will add you to the invitation list.


Upcoming NWL Events


Opening Doors Events

Please join us at one of our upcoming Opening Doors events, where you can meet staff and volunteers from NWL and learn a little bit more about all of the work we are doing to revitalize the Lincoln community.


At these information sessions you'll learn more about our mission and hear firsthand stories from individuals whose lives have been impacted by the work that we do.


Opening Doors Events are being held at our brand new training facility on the third Tuesday of the month for one hour with light refreshments provided. The Opening Doors Events this summer will be on May 19th, June 30th and July 21st. Please register at www.nwlincoln.org or email Mary Nelson at mary.nelson@nwlincoln.org to reserve your spot today!


Nebraska Home Sales Realtor, Russ Meyer tells guests about Real Estate Development at Opening Doors Event.

NeighborWorks Week
Dedicated volunteers, civic leaders and residents will come together the week of June 6th-14th to celebrate local neighborhood projects during National NeighborWorks Week-a week-long celebration of revitalization and transformation in neighborhoods across the country.

NeighborWorks Lincoln will be participating in a number of activities across Lincoln during NeighborWorks Week 2015. The events will highlight projects that are the result of the hard work and dedication of several community members and leaders, who have worked with NeighborWorks Lincoln and/or completed NWL's resident leadership training courses. Keep an eye out for an updated schedule of events coming soon to our website!

NeighborWorks Week in Lincoln is June 6th - 14th.