Each month we highlight Westminster’s community partner grant recipients. This July learn more about FreeWriters and Urban Homeworks.
by Emily McChesney
Founded by a former prosecuting attorney in 2019, FreeWriters’ mission is to give creative writing opportunities that improve mental health, reduce recidivism, and inspire hope to our neighbors who are detained and awaiting trial in the Hennepin County jail. The program utilizes the technique of “free-writing”—prompt-based, spontaneous writing followed by reading aloud. The class reaches those detained at a crucial time in their lives, as they may sit in jail for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years with no access to emotional wellness programming, windows, or time outdoors while awaiting oft-delayed court dates. FreeWriters’ approach helps participants recognize that they already possess the talent and will to choose a more rewarding, less perilous path. FreeWriters is a first-time grant recipient this year.
by Suzanne Kelley
The mission of Urban Homeworks is to perpetuate the hope of Jesus Christ through innovative community development. Their vision involves neighbors raising their collective voices to address injustice and overcome barriers to equity. Urban Homeworks’ People Oriented Development model engages residents in deciding what their neighborhoods will look like so that they become powerful advocates for community. Beginning with the platform of building and restoring equitable, dignified, sustainable and affordable homes, Urban Homeworks builds community and creates social change for a new and just future. This spring Urban Homeworks is joining with community beautification groups to develop plants and gardens and thereby promote nourishment, connection, guidance and power.