January 2016

Building a bread oven to feed neighbors

Slicing bread at Hamline United Methodist Church

This story is one of many examples showing how local organizations use data from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul neighborhood profiles to inspire action.

What were you aiming to do?

At Hamline Church United Methodist, we use Minnesota Compass to better understand the community of which we're a member: Hamline-Midway neighborhood in St. Paul. A strongly held value of the church is to meet people where they are, and Compass data helps us to get a better picture of who our neighbors are and how we can address needs in the community. In addition, we want to be as welcoming a space as possible, and that involves getting to know the community and offering programs that are meaningful to people in the community.

Which information did you draw on?

We generally focus on statistics on age, income, ethnicity, and household size in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. Information about St. Paul as a whole is also important to see how the Hamline-Midway area compares to the city. We also compare our neighborhood to other neighborhoods.

What happened?

Since using Compass data, we’ve become more aware of issues right in the neighborhood, such as the diversity of income levels and poverty, and as a result we have implemented more social justice-related programs to assist lower-income members of the neighborhood. For example, we have a new outdoor bread oven that we are using for food-related ministries, and we offer a service of passing out blessing bags with food, soap, and other materials for people in need who stop by the church.

Also, while our congregation has a large contingent of older citizens, Compass data has helped us rethink how we can be more welcoming and offer better programs to those between 18-65 years old, which is the dominant age range in the neighborhood.

Submitted by Ross Hackenmiller, outreach coordinator, Hamline Church United Methodist


See the profile: Hamline-Midway neighborhood

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Our predefined neighborhood information was recently updated. Did you know?

  • The Cedar Riverside neighborhood has the largest share of workers in the health care and social assistance industry (29%)
  • The Payne-Phalen neighborhood is home to the highest number of residents of color: nearly 19,500, or 63% of the population
  • Household median income ranges from over $115,000 (Page) to $12,500 (Sumner- Glenwood)
  • Frogtown / Thomas-Dale has the highest share of households with residents under age 18 (33%); the share decreased from 42% in 2000
  • The Bryant neighborhood posts the longest commutes: 42 percent of residents (whose work is not home-based) travel 30 minutes or longer to work

Using our new custom tool:

  • Roughly 1 in 5 residents within a quarter-mile of the East Lake Street Corridor (running along Lake Street between Hiawatha Avenue and the Mississippi River) are 17 years or younger (18%)
  • In the half-mile stretch along Highway I-94 in Minneapolis' Camden and Near North communities, 19 percent of workers are in health care and social assistance. Eleven percent work in manufacturing
  • Around 90,500 people live within three miles of Minnesota's State Capitol in Saint Paul. Thirty-two percent can speak a language other than English
  • Median rent paid is $850 in the combined zip code areas of 55105 and 55116.
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Minnesota Compass
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