Returning Home to Midtown

We’re back with another edition of Good News Tues to spread a little joy from our Habitat family to yours. We’re all in this together. Here’s hoping this brings a little light to your day. 

Returning Home to Midtown

Deborah remembers the Midtown neighborhood fondly. She grew up just off of 29th street and North Avenue. Decades later and Deborah is embarking on something she didn’t know if she’d ever do: become a homeowner.

She’d been living in a cramped two bedroom apartment that’d become increasingly tight as her family had grown. Deborah has seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 3-17, that she loves hosting. However, her apartment just didn’t have space for the family gatherings she holds so dearly.

So, Deborah partnered with Milwaukee Habitat to build a brand new three bedroom home just a few small blocks from where she grew up.

Beaming with joy, Deborah shared this message from her newly completed home.

“I never expected I’d be going back to the old neighborhood,” she says. “But I was driving down {29th} street with all the new homes and it’s looking like a neighborhood again.”

In the early 1980’s the Midtown neighborhood and the surrounding 30th Street Industrial Corridor were devastated when thousands of manufacturing jobs were lost as companies moved their operations out of the city. In October of 1979 there were 165,007 manufacturing jobs in Milwaukee. Within a four-year span the city lost more than 52,000 manufacturing jobs, upending blue-collar neighborhoods like Midtown.

As employment opportunities dwindled, as did the population and property values. 2008’s great recession further depreciated property values and diminished opportunity in an already hard-hit part of our city.

Deborah is excited to be a part of the revitalization of this neighborhood where she holds such fond memories. She’s moving onto a block in Milwaukee’s Midtown neighborhood that’s been transformed from empty lots into rows of brand new safe, affordable Habitat homes. As part of our Midtown 100 project, these homes will help make up the highest concentration of affordable single-family homes built in Milwaukee since WWII. This is the power of communities coming together. This is the power of home.

Help us revitalize neighborhoods like Midtown. You can transform our community.
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