Acquire, Restore, Inspire, Sustain, Engage (A.R.I.S.E!) is a long-term integrated strategy to protect our community from physical and cultural displacement while enlivening our neighborhood and developing valuable trade skills among our residents of all ages.
Building socio-economic infrastructure to create and preserve opportunities allows residents to develop in place by creating a neighborhood ecology that allows our folks to be productive and practice collective ownership to build community wealth, develop their trade skills, and increase self-determination.
BUILDING UP LAND TRUST
To protect our community from external pressures, we purchased 65 vacant and abandoned properties in a contiguous 8-block area of our neighborhood to be held and operated as a community land trust. We seek to change not only the look and feel of our blighted neighborhood, but to restore self-reliance, purpose, and vision within the people who have weathered the worst of times here and face the prospect of being priced out in the near future. Ultimately, our vision is to generate stability, wealth, and wellness by creating the type of community—clean, healthy, safe, and prosperous—all of us wish we could live in. We use our hands to rebuild our buildings, our creativity to heal our spirits, and model values to transform our culture and bring us together.
Work at the co-op is done by residents. We have three Neighbor Labor crews that handle demolition, construction, and maintenance of our properties. This approach allows us to leverage the trade skills present in our neighborhood, promote worker-ownership, and create economic onramps for residents looking for opportunities in the building trades.
Our approach toward worker-ownership is grounded in the belief that our youth are our greatest hope for a better future. We have a year-round apprenticeship program that grooms local youth to join Neighbor Labor crews and to eventually lead a broad range of CO-OP NWJ’s operational, administrative, and creative functions.