ThriveOn Community Engagement
THRIVE ON COLLABORATION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

If It's For the Community, It's With the Community

The ThriveOn Collaboration is built on the premise that the way to serve and support our communities is to communicate, collaborate and embrace them as vital, essential partners. That’s why in 2019, the Collaboration began its journey by engaging with individuals in the Harambee, Halyard Park and Brewers Hill neighborhoods to help clarify our vision, shape our goals, and guide our actions. And throughout our process and progress, our connection with the community has been continuous and productive.

ThriveOn Collaboration How We Connect

How we Connect

The Collaboration stays in touch with the views and values of the community through continuous dialogue and interaction with residents, organizations and other community leaders, which includes:

  • Neighborhood Resident Visioning Sessions
  • One-on-One Interviews
  • Meet & Greets
  • Community Festivals & Events
  • Neighborhood Association Meetings
  • Virtual and in-person office hours

We have also established a Community Advisory Council, which integrates community perspective and advises on the use of space and resources, including recommending grants in our communities.

NEIGHBORHOOD FOCUS

Every few weeks, we shine a light on a special aspect of one of our three neighborhoods, Halyard Park, Harambee, and Brewers Hill.

Historic Halyard Park

Halyard Park has been a great Milwaukee neighborhood and a good place to live for a very long time. Built on a foundation of perseverance and commitment established by community residents decades ago, this small enclave has done well. Halyard Park is located between Interstate 43 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive; and, North Avenue and Walnut Street. The neighborhood was first settled in the mid-1800s by mostly German immigrants.

From the 1920s to the 1930s, African-Americans became predominant in the neighborhood. It was during this period that Ardie and Wilbur Halyard came to Milwaukee, and founded the Columbia Savings and Loan Association in 1924. The neighborhood continued to grow healthy and vibrant in commerce and culture. Unfortunately, the mid-1960s brought serious disruptions, including the building of Interstate 43 which ripped through the heart of Halyard Park and other parts of the Milwaukee Bronzeville community. But Halyard Park and its residents proved to be resilient.

In the mid-1970s, The United Realty Group, Inc., led by Beechie Brooks, purchased land from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee with plans to build a subdivision with new ranch style houses. The Halyard’s Columbia Savings and Loan Association financed some of those first homes in the neighborhood and many of them still stand along the tree lined streets of Halyard Park.

ThriveOn  Collaboration Historic Halyard Park

One of the many reasons Halyard Park is still such a special place today is the strong attachment its people have to the neighborhood. Longtime Halyard Park resident, Ms. Lennie Mosley, talks fondly about the area. “We watch out for our neighbors. When someone goes out of town, we keep an eye on things. And when someone moves into the community, we often send over flowers or a fruit basket to welcome them.” For those who live in the neighborhood, that feeling of belonging is distinct and ever-present.

COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS

The ThriveOn Collaboration is continually investing in its vision and priorities.

The ThriveOn Small Business Loan program was established in 2021 to help build back jobs and economic participation in Milwaukee neighborhoods. The program is providing access to capital through low-interest loans, giving local small businesses the opportunity to reopen, hire or sustain or improve business operations in a variety
of ways.

So far, $780,000 in loans has been distributed to 17 small businesses, all owned by people of color. Nearly 80% of the businesses are located in the Halyard Park, Harambee and Brewers Hill neighborhoods. Recipients also receive access to ongoing technical assistance to advance businesses’ long-term success. The loans are funded through the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s impact investing program.

Other commitments to the community have included:

  • Helping to prevent resident displacement through partnership in the MKE United Anti-Displacement fund.
  • Approving approximately $100 million for joint investment in new building improvement and development, including streetscaping, exterior art and green design.
  • Providing more than $13.2 million in grants through the Foundation and Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment in support of COVID-19 relief, response, and recovery related to food, shelter, health, education, economic stabilization and more.

THRIVE ON COLLABORATION NEWSLETTERS

Contact communityengagement@greatermilwaukeefoundation.org to be added to the mailing list for the ThriveOn Collaboration newsletter.

Office Hours

Join the ThriveOn Collaboration for Office Hours. Each session, information is shared about neighborhood programs, resources, and community spaces and places. We also highlight organizations that are impacting the neighborhoods adjacent to the ThriveOn King building.

Got questions about ThriveOn Collaboration or ThriveOn King? Just want to be in the know? Join us!

View office hours information (PDF)

In-Person Sessions

Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30am
at Clinton Rose Senior Center (3045 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212)

Wednesdays from 2-4 pm

at Pete’s Fruit Market (2323 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212)

Fridays from 10am-noon
at Gee’s Clippers in the vault (2200 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212)
 

Virtual Session (via Zoom)

Tuesdays from 5-7pm
Zoom registration | Meeting ID: 808 490 0247