The North End neighborhood, has existed as an invisible, working poor community for generations. For more than 150 years it has served as a home for newly arriving immigrants and the poor. In 2019, this has not changed. Our neighborhood continues to thrive on its diversity and accessibility for first time homeowners and renters. In recent years it was designated an “Area of Concentrated Poverty” by the Metropolitan Council and includes the following statistics:
70 percent represent ethnic minorities,
29 percent are foreign born,
36 percent live below the poverty line,
32 percent people are under the age of 18,
61 percent live in rental housing,
47 percent represent cost-burdened households.
Living in the McDonough community is like living on a safe campus. Most of us don’t know each other by name but we know each other by what we look like. We see each other everyday as neighbors. We smile at each other. Maybe see each other at the community center, the garden, bus stop or whatever.
Resident, Parent & Chef
I came here from Chicago in 1998. I haven’t had any problems living in this neighborhood. People are nice. They share. The kids get along. I haven’t been made to feel different. That’s why I stayed here. I raised four children here. I never had any problems. The Mississippi School is wonderful to the kids, neighborhood and parents. When I felt that and saw that - that’s what I was looking for and that’s why I stayed
Saw Soe & Thaw Hso
Residents, Students & Artists
What you’re building, whatever you put out there is what you get. I see that the neighborhood is strong; our neighborhood is like a fruit of their own doing. I see that the neighborhood has a lot of kids and they grow old here. There are generations and we’re in our own personal battle. I’m blessed by the love here.
Resident, Community Organizer & Owner of *50 for 50*
I got released from prison in November 2016 and I literally woke up one morning and I remember thinking “I'm gonna’ become somebody that will champion my community.” Every morning I wake up I have to challenge - challenge the police, challenge the district council, challenge our local government officials…. all these people. But every morning I wake up and the only person I have to challenge is the person I'm staring at in the mirror. Every day I challenge that person to be better than the person yesterday.
Mary & Shannon Magnan
Life long residentS
The North End is a working person's neighborhood. It’s diverse and you can learn so much from the people that live here because of the diversity. You are exposed to all social and economic groups - all ages and races. You can learn respect from certain cultures. I believe the person that gave me the connection to this neighborhood is my father. He was always really respectful of the people in the area. I remember a thing he would say about Rice Street - “Rice Street never goes down hill. It just kind of stays the same.”
RESIDENT & PARENT
The North End is a safe, quiet place. I have been living here for six years now and my kids work and also attend school in the neighborhood.
The North end neighborhood is a very safe and clean place to raise a family. I love living here!
RESIDENT, Artist & Student
My mom has been a positive influence on me because she is very caring which influences me to be kind.
RESIDENT, Mother, Artist & Educator
There is diversity in the North End, there are a lot of Immigrants like me. I feel related to the neighborhood. There Is a bond and so I have always stayed here.
RESIDENT, Gardener & Elder
Every year, Xia waits for the ground to thaw, and for spring to make its way so she can spend her days, growing food and medicine in her garden on Front Avenue. She migrated from Laos decades ago with her husband and children and has since made the North End her home.
RESIDENT, Warrior & Elder
I love this neighborhood. No one is mean to me. But I'm getting evicted, and I have depression. Sometimes, I imagine that I am back in Laos, just to get away from reality. I don't even know anyone personally living in this neighborhood. But I fought for this country during the aftermath of the Vietnam war. But I'm getting evicted soon.
RESIDENT, ArTIST & Administrator
There are a lot of good resettlement programs here. I think there are a lot of federal government policies and resources that were located in the Twin Cities. This is why there are so many Hmong people here. That’s really how we ended up here. I think that’s why I love it so much here.
I think that the community here is strong. Its been quite a privilege to be surrounded by a vibrant Hmong community my entire life. As I traveled around the world and as I engaged in other Hmong communities it’s just something that I have come to appreciate more and more as I get older.
Sadie jones hill & Charles Hill
RESIDENTS & family
The North End holds many family traditions - one of mine being family and friends coming together to watch football games in the garage. Everyone comes to share in the experience and to relish in the sense of community bonding. Our house is like a second home to our neighbors. It has become known as a place of comfort, support, and fun.
BOUA TANG YANG
RESIDENT & Veteran of the Secret War in Laos
Boua Tong Yang was wounded 3 times during his service in the Secret Army of the Vietnam War. Before serving in the war, he was an elementary school teacher. Before migrating to the United States, he received a purple heart, along with other medals for heroic service and is recognized as a U.S. Veteran. In Yang’s own words: “I am extremely lucky to be alive and fortunate to be here with everyone.”