PAGE MENU toggle sub nav

Share This:

Facebook Twitter Email

News Release: McKnight announces three grants to aid in northside tornado recovery

August 16, 2011, Minneapolis, MN

The McKnight Foundation announces three commitments totaling $150,000 to aid in ongoing recovery for north Minneapolis neighborhoods impacted by the devastating tornado of May 2011.

McKnight does not typically support disaster relief efforts, but the tornado directly impacted an area of the city with great need and in which the Foundation has invested years in grantmaking to support effective regional development, the arts and artists, and children and youth. With these high stakes in mind, McKnight’s board approved these recovery grants outside the Foundation’s standard grantmaking guidelines.

One grant of $75,000 to Urban Homeworks, Minneapolis, supports ongoing tornado relief efforts coordinated by the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT). A portion of the funds will help cover immediate expenses incurred over this summer, related to initial clean-up and repair work on housing and other structures. The grant will also help fund a staff coordinator position at NCRT to assist residents to navigate the insurance system, help plan and implement long-term restoration and rebuilding strategies, and organize local minority subcontractors. Among NCRT’s goals is to create jobs and economic stability for northside residents; throughout rebuilding, NCRT will work to ensure that northside residents and businesses are positioned to benefit from any economic exchanges that come as a result of the tornado.

A second grant of $25,000 is for short-term rental assistance to north Minneapolis households impacted by the tornado. This grant was approved for the Family Housing Fund, Minneapolis, on behalf of Heading Home Hennepin and the Office to End Homelessness, a joint office of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. McKnight’s funding helps provide 1-3 month rent subsidies for households who are able to sustain ongoing housing, but who need more support than the damage deposit and first month's rent that Hennepin County currently provides. In addition to rental assistance, some flexible funding also addresses other small needs to help affected families maintain housing. All activities are coordinated through the Office to End Homelessness.

Finally, a grant of $50,000 supports the Minnesota Helps North Minneapolis Recovery Fund, coordinated by the Minneapolis Foundation in partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way. McKnight’s grant helps with immediate and long-term efforts for emergency relief, housing, basic needs, and small business support. The Fund was created to meet the needs of the individuals, families, nonprofits, and businesses impacted by the storm; contributions are pooled and distributed to support those most affected by this tragedy, both now and in the coming months. Individual donations to the Recovery Fund are accepted at, and 100 percent of donations are redistributed to provide support where it is most needed.


The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $96 million in 2010.