Milwaukee Rising and 180º Properties: Turning lives and neighborhoods around

If you have ever had to explain to someone what “pulling a 180” means, you might talk about a skateboard trick. Or, you could bring out a protractor and explain it in terms of geometry. But if you really want to show someone what a 180 is, show them what is happening here in Wisconsin with Common Ground and our Milwaukee Rising campaign.

Neighborhoods that seemed destined for a decline are now rebounding, and lives that were once working against the community are now working for it.

June 14th marked Common Ground’s official kick-off of the Milwaukee Rising and 180° Properties community revitalization project. 180° Properties is a service enterprise that offers sustainable job training for the disadvantaged, in neighborhoods hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis. As we stood outside of the first property to be rehabbed together, there was a palpable sense of encouragement, accomplishment and anticipation for the future.

The property, located on 2500 block of N. 52nd St, was donated by Bank of America – one of the five banks we have been working with since the programs inception. With neighbors, city officials, partner organizations and members of the press in attendance, along with the Common Ground team, this kick-off event was a fantastic visual reminder of the progress we are making through this collaboration.

As Cindy Holler of Mercy Housing proclaimed, we are turning lemons into lemonade. “And this kind of lemonade only works when you have a Common Ground on the ground… I hope the world is watching,” she went on to say, “People have to replicate what Common Ground

has done.”

You can read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s coverage of the kick-off here.

For more information about Milwaukee Rising, please visit our page.