What is LAND?

L.A.N.D. or Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development, began as a collaboration of residents and churches in 1988. These concerned citizens saw the urgent need for renovation and rejuvenation due to the declining state of the neighborhood.

The main LAND office is located at 4145 W. Lisbon Avenue. Though they attempt to reach any individual in need, their main area of operation is from 27th Street to 47the Street and Vilet Street to North Avenue:

What is HomeSource?

HomeSource began about nine years ago as a program that loaned out tools to residents. After receiving a $100,000.00 grant from UPS, it became that program that quickly evolved into much more. Seeing a need in the community for renovation resources, the founding members acted. They created a program that not only loaned out tools, but also sold the materials necessary to do home projects. Residents, who must become members by paying a fee of $25.00, have access to materials that are sold for 50% to 90% of their retail value. They can purchase cabinets, sinks, doors, lighting fixtures and paint just to name a few of the things sold at HomeSource.
Although HomeSource began in its original location with about 1,500 square feet, it has now begun to outgrow its newer location of 10,000 square feet, 7,000 of which is solely warehouse storage of material.
HomeSource, which is about 50% of LAND's current focus, has approximately 400 members. Because LAND does not pay for adverting, most of its members learned about this program from word of mouth.
All of the items for sale at HomeSource are the result of donations. They receive things from small businesses, private citizens, and large hardware chains. They offer pick-up and do not have limitation as to how far they will to get something that will be useful to their members.

Because LAND is a non-profit organization, all of the membership fees are used to cover basic every day needs such as electric and heat.
There are three full time employees and three part time employees that keep HomeSource operational. These dedicated individuals make sure that everything is in order so that members can take full advantage of all that LAND and HomeSource has to offer.

A Brief Glimpse of What HomeSource Offers

Here is only some of what can be found in the HomeSource store front:

These photos represent a small portion of the 7,000 square foot warehouse:

About the Tool Loan Program

The tool loan program offers a wide variety of tools to local residents for an annual membership fee of $25.00. All of the items available for loan were donated by those that support LAND and it's vision of neighborhood revitalization.

The storage area, shown above, is only part of what is available through the tool loan program.

Additional Tools Available Through Tool Loan

HomeSource: Working to Beautify the Community

LAND not only provides tools and building materials to residents, they also empower them with the knowledge of programs to assist them in restoring their community. Programs funded by the City of Milwaukee, such as the Minor Home Repair Program, reimburse homeowners for 50%, up to $750.00, of qualified home repairs. LAND works to ensure that word gets out about these programs so that residents can take advantage of them.

The HomeSource staff also works to encourage residents to take ownership of their neighborhood and watch for building violations. By empowering each and every individual there is a greater opportunity for positive change.

What Lay Ahead for HomeSource?

Currently, because of government grants, membership to HomeSource is limited to local residents who meet specific income qualifications that are verified by tax documents. However, LAND hopes to be able to broaden the community that they service by becoming self sufficient and offering their services to many more residents in need. They hope to accomplish this by moving to a larger location, as they have already outgrown their current warehouse.

HomeSource: A Photo Essay

Lisbon Avenue is the second location for HomeSource.
Although HomeSource has 7,000 square feet of warehouse storage, they are filled to capacity and require additional space.
Land currently has three full time and three part time employees.
Land currently services about 400 members.
Land provides their services and accepts donations all year-round.

Currently, the majority to residents utilizing the program are single female homeowners.

L.A.N.D. provides pick-up services for all donations.

Some of L.A.N.D’s Finest
While preparing to do the research for this project, I felt overwhelmed. However, once I arrived at the location, I began to have a better idea of the things that I would be looking for to include in my photo essay and felt more comfortable approaching the situation. When I first started taking the first few photos, I felt awkward and was not sure where to start. I was uncertain of the images that I was trying to capture. Once I continued to take pictures of things that I found interesting, it became much easier to keep snapping more. I felt that, for me, it was difficult to find an angle that included all the aspects that I would have liked it to encompass. A picture can only include so much and exclude the larger surroundings. It is imperative to find an image that will convey the intended message.

Engaging in a conversation with a community member was also seemingly difficult. I tried to create several questions so that my interview had a firm direction; however, once I started a dialogue with people, I found that the more I just let them talk, the more they had to offer. While I think it is important to know what sort of information you may be specifically listening for, it is also important not to structure questions too much, or you could miss points that are more interesting.

While this sort of project was new to me and I was not quite sure how to approach it, I found that the best way to handle it was to just do it because once I began, I started coming up with a clearer ideas of what I wanted to accomplish.
This photo, taken in 1895, depicts Highland Boulevard near Washington Park. This is an area that has now become rundown and is the target of a revitalization project. It shows the neighborhood as it was; fresh and welcoming. Families, such as the Pabsts, Millers, Pritzlaffs, and Usingers built mansions in this area around this time. Because the neighborhood was primarily German, it was given the nickname of Sauerkraut Boulevard.