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:
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.
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.
The storage area, shown above, is only part of what is available through the tool loan program.
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.
Currently, the majority to residents utilizing the program are single female homeowners.
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.