Groundbreaking of Olu's Center set to revitalize north Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn -- New life is now coming to an empty building in north Minneapolis after the groundbreaking of Olu's Center, a new intergenerational daycare for children and seniors.

Crews are now beginning construction of the center, which is a dream realized for founder and CEO Gloria Freeman.

She operates seven residential homes for people with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and mental illness. Freeman said when she became a grandmother seven years ago, she realized many adults in need benefit from being around children. She's now bringing her vision to the old City Inc. building, which has been empty three years.

"So it's a big deal now we are taking something closed up and putting life back into it and to hear the sound of children is something wonderful," said Freeman.

Freeman said finding financing was a feat, and a process that took years and a "village". The new facility is made possible the assistance of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and to help secure a CRF (Community Reinvestment Fund USA) loan of $1.2 million to buy and renovate the former City Inc. building.

The new venture was also made possible by the Ours to Own organization, which allows everyday citizens to invest in projects like Olu's Center.

Olu's Center will open in January of 2015. It will also provide 25 full-time jobs to members of the local community and will offer benefits, retirement and training.


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