Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Homeless Program Expands Urban Agriculture

MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary buying city lots for urban gardens food program.

By - Jan 12th, 2021 05:37 pm
2652-2658 N. 24th Pl. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

2652-2658 N. 24th Pl. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary will purchase three vacant lots from the City of Milwaukee as part of an effort to build out a daytime resource center.

The charitable organization has already been using the N. 24th Pl. lots for two years for an urban gardening project with raised beds. The organization will now look to install a rain harvesting system.

“The goal is to continue developing the garden space and provide fresh food for the neighborhood and Milwaukee’s homeless population,” says a city report.

The three adjoining lots, totaling 11,205 square feet, will be sold for $1 each. The addresses are 2652 N. 24th Pl., 2656 N. 24th Pl. and 2658 N. 24th Pl.

The organization operates out of a five-story former factory across the street at 2461 W. Center St. Construction work is currently underway on the first floor to improve the building. Green space on the east side of the building has been repurposed as a park.

The organization currently provides food and supplies from a loading dock in the rear of the building.

The homeless sanctuary is led by Sister MacCanon Brown. A member of the Sisters for Christian Community, Brown was one of the cofounders of Repairers of the Breach.

The sanctuary website says future plans include rehabilitation of the upper floors to provide medical care, employment support and urban agriculture programs.

Department of City Development real estate analyst Yves LaPierre told members of the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee on Tuesday morning that the lots the city is selling would remain taxable through a deed restriction.

The committee unanimously approved the land sale.

The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service profiled the organization in 2018. A call for volunteers to meet a surge in demand for services was issued in December.

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