MHNA’s July 16 Meeting Moves to Zoom

The COVID-19 pandemic has once again thrown a wrench in plans to host an in-person quarterly meeting, so we’re taking it online in July. Please mark your calendars for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. Active members can join us via Zoom, and those who follow MHNA on Facebook can also watch the meeting live at www.facebook.com/MerleHayNeighborhood .

Management at the Northwest Community Center recently informed the MHNA board that rentals for meetings and other events are canceled at least through the end of August. To avoid missing another quarterly meeting, the MHNA board voted to try an online meeting. We plan to have At-Large City Councilwoman Connie Boesen as our primary guest speaker. One or more candidates for the Broadlawns Hospital Board of Trustees are also expected to introduce themselves. We also expect to hear public safety updates from our Neighborhood Based Service Delivery officer.

Details are still being fleshed out and we ask for everyone’s patience and understanding if there are technical difficulties. Please email us at merlehayneighborhood@gmail.com if there are any questions.

NFC Lending is Back in Merle Hay!

The Neighborhood Finance Corporation has been in the process of expanding its lending programs in the Merle Hay area and MHNA was informed in June that NFC lending is back in the entire neighborhood! NFC is a non-profit lender that aids neighborhood revitalization and homeownership via first mortgages, forgivable home repair loans, and more. To see NFC’s lending areas and learn more about their programs, visit NeighborhoodFinance.org, or call 515-246-0010.

The program enjoyed great success the last time it was available in the whole neighborhood. Let’s do even better this time. Please help spread
the word!

COVID-19 impacts on MHNA events

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing MHNA to adjust its events calendar this spring. Shortly after our newsletter went to press in late-March, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were changed to discourage gatherings of more than 10 people. We also learned after our newsletter went to press that the Northwest Community Center has canceled all meetings indefinitely.

The MHNA board plans to host a conference call in the next week to figure out how to proceed with our meeting and events schedule in the midst of the public health emergency. We will make announcements as soon as possible.

Additionally, MHNA has been informed by the Des Moines Public Works Department that the annual Spring Cleanup to Reduce Urban Blight (SCRUB) scheduled for April 18 at Hoover High School has been canceled. Visit the city’s website for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the SCRUB calendar:
https://www.dsm.city/departments/public_works-division/garbage_collection/scrub_events.php

Visit DSM.city/covid19 for the latest city updates and information on how city services are impacted.

Please check MHNA’s website and Facebook page for updates. And remember, please follow CDC guidelines, practice social-distancing, stay at home to every extent possible, and wash your hands. We look forward to seeing all of you soon!

MHNA’s next quarterly meeting is on April 16

Please mark your calendars for MHNA’s next quarterly meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave.

We have extended an invitation to Carl Voss, who was recently elected as an at-large City Council member. We’ll confirm meeting details as we get closer to April 16.

After April, our other quarterly meetings will be held on July 16 and October 15. Please plan ahead and make sure you invite your neighbors!

Mayor Frank Cownie to join MHNA on January 16

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie will be our guest speaker when the Merle Hay Neighborhood Association hosts its annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 at the Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Ave. Please join us to hear updates from Mayor Cownie and ask a few questions.

We’ll also have the president’s annual report, neighborhood news, public safety updates, and perhaps most importantly – refreshments. 🙂

The meeting will conclude with officer and board elections. If you would like to run for a seat, please send an email to merlehayneighborhood@gmail.com and we will connect you with our nominating committee. Dues must be current to run for a seat as an officer or board member.

Looking ahead, we encourage everyone to mark your calendars for MHNA’s 2020 quarterly meetings on April 16, July 16, and October 15. The April and July meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m., and the October meeting and annual supper will begin at 6 p.m. All meetings will be held at the Northwest Community Center.

Please join us and spread the word among your neighbors. Everyone is welcome! The more people who get involved, the more we can accomplish. It’s our neighborhood. Let’s work together to make it better.