Utah Neighborhood Connection, Focused on North Ogden, Hosts Block Party | News, Sports, Jobs


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Artist Matt Monsoon takes a break Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 after painting a mural taking shape outside Crossroads Church in North Ogden, home to the Utah Neighborhood Connection program. A neighborhood party is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the site to complete the mural and raise awareness of the Utah Neighborhood Connection program.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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Artist Brooklyn Ottens helps paint a mural Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, which is taking shape outside Crossroads Church in North Ogden, home to the Utah Neighborhood Connection program. A neighborhood party is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the site to complete the mural and raise awareness of the Utah Neighborhood Connection program.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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The design of a mural taking shape on the exterior of the Crossroads Church building in North Ogden, home to the Utah Neighborhood Connection program. A neighborhood party is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the site to complete the mural and raise awareness of the Utah Neighborhood Connection program.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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Artist Caro Nilsson, right, helps paint a mural Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, which is taking shape outside Crossroads Church in North Ogden, home to the Utah Neighborhood Connection program. Artist Matt Monsoon, who designed the mural, is on the left. A neighborhood party is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, 2022 at the site to complete the mural and raise awareness of the Utah Neighborhood Connection program.

Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner

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OGDEN — East-central Ogden is getting a lot of attention from groups focused on helping working-class families and people in need in the area.

But the need also exists in other parts of the city, and Utah Neighborhood Connection — which operates out of the Crossroads Church building — officially took shape in late 2020 with the goal of helping residents of North Ogden. .

“I think there’s a major need and I think it’s masked because it’s such a high-low area,” said Meghan Shaw, the group’s site manager. In other words, many needy households are mixed with other more financially stable households in North Ogden, where Utah Neighborhood Connection operates.

The group launched an after-school program last month to supplement its pantry operation. Now, in a bid to raise awareness of the group, he’s hosting a community block party open to the public on Saturday, when a mural covering part of the exterior of the Crossroads Church building is due for completion.

“We want to be a force for the community,” Shaw said.

Utah Neighborhood Connection received a grant from Make Every Block Better, an affiliate of H&R Block, the company that helps prepare tax returns, and the funds will cover the cost of Saturday’s event and the mural. Saturday’s block party outside the Crossroads building at 789 2nd St. — just north of Highland Junior High School — runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature food, music and more.

Matt Monsoon, an assistant professor at Salt Lake Community College who is completing the mural, called Saturday’s gathering a “painting party.” He worked on the outlines of the mural and those present on Saturday will help fill in the empty spaces.

The mural “talks about our ownership and our involvement in the community and how we all have ripple effects,” said Monsoon, who has done about 15 murals from Logan to Boulder in southern Utah. It features two heart-shaped hands and the northern Ogden area served by Utah Neighborhood Connection.

The roots of Utah Neighborhood Connection lie in an informal after-school initiative for children that Crossroads operated once a week beginning in 2019, until the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in early 2020. The new group officially took shape towards the end of 2020. , operated independently of the church, and until the launch of the new after-school initiative in September, the focus was on distributing groceries to neighborhood residents in need.

“Our mission is to love and empower our neighborhood,” Shaw said. “We want to get to know the community and do what we can because we love the area so much.”



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