DENVER – A grassroots effort to resist gentrification in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood has reached is fundraising goal of $50,000.
The fundraiser is called Buy Back the Block and it started last year with a goal of buying a building on Welton Street and creating a local goods emporium owned by long-time Five Points residents.
The fundraiser organizer, Akiala I, hoped the local goods emporium would be the first step in buying back the block and stopping gentrification.
However, the building Akiala I originally selected is no longer available.
“So, we’re still looking at what spaces are available and exploring this idea of community and how it can look maybe not in a physical space but how it can look in other ways,” Akiala I said.
Akiala I said while she continues to search for a building, she’s using the money to support the community in other ways.
“We’ve started the Welton Street Art Walk, so we did five of those, and we started a pop-up store, we’ve been able to donate to mutual aid groups and just kind of see what everyone needs on the block and help where we can,” Akiala I said. “It’s turning into feeding the community and really just using those funds to see what businesses are already in place and already doing beautiful things and just feeding them, nurturing them, and making sure that they can continue with their mission. I think that (effort) in its own way helps take back the block.”
Akiala I said she plans to continue the fundraiser and wants to continue providing support to various businesses and people in Five Points.