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About the Neighborhood

Since the 1930s, Harambee has been a hub for African American culture and heritage. Originally settled by German immigrants in the 1800s, the African American community grew over the years and reached its height by the 1970s. Harambee was particularly attractive to working class families because of the modest and tidy single-family homes and proximity to downtown.

The neighborhood is supported by the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative (HGNI), a community-based nonprofit coalition with the mission of assisting residents of the Harambee neighborhood in realizing their vision for the community. As one of LISC Milwaukee’s Sustainable Communities, the HGNI prioritizes building resident capacity in its effort to support this vibrant north side neighborhood. 

Through the community informed Neighborhood Action Plan, the HGNI and its coalition of nonprofit agencies and resident groups are improving the quality of life in Harambee through creative resident and organizational collaborations, neighborhood specific home ownership resources, and a variety of other quality of life projects and programs designed to form lasting connections and sustainable community development.

The HGNI focuses on the following service area: North/South between Capital Drive and Center Street, and East/West between Holton Street and Interstate 43.

Learn more about Harambee here and about the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative here or contact the HGNI at (414) 349-2794 or rickb@riverworksmke.org


Riverworks Development Corporation

Riverworks, the fiscal agent of HGNI, is a community-based nonprofit that partners with the HGNI in serving the Harambee neighborhood, though its service area also includes the Riverwest neighborhood and the Riverworks Business Improvement District (BID). Portions of Harambee are in a City-designated Targeted Investment Neighborhood (TIN), which offers partially forgivable loans for home repairs to landlords and home owners who qualify.  Riverworks is also a member of the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative, which is guided by principles that promote social connections as a way to empower residents to manage the physical conditions and image of their neighborhood while supporting a stable real estate market.

An investment from the Kresge Foundation supports the extension of the Beerline Recreational Trail as a part of a Creative Placemaking initiative that is transforming this once abandoned railroad corridor into public recreational space.  This investment facilitates new strategies related to the foreclosure crisis and offers positive solutions by transforming problem properties into opportunities.

Between a being a designated TIN, part of the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative, and a Creative Placemaking investment, it’s an exciting time to purchase a home in Harambee to experience all that this community has to offer!

To learn more about the TIN home rehab loan program, the Healthy Neighborhood Initiative or the Beerline Trail Extension, please contact Amy Rohan at 414.906.9650 or amyr@riverworksmke.org

Quick Links

See what Havenwoods has to offer!
The Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative

Harambee Neighborhood Videos on LISC Milwaukee

Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative Facebook Page

Upcoming Neighborhood Events

Action Projects

Quick Facts

  • Area: 1.210 square miles
  • Population: 12,481
  • Average household size: 2.9 people
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© 2010 Take Root Milwaukee. Take Root is a service mark of Freddie Mac.

The consumer information on TakeRootMilwaukee.org is used with permission from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac offers extensive, regularly updated consumer information about buying and owning a home on its website, www.FreddieMac.com, in the “About Homeownership” section. Freddie Mac is not responsible for content errors or omissions on TakeRootMilwaukee.org.

The funding source of this activity is the Milwaukee Homeownership Consortium and Freddie Mac.