Author

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

First two homeless Minnesotans test positive for COVID-19

By: - April 10, 2020

Two people experiencing homelessness tested positive for COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Friday. Both individuals live in Hennepin County but don’t appear to be connected. One person is in their 50s and the other is a young adult over 18 years old. Neither are in critical condition and both are in isolation. Around […]

Minneapolis has closed more miles of road to cars than any city in America

By: - April 9, 2020

Minneapolis’ park system, rated No. 1 six years in a row, has a new title: most miles of road closed to cars during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 27, when Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order first took effect, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has closed more than 18 miles of road around lakes and […]

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon

With no money or jobs, renters refuse to pay

By: - April 9, 2020

Vanessa Del Campo Chacon and her husband struggled to make ends meet even before COVID-19 stole their jobs. Del Campo Chacon earned $200 a week looking after her neighbors’ children. Her husband, Oscar Romero Hernandez, earned $600 a week delivering furniture. Between their two incomes, they were able to pay $1,000 a month in rent […]

steve grove

Minn. begins distributing extra $600 a week in unemployment, among first in nation

By: - April 8, 2020

Minnesota is among the first states in the nation to begin approving the additional $600 per week in unemployment insurance from the federal government’s $2.2 trillion economic relief package for COVID-19. In an email to staff Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said the department had already authorized 192,135 […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County approves additional $1 million for quarantine space for homeless

By: - April 7, 2020

The Hennepin County Board unanimously approved spending an additional $1 million to lease hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness who are at high-risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19. “I’m really proud to see us making this investment,” Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene said. “The Board is voting on these investments unanimously, and I […]

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Minneapolis creates $5 million COVID-19 relief fund available to undocumented residents

By: - April 3, 2020

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday he will use his emergency powers to create a $5 million forgivable loan program to help renters and small businesses affected by the economic fallout from the spread of COVID-19. Unlike federal and state relief packages, families will be eligible for assistance regardless of their immigration or documentation status […]

Minneapolis closes all beaches and pools for the summer

By: - April 3, 2020

All Minneapolis public beaches and pools will be closed for the entire summer in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Restrooms and drinking fountains will also be closed, but public parks, athletic fields, dog parks and playgrounds will remain open. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced the closure Thursday night, saying it […]

apartment building

State lawmakers propose $100M renter bailout as unemployment soars

By: - April 1, 2020

Rent is due today for the first time since more than 270,000 Minnesotans lost their jobs because of COVID-19, many of them in low-paying restaurant and retail jobs. Unemployment insurance only covers a fraction of people’s previous earnings, which puts the 44% of renters who already pay more than they can afford on housing in […]

Sleep Number stores are ‘essential’; furniture stores are not

By: - March 31, 2020

Sleep Number stores across Minnesota will remain open during the stay-at-home period aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 even as furniture stores have been forced to close. That’s because the Minneapolis-based mattress seller is not a furniture store, it’s a “sleep store with solutions for improved health and well-being,” according to a spokeswoman for […]

construction workers

Construction workers have plenty of PPE, even after donations to health care workers

By: - March 31, 2020

Minnesota’s director of infectious disease said recently that the biggest challenge for frontline health care workers is a lack of personal protective equipment like face masks and goggles. Some health care workers are now using hand-sewn masks or washing and reusing N95 masks. The construction industry, which relies on much of the same equipment, has […]

construction workers

‘Essential’ construction continues on luxury apartments, even during stay-at-home order

By: - March 30, 2020

Visit nearly any construction site in Minnesota, and you wouldn’t know the state is in its most severe lockdown in history to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Men and women work shoulder-to-shoulder installing siding on luxury apartments, fitting pipes in narrow trenches and lifting walls into place. They cram into lifts, share tools and porta […]

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

Abdi Warsame wins city council approval to lead housing authority, starts March 31

By: - March 27, 2020

Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame will take the helm of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority on March 31, making him the first Somali-American to lead a government agency in Minnesota. Warsame’s appointment was confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday online during a remote meeting. “I want to offer my congratulations to Council […]