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“To beautify and not gentrify”

“Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”  Zechariah 8:4


   “To be repairers of the broken walls and the restorers of the streets with dwellings.”   Isaiah 58:12


To create a team of empowered local leaders to restore this neglected area of the city, from Washington Blvd to the city border near Woodbury on N. Fair Oaks. This was a once vibrant and thriving "Main Street." The mission is restorative justice to provide a "right to return" with affordable housing, a thriving business community, and safe streets,

Please Act Now!

To sign a petition in support of a professional N. Fair Oaks Vision Plan that will revitalize this area, click here.

To sign a petition supporting the Vision Plan, click here.


Our History...

Once a vibrant and thriving community, years of segregation and divestment dramatically changed the N. Fair Oaks area corner due to historically harmful Federal policies adopted locally: racially restrictive covenants, the 1949 Federal Housing Act (under the urban renewal policy aka “Negro Removal"),  predatory banking, eminent domain, and more. The 1956 Highway Act, which released federal funding for highways across the US, has sliced through African American neighborhoods and thriving Black business districts across the US, and that was also true of NW Pasadena with the 210 freeway.


Due to “red-lining” by banks, Blacks were prevented from obtaining home loans, so they opened their own bank to obtain mortgages, called Family Thrift, today called One United which was on N. Lake and Washington. Once the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968, allowing Blacks to live outside of North West Pasadena, those with means moved to other parts of the city. This vacuum of displacement by the Freeways that cut off NW Pasadena from the rest of the city the opened way for drugs and divestment. Later, depressed home values led to gentrification in the NW, where homes were still affordable.


At one point, nearly 25% of Pasadena was Black. Today, only 8% remained. (However, 30% are Black and most are long-time residents.)  Blacks have either been priced out or have cashed out due to increased property values. Black churches have become commuter churches. One African American church has 8 members left.


This community has been deeply wounded by unjust policies. To help prevent further displacement and reweave a once thriving community, Jill Shook began a listening campaign in 2015, resulting in 150 surveys within a five-block area on N. Fair Oaks. Questions were asked like, how long have you been in the area? What do you like about your community? What would you like to see changed? Would you like to be part of that change? Most of the 10 churches, 18 businesses in this five block stretch participated, as did a number of the residents. The results were telling.


Some felt it was a waste of time to imagine an improved community because they felt the city would never agree to make any changes. We needed to resurrect hope.


In 2015, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA) voted to allow Jill Shook, who was a long-time member of the IMA, to plan the resource and employment fair that year, with and by the community. So she chose the area that was being surveyed to host the fair. The emerging planning team decided to close down Tremont Street with booths representing all the local businesses, and churches, local resources, employment opportunities, and featured the skills within the community with local barbers providing free haircuts once people applied for a job, then free dress shirts and ties. Even Judy Chu, our local congressional representative, and Mayor Terry Tornek showed up.


Over 500 members from this N Fair Oaks corridor from Washington Blvd to Woodbury attended this NW Jobfest. Hope for change began to emerge. The community later met to unveil the results of the survey. The biggest concern was the street, not feeling safe due to the traffic, cars speeding by, the lack of lighting and good sidewalks. (In 2023, 65 accidents took place in a six-month period.) Others were concerned with economic development, wanting coffee and ice cream shops and thriving businesses. 


Members of the community partnered with the Complete Streets coalition to create focus groups that visually imagined what the community wanted, and they identified 15 specific items they hoped the city could address. Today, seven of these requests have been placed in the city’s budget to be completed, including signage, more trees, sidewalk repairs and a Complete Streets redesign.  In 2017, the Pasadena City Council unanimously voted to put a $268,000 traffic signal to help slow traffic and bring safety. Seeing this signal in place has resurrected more hope.  

In 2022, Phil Burns, principal of The Arroyo Group and a resident of this area, joined our team and asked us to consider creating a professional Vision Plan that would include all our research to date plus four additional listening sessions. In 2023 we conducted those four listening sessions at New Life Holiness Church's community center, the Boys & Girls Club, La Pintoresca Park, and culminating in our MHCH annual event at New Life Holiness Church. In December, the Vision Plan was completed thanks to The Arroyo Group under Phil Burns' leadership. In 2024 this team has presented the Plan multiple times to most of the churches, the IMA, the Boys & Girls Club, the City Planning Department, and the Northwest Commission, which sent a letter to the City Council giving its full support. The goal for 2024 is to gather additional letters of support from organization and other partners to address this area as a "heat island" and to stop "pretextual stops." We hope to have 500 signatures by the time we meet with the Planning Commission sometime this fall.  To see the Vision Plan, click here. 


There is still much more work to be done. We would value your partnership.  Contact us today to find out how you can participate in our efforts to revitalize North Fair Oaks!

N Fair Oaks People.jpg

Download our Powerpoint presentation HERE to learn more about MHCH's history within this community and how you can get involved! Click on the PDF to read an article about N. Fair Oaks and our Vision Plan.

T: 123-456-7890 / F: 123-456-7890 / E:

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Phase 1: Listening-Surveys


Phase 2: Discerning a common goal, planning and executing the resource fair

Phase 3: Create an ongoing “dream team” to address concerns and make the dreams happen.


Phase 4: Assure that our Vision Plan is integrated into the City's 20-year N. Fair Specific Plan before it is finalized in 2024. 


To create a dream team, core of leaders, who are actively engaged seeking to carry out this vision.


To engage N. Fair Oaks Churches, Business Owners and Residents in the revitalization and beautification of their community as they see it.


To secure city’s support in the revitalization and beautification of this neglected part of the city.

This will ultimately result in Beautification without Gentrification and Displacement

This community needs to be ahead of the curve.  Participation in creating a plan can and will accomplish that.


1. A Caution sign near the Boys and Girls Club

2. Repaving the street with noise reducing pavement

3. Secure more parking so the business and thrive—perhaps shared parking with some of the churches. 


4. Complete Streets redesign with center turn line one-line each way, decorative median,  bulb outs, etc..

5. Cleaner streets

6. Wider sidewalks for outdoor dinning

7. Store front improvements with distinctive color scheme and style

8. More business i.e. Coffee shop, frozen yogurt/ice cream to create jobs


2015 - 2016

•We have been steady and diligent since January of 2015, when the IMA voted to give us the opportunity to plan that years’ employment fair with and by the community.


•In April  2015 we launched with a potluck to raise funds to hire part-time staff to help develop and translate the survey, to set up survey orientations held at some of the ten churches, mobilizing people to conduct 150 surveys.  This enabled us to discover the concerns and dreams of the 18 businesses, 10 churches and residents between Woodbury and Howard.


•After surveying about 30% of our target population, we held a potluck at Bethel Church July  11,  2015 to unveil the survey results and begin a discussion on the results, and begin to identify some of our first projects.

•From this effort community leaders emerged to help plan the highly successful Northwest Job Fest  which took place November 21, 2015, where we closed down Tremont, set up 20 booths, and 500 neighbors from the community came together for a fun festive day applying for jobs, free haircuts, dress shirts, games for kids of all ages, audition for adults to be on the stage where pastors and dignitaries also stood celebrating the neighborhood and its history and talent.

•In response to the 150 surveys the top concerns were about the 65,000 cars speeding down Fair Oaks, the lack of parking, trash and not feeling safe. So July 23, 2016 we hosted the NW Community Gathering in partnership with the Complete Streets Coalition began efforts to gain the support of the North West Commission and Councilmember Hampton so we could realize our dreams for North Fair Oaks.

2017 - Present
  • In  January,  2017 we walking our corridor with Council member Hampton and other city staff who shared information to assist us in our efforts to move forward. The Transportation Advisory Committee voiced unwavering support.  We wrote to the Pasadena City Council and attended multiple Council meetings to present our letters with 87 signatures of people within our N Fair Oaks corridor.

  • In  March , 2017 We enjoyed the Damascus Road Church Mission Team that came from Tucson, AZ during spring break for a week. They painted over graffiti, played with kids, spent time with elderly disabled neighbors in two N Fair Oaks nursing homes, and to roll up their selves to clean up on the street. Estella at Rio Meat Market’s opened her doors

  • The community came out and spoke at the NW Commission, the Public Safety Commission and the City Council presenting a list of 15 “ASKS” at numerous public meetings

  • May 8th, 2017 Council victory winning five of our 15 requests and beyond what we requested—a $268,000 traffic light!

  • From 2018-23, interns were hired as community organizers through funding provided through a generous donor. We now have a full-time staff person named Stephen Berkley who is our community organizer. He can be reached at

  • In 2023, a team of university students from Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, came to work with the Hispanic Church on N. Fair Oaks. Within one week they demolished a garage and fille several big trash bins to create for a youth chapel and playground, which turned out beautifully.

  • December 23, the Professional Vision Plan was completed. 

  • In February 2023, the N.W. Commission voted unanimously to support it and sent a letter of support to City Hall. 


We need to fund staff to get the job done.  We need your support. We need collaborators and partners. 

God is at work undoing years of discrimination and resurrecting hope!

“Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem,each of them with cane in hand because of their age.The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”  Zechariah 8:4

We invite You to  Support our Efforts! Ways you can help 

1.  Pray 2. Participate 3. Donate

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