Making an Impact: Vanessa Haight, Elliot Park Neighborhood

Vanessa Haight is the Executive Director of Elliot Park Neighborhood, a non-profit established in 1979 with primary focus of reinvesting in the community through renovation of existing housing and investment in new housing. The focus of the organization has shifted over the years and their mission now centers on addressing community issues, improving safety, and influencing development.

As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Elliot Park offers downtown living with an abundance of amazing historical architecture. As the neighborhood grows, the community has encouraged a mixture of affordable and high-end housing that retains and values the diversity of our community members. Elliot Park is home to many well-known institutions and organizations, including Hennepin County Medical Center, Augustana, North Central University, Catholic Charities, Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, House of Charity, Kraus-Anderson, and more.

Map of Elliot Park


As Executive Director, Vanessa’s role is to engage the community to collectively make their neighborhood a better place for all. Through her work, she has been inspired by the collective power of the people to join together and use their voice to solve problems in a much different way.

We had the opportunity to meet with Vanessa to learn more about her background in urban planning and her passion for building community. Here is what she had to say.

When I cam here I was looking for community. Then I realized I was helping to create one”. - Vanessa Haight

Working with the Impact Hub has been a wonderful experience because it is right here in the neighborhood and it truly fits into Elliot Park’s mission of building community. Vanessa has enjoyed working in an environment where she can meet and learn from others and also have access to networking, education and the amenities offered in this beautiful space.

Jordan Munro, Community Organizer and Vanessa Haight, Executive Director of Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc.

Jordan Munro, Community Organizer and Vanessa Haight, Executive Director of Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc.

About Vanessa

Vanessa Haight serves as the Executive Director of Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc.  Since 2014, Vanessa has worked in partnership with neighborhood organizations on community-led redevelopment, renters’ rights, park improvements, economic development and more.  Prior to her time with neighborhood organizations, Vanessa worked in city government, coordinating a variety of housing programs and development projects.  Vanessa holds a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota. Vanessa lives in South Minneapolis with her husband, two children, rescue dog, elderly cat, and leopard gecko.  She enjoys reading, hiking, baking, and has taken up tap dancing just for fun.  

 www.eliottpark.org