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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

May 11, 2016


Achieving Equity Through School and Neighborhood Integration
By Christie Huck, Executive Director, City Garden Montessori School
On May 5th and 6th, City Garden Montessori School convened individuals and organizations from across the region to discuss and learn about how racial and economic integration—in schools and in neighborhoods—could be a critical mechanism for achieving equity in St. Louis. (You can read more about the convening at this link.)
About 200 individuals participated in meetings over the course of two days, and we were joined by national experts, Phil Tegeler, Executive Director of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, Tanya Clay House, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education, and Eddie Wartts, St. Louis Regional Field Director for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Perhaps the most poignant statement made during these sessions was that in the US, geographic income segregation is growing primarily among families with children. This trend is certainly a reality in the St. Louis region.

To read more of this op-ed, click here.

We invite readers to contribute to the civic conversation about community development in St. Louis by writing an op-ed for the Community Builders Exchange. Op-eds should be short (400-700 words) and provocative. If you have an idea for an op-ed, contact Todd Swanstrom at
The Village at Delmar Place Now Open
Rise Community Development (Rise), DeSales Community Housing Corporation, and Fox Grove Management are excited to announce that The Village at Delmar Place is open and fully occupied! Rise, Efficacy Consulting LLC, and West End Developer LLC partnered to develop the new community, which contains 40 affordable housing units, including apartments and townhomes. A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, April 15th. To read more, click here.

Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC Receives Energy Foundation Grant
CBN member Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is helping to further Missouri's energy efficiency initiative in affordable multifamily housing thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Energy Foundation. Throughout 2016, TGNCDC will work with the National Housing Trust, Natural Resource Defense Council, Renew Missouri, and Blue Hills Community Services to pursue energy efficiency goals in St. Louis. To read the full story, click here.

City of St. Louis's Land Reutilization Authority Introduces "Mow to Own" Program
The City of St. Louis's Land Reutilization Authority (LRA) has announced a new "Mow to Own" program as a part of a comprehensive effort to fight vacancy and abandonment in our area. Residents can secure the title and lien on an LRA-owned vacant lot for $125, and will receive ownership of the property free of charge after 24 months of continual maintenance. An estimated 4,000 small lots throughout the area qualify for Mow to Own. For more information, click here.

Micro Apartments to be built in downtown clayton

Plans are under review for the construction of an apartment building with 78 high-efficiency, 400-square-foot rental units on Lee Avenue in Clayton, where the now-demolished Art Deco Building stood until 2014. The building will be located in a Transit Oriented District, just two blocks from the Forsyth MetroLink station. For more details on development plans for the area, click here.

Humans of St. louis connects area residents using photos, stories, and conversation
Lindy Drew, Washington University graduate student and co-founder of the photography project Humans of St. Louis (HOSTL), wants to use her work to encourage communication about the issues facing our region
especially surrounding "topics that you wouldn’t normally talk about." She seeks out conversations with local residents and shares their stories and pictures on HOSTL's Facebook page. Drew and her partners are now working to launch HOSTL as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To read more about their work, click here.

2016 Developer Showcase Highlights the FPSE & CWE Neighborhoods
Earlier this month, several local developers attended the 2016 Developer Showcase in the Cortex Innovation District. Several CBN members were represented at the showcase, including Park Central Development, St. Louis Development Corporation, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, and the WUMC Community Development Corporation. To read more about this showcase and to see highlights, click here.

Picnic on the Riverfront
CityArchRiver is celebrating the opening of the new Arch grounds and Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard on Thursday, June 2. A ribbon cutting will take place at 5 pm with music and food to follow. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Picnic on the Riverfront, click here.



Public Forum: Race, Education and Place
Creating Whole Communities is hosting this public forum tonight at the Riverview Gardens High School Library from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. This forum will discuss how the Riverview Gardens School District has attained better academic outcomes in recent years in spite of challenges faced by its community. For more information about this event and to register, click here.

Launch Party for St. Louis Currents, 5th Edition
Left Bank Books is hosting a book signing and launch party for the 5th Edition of St. Louis Currents tonight at 7pm. Several of the books contributors will be available for discussions and signings. For more information on this event, click here.

Scaling US Community Investing: Creating Liquidity in Impact Investing
On May 26, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting this webinar to discuss how a lack of liquidity can result in attracting fewer long term investments. The webinar will focus on ways create more liquidity and attract more investments. For more information on this webinar, click here.


Landlord Training: Energy Efficiency for Rental Property
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting this landlord training session on Tuesday, May 17 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. This session will cover methods for making properties more energy efficient, a free benchmarking system, and paying for improvements. For more information about this training, click here.

How to Develop and Sustain an Effective Engaged Nonprofit Board
On May 19th, the Nonprofit Management and Leadership program at UMSL is hosting this workshop at the JC Penney Conference Center. This workshop will be lead by John McClusky and will feature several local panelists including Faith Sandler of the Scholarship Foundation, Jessica Eiland of Northside Community Housing, and Andrew Thorp of Miriam: the Learning Disabilities Experts. For more information about this event and to register, click here.


May 20
Tasting for Change To Benefit Lemay Housing Partnership Inc.

June 2
Picnic on the Riverfront: Celebrate the New St. Louis Riverfront



The Community Builders Exchange would like to highlight a map relevant to community development in each issue. Please let us know if you have a map that would be of interest to our readers.

This week, we are sharing maps on the racial and economic make-up of school districts in St. Louis City and County. To view this week's map, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is put out by the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, with the support of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision at UMSL, to bring you quality up-to-date community development information, analysis, and opinion.

Local Food Promotion Program
The US Department of Agriculture is offering this grant to support the development or expansion of businesses selling locally grown produce. This grant is open to businesses, nonprofits, networks and associations that are working to promote the consumption of local produce. The deadline to apply for this grant ends on May 12. For more information, click here.

PRO Neighborhoods Grant for CDFI
JPMorgan Chase has launched a new $125 million initiative to support CDFI's to promote community development. Request for proposals are due on May 16. For more information, click here.  

City of St. Louis NOFA for HOME/CDBG Funds
The City of St. Louis Community Development Administration recently released this Notice of Funding Availability for the CDBG and HOME Investment Partnership funds. A general workshop for applicants will be held this Friday, May 13 from 9am to 12pm. The deadline to submit an application is June 10. For more information, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Home$tart Program
The FHLB of Des Moines opened its Home$tart and Home$tart Plus program on February 1. FHLB Des Moines bank members will have the opportunity to reserve up to $100,000 per program in 2016 to promote homeownership in the community. Members can receive up to $5,000 per eligible household through Home$tart or $10,000 per eligible household through Home$tart Plus to assist owner-occupant homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance. Nonprofit organizations can work with banks to serve residents through this program. For more information, click here

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging $250 to $2,500. Applicants should operate within the service area of a Walmart, Sam's Club or other Walmart facility. Applications will be accepted through December 31. For more information, click here.
Neighborhood Improvement Specialist
The City of St. Louis is seeking a Neighborhood Improvement Specialist to work with the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation project in Carr Square and Columbus Square. For more information about the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation project, click here (opens a PDF). For the full job description and to apply, click here.

US Bank CDC: Strategy Management
US Bank CDC is seeking applications for a position in Strategy Management. This position will assist with the strategic planning, development and implementation of specific projects. For more information about this position, click here.

Marketing and Development Associate
Prosperity Connection is seeking a Marketing and Development Associate to work directly with the Executive Director on securing funding, communications, and promotion of the organization. For more information about this position, click here.

Planning Specialist
St. Louis County's Office of Strategy + Innovation is seeking a senior level Planning Specialist to research, develop and manage planning and public policy projects. To apply for this position, click here.

Neighborhood Environments Affect Adult educational Progress
A Philadelphia study has found that certain community characteristics affect the educational progress of adults pursuing postsecondary education. Research participants assigned to block groups with higher levels of violent crime and poverty and lower levels of educational attainment made slower progress toward their degrees and were more likely to drop out before reaching their goals. For more detailed study results, click here.

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