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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

January 20, 2015


Energy-Efficient Affordable Housing: An Opportunity We Must Not Miss 

By Tom Pickel, Executive Direct of DeSales Community Housing Corporation and President of the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis
In response to the possibility of Ameren’s energy efficiency programs shrieking to a halt, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board issued a rallying cry that now is the time for Missouri to “ramp up its efficiency programs—not shut them down.”
We agree. Missourians have a major opportunity to reap big benefits from energy efficiency. Families save on utility bills. Building owners increase the value of their properties. And business owners create new jobs. Right now, it’s a missed opportunity.
The Clean Power Plan, a historic effort to reduce harmful carbon pollution produced by power plants, will give Missouri power companies double credit toward compliance with the Plan for energy efficiency investments that are made in low-income communities.  This would mean investments of millions of dollars to help revitalize our neighborhoods.

To read the full 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
Nomination Forms Available for the 2016 CBN Awards Reception
We are pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Community Builders Network Awards Reception will take place on March 31 at T-Rex! The Annual CBN awards reception recognizes individuals, organizations, companies, and institutions that help make St. Louis a better place to live. If you know of someone who deserves recognition, fill out one of our nomination forms. The last day to submit a nomination is February 15. For more information about the nomination process, click here. To RSVP for the event, click here.

FOCUS' 19th Annual What's Right With The Region Awards
On May 12, FOCUS St. Louis is hosting the 19th Annual What's Right with the Region awards celebration at the Sheldon Concert Hall. This celebration will honor 20 individuals and organizations whose work has improved the St. Louis community. FOCUS is also now accepting nominations for this awards celebration online through Monday, February 1. For more information about this event and to submit a nomination, click here.

Public Radio has Second Installment in Series on MLK Drive
St. Louis Public Radio released their second installment of a series on MLK Drive on January 17. Among other stakeholders, Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Association shares thoughts on redevelopment and community issues in the neighborhoods around the western portion of MLK. To view the story, click here

The Latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties
Twice every month the Center for Community Progress shares the latest on their work with vacant and abandoned properties across the country. In St. Louis, the Center for Community Progress works as a technical assistance provider with the city on vacant properties and issues related to the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). To read more about the Center for Community Progress' work with the City of St. Louis in the past, click here. To see the recent national work on vacancy, click here.

Rise Partners to Develop East Fox Homes
Earlier this month, Rise announced it would be partnering with the Messiah Lutheran Church to rehabilitate 12 residential properties in the Fox Park and Tower Grove East neighborhoods. The 12 properties are currently vacant, but Rise and its partners plan to turn them into homes and assets for the community. To read more about this plan, click here.

The Future Great City podcast by NextSTL
Alex Ihnen of nextSTL recently interviewed Sean Spencer of Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC (TGNCDC) on the Future Great City podcast. The two discussed the history of CDCs in St. Louis and the work that TGNCDC is doing in the Tower Grove and Shaw area. To listen to their interview online, click here.


Near North Side St. Louis Choice Neighborhoods January Meetings
The Near North Side St. Louis Choice Neighborhoods is continuing regular meetings for planning and information throughout the month of January. For more information on upcoming meetings, click here.

Connecting Hard-to-Serve Populations with Jobs: Promising Practices for Successful Re-entry
Tomorrow, January 21, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting this webinar from their Exploring Innovation in Community Development series. The webinar beings at 11am and runs through 12:15pm. For more information, click here.

How can St. Louis Compete in the Global Economy?
East-West Gateway, FOCUS-St. Louis, the UMSL School for Public Policy and Administration and the St. Louis Public Library are hosting this panel discussion on January 27 at 6:30 pm at the Central Library Auditorium. This panel discussion will build off of the findings of the 7th Edition of the Where We Stand Report. For more information about this upcoming event, click here.

Save the Date: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Conference

On Februrary 5th and 6th, CREA, a CBN member, will co-host this conference in partnership with EHOC and SLU Law. The deadline to register for this event is on February 1. For more information and to register online, click here.

2016 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference
On February 7 through February 10, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is hosting this conference in Los Angeles. The conference will feature trainings on CRA and best practices in the field of community development. For more information about this conference and to register, click here.

What's Brewing? Hyde Park
The What's Brewing? series is continuing on March 3 in the Hyde Park neighborhood. This event will feature a panel discussion on what is contributing to the emergence of this neighborhood. For more information about this event, click here.



Social Media 101
On January 21, the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program (NPML) at UMSL will host this training session on using social media for your organization. This session will feature Allison Hawk Collinger of AHC Consulting LLC and formerly the vice president of Fleishman-Hilliard. For more information on this training session and to register, click here

Building an Effective Fundraising Organization
Between January 22 and September 23 of 2016, the Brown School of Social Work is hosting a CEO seminar series on how to build an effective fundraising organizations. This seminar series is intended for organizations with annual revenues between $500,000 and $2 million. For more information, click here.

The Feasibility Study--Understanding and Using This Important Tool for Your Nonprofit Organization
UMSL's NPML program will host this training session on January 28. Dan Reynolds of Holmes, Radford and Avalon will speak on using feasibility studies and planning to help nonprofits achieve their goals. For more information about this session, click here.

Economic Development Certificate
The University of Missouri St. Louis School of Public Policy and Administration along with other partners is offering a Chancellor's Certificate in the Fundamentals of Economic Development from January-March of 2016. For more information, click here.  

Funding Your Neighborhood Project
On Saturday, Feburary 27, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is hosting this workshop on best practices for securing funding for community projects. For more information about this workshop, click here.


January 21
Shaw Social for January 2016

March 31
2016 Community Builders Network Awards Reception

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.

In this week's edition, we are sharing maps showing assess property value in St. Louis City and County. To view this week's maps, click here. To view maps from previous editions of the Community Builders Exchange, click here


The St. Louis Community Builders Exchange is a partnership between the Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, the St. Louis Home Repair Network, and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to bring you quality up-to-date community development information. Look for the St. Louis Community Builders Exchange every other Wednesday morning!

Partners for Places Funding Round Eight
The Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities is offering the eighth round of Partners for Places funding. The aim of this grant is to build partnerships between local governments and place-based organizations. Applications for this grant are due by January 29. For more information, click here.

ArtPlace America: National Creative Placemaking Fund
The National Creative Placemaking Fund is intended to bring culture and the arts into community development projects. Grant funding per project typically ranges from $50,000 to $500,000. Registration for this grant is due by February 16, and the application is due by March 2. For more information, click here.

Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving Cooperative Agreement Program
The EPA is accepting proposal packages for funding of $120,000 for community-based efforts that address local environmental or public health issues. The deadline to submit a proposal is February 12. For more information, click here.

Scotts Miracle-Gro:GRO1000 Grassroots Grants
Scotts Miracle-Gro is offering grants of up to $1,500 to help communities with green space and community garden projects. The deadline to apply for this funding opportunity is February 22. For more information and to apply, click here.

Open the Door to Affordable Housing
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is offering funding up to $500,000 through its Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP). The pre-application period for this grant runs through the month of March. For more information about this grant, click here.

Women on Mission Saint Louis Grant
Women on Mission Saint Louis is currently accepting applications for two grants to be awarded for $42,500 each. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations serviing the College Hill community. The deadline to submit a grant application is March 31. For more information, click here.

Volunteer Services Manager
Habitat for Humanity is seeking a Volunteer Services Manager to work with programs that recruit, train and support volunteers, AmeriCorps workers, and interns. For more information about this position, click here.

Multiple Positions Available At Beyond Housing
Beyond Housing is seeking qualified applicants for several positions. To view those positions, click here. For more information about Beyond Housing, click here.

Health Worker and Community Advocate
DeSales Community Housing Corporation is hiring a part time Health Worker to help local families make healthier lifestyle decisions. The position is expected to work 30 hours weekly and the starting date for this position is January 30. For more information, send an email to Lindsay at or a text to 954-892-1620.

STL Youth Jobs Summer 2016
STL Youth Jobs is looking for employers and youth to participate in its summer program for 2016. For information on participating as an employer, click here. Applications for youth participants will be available on February 2, but if you want to find out more about this opportunity now, click here.
The Racial Wealth Gap: Narrowing the Racial Wealth Gap Through Business Ownership
The Aspen Institute recently released this report which partially attributes racial wealth gaps to lower business ownership rates and limited access to capital among African American and Latino households. The report includes several strategies to support business ownership, including small business programs, and recommendations for funders, like investing more in CDFIs. To read the full report, click here (opens a PDF).
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