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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

December 7, 2016


A Holistic, Community-Based Approach to Health: Addressing Toxic Stress and Trauma

By Heidi B. Miller, M.D., Primary Care Doctor at Family Care Health Centers and Medical Director for the Gateway to Better Health Program

In addressing health issues, too often we focus on individual behaviors, such as eating unhealthy food or neglecting to take prescribed medication. This can lead us to blame people for their poor health. But many individuals experience toxic stress and trauma that powerfully shape the choices they make. We need a more holistic, community-based approach to health.
In medicine, universal precautions are used as a means to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff. We wear gloves while drawing blood for all patients, regardless of which patients have contagious conditions. Medicine is not alone in this approach—all industries utilize safety measures: hard hats in construction zones and flashers for truck drivers carrying wide payloads. These universal precautions are a good start at protecting the well-being of those we serve and those providing the service, but we need to consider these as just the beginning if we're going to address toxic stress and trauma in our community.

To read more of this week's 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
Happy Holidays From the CBN Team
The Community Builders Exchange is taking a break on December 21st, but will return on January 4th. All of us at the Community Builders Network wish you a happy holiday season!
-Todd Swanstrom, Karl Guenther, Gary Newcomer, Constance Siu, and Jenny Connelly-Bowen

Ben Carson Chosen To Serve As HUD Secretary For the Trump Administration
Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and former GOP presidential candidate, has been chosen to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Although he lacks experience in housing policy and government, CityLab argues that having a health expert in charge of HUD might have some positive implications given the link between housing and health. But some have expressed concern about Carson's aversion to government programs and criticism of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule. Click here to read the full article.

HUD Announces Final Rule on Small Area Fair Market Rents
Earlier this year, HUD proposed a new rule to calculate Fair Market Rent (FMR) standards for the Housing Choice Voucher program at the zip code level instead of using metropolitan area-wide FMRs. HUD has incorporated changes since then, including a minimum threshold for rental vacancy rates and authority for PHAs to hold harmless current voucher recipients. The new approach will be required in 24 metropolitan areas (St. Louis is not included); others can opt in as desired. Click here to read more.

Area Residents and Leaders Await Final Announcement of Choice Neighborhoods Grant Recipients
This fall, St. Louis was selected as one of five finalists nationwide in HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants Competition. Awardees will be announced within a few weeks. If St. Louis receives the $30 million grant, it is expected to trigger about $75 million in additional private and nonprofit funding to support planned projects. In this article, area residents and leaders discuss what the grant could mean for housing, economic development, education, health, and social services on St. Louis' north side. Click here to read more.

LinkSTL Celebrates Spooktacular in Hyde Park with Over 500 Neighbors
LinkSTL drew over 500 attendees for its second annual Spooktacular Halloween party and trick-or-treating event this year. Neighbors trick-or-treated together in groups along a designated route and ended the afternoon at a party in the park that featured a haunted house, games, face painting, a bounce house, and stations for making caramel apples and decorating cupcakes. For the LinkSTL team, the high turnout highlights the energy and pride that Hyde Park residents bring to their community. To read more, click here.

SLACO and CREA Talk With STL Live About Neighborhoods United For Change
St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO) Executive Director Kevin McKinney and Civil Rights Enforcement Agency (CREA) Executive Director Charles Bryson spoke with STL Live last week about Neighborhoods United for Change, which aims to build inter-neighborhood connections and understanding in St. Louis. In their experience, most residents want three common things for their communities: good schools, decent housing, and well-paying jobs. Click here to watch the videos.

Team TIF Website Aims to Advance The Tax Incentive Conversation in St. Louis
St. Louis' Team TIF has launched a website to encourage transparency and civic dialogue around Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the St. Louis area. Visitors can access a variety of resources, including a TIF FAQ page, maps, minutes from TIF Commission hearing meetings, developer applications, policy information, a collection of references to TIF in the press, and more. Click here to take a look.

Public Incentive Package Advanced For Phase II of Ballpark Village
A $16 million tax incentive package for Phase II of Ballpark Village has been advanced by a St. Louis Board of Aldermen committee. If approved, it would bring tax incentives available to the Cardinals to a total of $65 million over the next two decades. The bill passed with two amendments: one that encourages replacing some tax incentives with New Markets Tax Credits, and one that would divert $250,000 annually from Ballpark Village's tax revenue to a fund providing grants and low-interest loans to help open new small businesses in low-income areas. Click here to read the full story. 

Survey of 50 U.S. Cities Links Historic Preservation With Economic Health, Density, and Diversity
A recent survey of 50 U.S. cities inventoried over 10 million buildings and assigned scores to urban areas based on median building age, diversity of building ages, and building and parcel size. The report found that neighborhoods with a mixture of new and old buildings were more likely to foster entrepreneurial activity, density, and diversity. On the survey's recap of cities by building age, St. Louis ranks #2 in proportion of buildings built before 1945. Click here to read more.


What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series: Tower Grove South
Creating Whole Communities will host the second seminar in its What's Brewing? Opportunity Neighborhood Series tomorrow, December 8th from 7:30-9:00 am at Hartford Coffee Company. This series explores gaps between communities and the opportunities they represent. December's session focuses on the Tower Grove South neighborhood. Click here to sign up.

St. Louis County Library Grant and Small Business Expo
The St. Louis County Library is hosting a Grant and Small Business Expo at headquarters (1640 South Lindbergh) this Friday, December 9th from 1:00-5:00 pm. Attendees can attend a two-hour class on writing grants, use databases to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with their line of work, and network with representatives from local nonprofits and small businesses. Click here to register.

How Housing Matters Conference
The National Housing Conference, the Urban Institute, HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research, and the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing are hosting the How Housing Matters Conference on December 13th in Washington, D.C. The conference seeks to discuss how housing can help promote positive health, education, and economic opportunity outcomes and invites practitioners from different sectors to participate. To register for the live webcast, click here.

Webinar: Virtual Engagement With Online Donation Platforms
In this free webinar and question-and-answer session, viewers will learn how to use online platforms and engagement to increase donations and strengthen support for their organizations. The session will be held at 2:00 pm CST on December 15th. Click here to learn more and sign up.

New Partners For Smart Growth Conference
The New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, the U.S.'s largest smart growth and sustainability event, will convene in St. Louis on February 2nd-4th of 2017. This year's conference is focused on "Practical Tools and Innovative Strategies for Creating Great Communities" and will feature presentations, breakout and training sessions, workshops, peer-to-peer learning, networking, and more. Click here for more information.

People & Places Conference: Spring 2017
Save the date for the People & Places Conference next spring! The National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), in partnership with several other organizations, is hosting a peer-learning conference for community development practitioners next May 31st through June 2nd in Arlington, Virginia.


Mosaic Ambassador and Supporter Meeting
Tonight, December 7th, the Mosaic Project and the International Institute are hosting a facilitated brainstorming session to help generate ideas and programs to best support foreign-born residents in our region during the coming year. The event will be held at the World Trade Center from 5:30-7:30 pm. Click here for more information and to sign up.

Cold Calling and Prospecting for Development Officers
In this training session, a 30-year development veteran shares strategies for success in prospect research and management. The workshop will be held at the Network for Strong Communities offices from 12:00-1:00 pm on December 13th. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Fundraising Campaign Feasibility, Planning, and Success Strategies
This two-part workshop explores strategies for planning and executing a successful fundraising campaign. Part 2 on December 13th discusses the elements and stages of an effective campaign. The session will be held from 4:00-5:30 pm at the St. Louis Public Library Central Branch. Click here for more information.

Affordable For-Sale Housing Development Training
Rise Community Development (Rise) is holding a workshop on affordable for-sale housing development on December 16th from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. The training session will be led by Rise's real estate development staff, who will frame the strategic housing process for organizational development and neighborhood revitalization and discuss skills required to successfully develop affordable single-family for-sale housing. Click here for more information.

Asset Management Training from the Brown School of Social Work, NeighborWorks America
Registration is open for the next course in this series, to be held January 9th-13th. This three-course certificate program, Affordable Housing and Mixed Income Community Management, prepares professionals with key skills and knowledge to successfully manage property and services, maximize performance, and strategize sustainable growth. Courses can be taken as stand-alone opportunities or in pursuit of NeighborWorks America's "Asset Management Specialist" designation. Click here for details.


December 7
Beyond Housing Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert

December 10
6th Annual Downtown Dutchtown Shop Hop

December 10 & December 17
7th Annual Central West End Window Walk

December 16
Grace Hill Women's Business Center Open House Celebration

December 22
New Music Showcase Holiday Ball Annual Fundraising Concert (Rise Benefit)

January 15
Skinker DeBaliviere 25th Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration



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're sharing a map that examines sales and use tax by zip code 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.

Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Workshops from Smart Growth America 
Smart Growth America is offering free technical assistance to local governments, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations interested in leveraging small-scale manufacturing to help revitalize a neighborhood and create economic opportunities. Applicants selected will be provided with a professionally facilitated workshop and a customized action plan for project implementation next steps. Applications are due January 6th, 2017. Click here to learn more and apply.

Russell Sage Foundation Grants for Social Inequality Research
The Russell Sage Foundation is inviting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for its Social Inequality Grants program. These grants fund research focused on the causes and consequences of rising inequality in the United States. Topics of interest include but are not limited to neighborhoods and communities, economic well-being, intergenerational mobility, labor markets, education, families, and child development and outcomes. LOIs are due January 9th, 2017. Click here for more information.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
The Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence aims to promote innovative thinking about the built environment and further conversation about how we can make cities better. The award, which includes a $50,000 Gold Medal and four $10,000 Silver Medals, is granted to urban places distinguished by quality design as well as social and economic contributions. The deadline to apply is tomorrow, December 8th. Click here to learn more.

Social Innovation District RFQ: Community Engagement Services
The Social Innovation District (SID) is seeking a consultant to facilitate and undertake community engagement activities related to the potential development of a nonprofit co-location hub in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis. Project work will take place between January 1st and March 1st of 2017, and applications are due this Friday, December 9th. Click here for more information and the full Request for Qualification (RFQ).

City of St. Louis Community Development Administration Winter 2016 Notice of Funding Availability
The Winter 2016 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is available now from the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration (CDA). LRA inspections will end on December 23rd and final applications are due December 30th. Click here to learn more and to access NOFA materials online. Questions related to the NOFA should be directed to

EPA Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites applications from governmental, quasi-governmental, and tribal groups interested in the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites. Assessment and cleanup grants are considered and awarded separately. Applications for the FY 2017 funding cycle for both programs are due December 22nd. Click the links above to learn more.

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging from $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 31st. For more information, click here.

HUD Utility Benchmarking Technical Assistance Opportunity
In an effort to familiarize Public Housing Authorities and owners of some HUD-assisted multifamily housing with their utility consumption and associated costs, on October 4th HUD announced a proposed reporting rule that would require owners to benchmark utility usage within their housing portfolios. HUD, the Environmental Defense Fund, and TDA Consulting have announced the Climate Corps for Affordable Housing Summer Fellowship program to offer free, full-time related technical assistance to high-need owners during 2017. For more information, please contact Josh Geyer at
Trailnet: Communications and Marketing Manager
Trailnet is seeking a Communications and Marketing Manager to lead the organization's communications and marketing strategy, tell Trailnet's story of success in achieving its mission, and maintain and strengthen the Trailnet message and brand. This is a highly strategic role that leads online, social media, print, public relations, multimedia, and brand management initiatives in a fast-paced environment. Cover letters and resumes are due December 15th. Click here to learn more.

Regional Arts Commission: Database Manager
The Regional Arts Commission (RAC) is hiring a database manager to help RAC transition its database management processes into cloud-based customer relationship management software. This role also provides administrative support for RAC's grants and finance department. Applications are due January 13th. Click here to read more.

Positions Available at Gateway Greening
Gateway Greening is looking for a Manager of Volunteers, a Farm Manager, and a Communications/Fundraising AmeriCorps VISTA to join their team. Click the links above to learn more about each role. To visit Gateway Greening's Careers page, click here.

Positions Available at Beyond Housing
Beyond Housing is seeking a Senior Apartment Building Resource Specialist, a Rental Housing Resource Specialist, and a part-time Cinema Supervisor to join their team. Click the links above to learn more about each role and here to visit Beyond Housing's Careers page.

Elevate energy: Missouri Field Lead
Elevate Energy is hiring a Missouri Field Lead to support development and implementation of multifamily green building and energy efficiency services in Missouri. This remote role is based in Missouri but reports directly to a Chicago-based supervisor. The Field Lead manages local energy efficiency retrofit projects and field work related to utility contracts and green building consulting. Click here to learn more.

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy: Opportunity for High School Students
Know a high school student who wants to learn more about philanthropy while helping the community? Youthbridge Foundation's Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) of St. Louis is accepting applications through December 31st. Program participants will receive mentorship and engage in professional development while giving back through grantmaking and fund allocation projects. Click here to learn more.
Rebound Neighborhoods in Older Industrial Cities: The Case of St. Louis
This paper by three St. Louis researchers (Todd Swanstrom, Hank Webber, and Molly Metzger) explores the challenges faced by urban neighborhoods in St. Louis. Past research on urban revitalization has tended to focus on coastal strong market cities, but in an older industrial "weak housing market" city like St. Louis, revitalization requires a different approach. The authors discuss overarching issues affecting the St. Louis region and use a six-tiered typology to classify area neighborhoods as rebounding, declining, or distressed. They explore what area rebound neighborhoods look like compared to those in other metros and offer tailored strategies that could help each neighborhood type thrive. Click here to download the report.
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