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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

April 29, 2015


Everyday Fragmentation: Why service providers need to work across boundaries to better serve our communities

By Paul Sorenson, Director of Strategic Communications and Planning at Grace Hill Settlement House

St. Louis is grappling with substantial barriers that separate us from each other, those drawn in thick red lines — municipal boundaries, legal hurdles, and persistent systems of inequality and racism. But our fragmentation can persist even in individual neighborhoods, lines drawn in pencil that many are still hesitant to cross. These thin borders — between neighborhoods and wards, across thoroughfares and parks, between nonprofits and congregations and personalities — should be easy to erase, though many continue to define our work.

The good news? More and more people are crossing these lines, renewing a primary commitment to serve kids, families and communities wherever we are asked. Over the past few years, many neighborhoods in North St. Louis City have recognized that service providers (loosely defined as organizations working to better their communities) need to collaborate for greater impact. 

For the full article, 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
St. Louis In Line For Federal Aid
HUD Secretary, Julian Castro, spoke yesterday morning at the Metropolitan Education and Training (MET) Center in Wellston to announce Promise Zone designation for St. Louis. The designation gives St. Louis technical assistance and priority status when applying for federal grant dollars. St. Louis was one of six cities in the country to be designated in this promise zone round. To read more about this announcement, click here

Housing Authority Wants Smaller Low-Income Complexes In More Affluent Areas
In response to a request by Missouri Treasurer Clint Zweifel, the Missouri Housing Development Commission recently presented recommendations for improving subsidized housing in St. Louis County. Their recommendations included placing smaller housing units in wealthier areas and connecting tenants with more community and social services. To read more about their recommendations on subsidized housing, click here.

LaunchCode To Open New Center In North St. Louis
LaunchCode is planning to open a new community center on Delmar just north of the Central West End in an effort to attract more diversity to its program. Part of the funding for the new center will come from $250,000 in state tax credits. To read more on this development, click here.

Emerald Ridge Ribbon Cutting - Windy and Fantastic!
On April 20th, Rise held a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the Emerald Ridge development in East Alton, Illinois. This project is the result of a collaborative effort between Rise Community Development, Southwestern Illinois Development Authority (SWIDA), the Village of East Alton and Madison County. To read more about this development, click here.

Economic Mobility Important For Region Post-Ferguson
On Thursday, April 16, Women's Voices Raised for Social Justice, the National Council of Jewish Women-St. Louis, and the Community Against Poverty hosted a panel discussion called "Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey From Recovery to Rebuilding." The discussion focused on ways to improve economic mobility in the region, such as improving wages and regional transportation. To read more details from this discussion, click here.

Lessons On Leadership In St. Louis And Beyond
In this episode of St. Louis On the Air, host Don Marsh interviewed Professor Todd Swanstrom of UMSL and Professor Robin Hambleton of the University of West England and author of the book "Leading the Inclusive City: Place Based Innovation for a Bounded Planet." In this episode the two discussed ways of fostering more inclusive place-based leadership in St. Louis. To read more about this interview or to listen, click here.

New Program Offers Job And Life Skills To Minorities And Women
This article from St. Louis Public Radio highlights a new eight week class by MOKAN Construction Contractors Assistance Center. This program provides job training, remedial education, drug counseling, and financial education in an effort to connect women and minorities with contract construction work in the City of St. Louis. To read more about this program, click here.

More Bike Routes Opened In St. Louis
On Saturday April, 25, Great Rivers Greenway and the City of St. Louis celebrated the completion of Phase III of the Bike St. Louis plan. Completion of Phase III means there are 40 more miles of bike routes and improved connectivity for communities within the city. To read more about this development, click here.


A Sector Hanging In The Balance: Human Services in the 21st Century
Grace Hill Settlement House is hosting a morning breakfast and conversation with Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and Professor Edward Lawlor, Dean of the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. This event will take place April 30 at 7:30 am at the Missouri History. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

PCRG Annual Community Development Summit: Physical Places and Social Spaces
On May 12 and 13, the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group is hosting the 5th Annual Community Development Summit in downtown Pittsburgh. This two-day summit will feature networking, workshops, and panel discussions with several speakers, including Tamar Shapiro and Paul Farmer. For more information, click here.


2015 Missouri Housing Summit
The 2015 Missouri Housing Summit is set to take place at the St. Louis City Center Hotel from April 29 through May 1. This summit will feature a variety of workshops intended to support practitioners in housing development, mental health services, and community development corporations. For more information on this summit, click here.

Community Development In Distressed Neighborhoods
Rise and the Community Builders Network are hosting a training seminar on community development planning and implementation in distressed neighborhoods. This seminar is set to take place May 7 at Harris-Stowe State University. For more information, and to register, click here

Missouri Supportive Housing Institute RFA
The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) are working together to provide the Missouri Supportive Housing Institute. This will be a training series with additional benefits to assist organizations working with housing development and supportive services. To be considered for the institute, applications must be turned in by May 11 at 5 pm. For more information on eligibility and the application process, click here

Health + Policy Implications
The Missouri Gateway Chapter is hosting guest speaker, Joyce S. Lee, President of IndigoJLD, in a presentation on policies and strategies communities can implement to promote healthy and active living. This presentation will take place May 12 at 6:15 pm at the Alberici Headquarters in Overland. For more information, click here.

Green Design + Human Health + Social Equity
On May 13, the Missouri Gateway Chapter will host this lecture by Joyce S. Lee, President of IndigoJLD. This lecture will discuss "Design for Active Occupants," a pilot credit for communities that seeks to reduce fossil fuel consumption, increase active living, and improve nutrition. For more information, click here.

America Walks Take Action Webinar Series
The last of the America Walks free webinar series of free webinars is set to take place May 22 at 1pm Central Time. This last webinar will discuss US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx's Mayor's Challenge for "Safer People, Safer Streets." For more information on these opportunities, click here.

Meet the Donor - Funder Strategies: Updates and Information
On Wednesday May 27, the Gateway Center for Giving is featuring this panel discussion with local funders on ways to improve their community impact. This discussion will take place at the Missouri History Museum from 3:30 to 5pm. For more information and to sign up, 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!

CDA Housing Production NOFA
The City of St. Louis CDA recently released its Notice of Funding Availability for its Spring of 2015 Housing Production funds. All applications for funding are due May 1 at 4pm. For more information, click here.

Competitive Affordable Housing Program Subsidy
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines has announced plans to open the application process for its Competitive Affordable Housing Program on May 15. For more information about this competitive subsidy, click here.

The Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation is now accepting applications for the GSK IMPACT Grant. This grant is intended to bring together organizations that work to foster healthy communities. Letters of Intent are due by May 8. For more information, click here.

Safe Places To Play Grant
The U.S. Soccer Foundation is accepting applications for its Safe Places to Play grant. This grant is awarded to programs that support soccer programs and soccer fields in urban areas. Letters of intent are due by May 29 and the deadline to apply is June 5. For more information on this grant, click here.

Capacity Building VISTA
St. Vincent Greenway, Inc. and Great Rivers Greenway are seeking a full-time Americorp VISTA to build capacity for community development projects and programs along the St. Vincent Greenway. For more information about this position, click here.

DeSales Community Housing Corporation is seeking a financial manager to manage the organization's accounting, budgeting and financial oversight. For more information about this position, click here.

Grant Writing Consultant
The Near North Cluster (an affiliate of the Community Builders Network) is seeking a Grant Writing Consultant to attract funding for their community development efforts in the Near North side of St. Louis. The Near North Cluster is comprised of Old North Restoration Group, Northside Community Housing, Inc., and Community Renewal and Development, Inc. For more information on this position, click here.

Trailnet Volunteer Opportunities
Trailnet is seeking volunteers for several upcoming community events and bike rides. There are also volunteer opportunities available for office support. For more information, click here.

Job Postings for Revitalization 2000
Revitalization 2000 has four part time positions available for their community gardening expansion project at the Ville Family Gardens. Applicants should call Stephanie McClure at 314-977-4011. For more information, click here.

Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment
The Cleveland Federal Reserve recently released a report on the effects of racial segregation on neighborhood quality. Their research examines five cities that took part in HUD's pilot program Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing (MTO) during the 1990s. This pilot program was an effort to help low income families move into higher income neighborhoods, but the program did not result in any meaningful racial integration. In fact, their report finds that MTO participants mostly moved into heavily segregated neighborhoods. Their research indicates that higher levels of racial segregation hinder the impact of policies intended to improve neighborhoods. Last week, Next City published an article summarizing the report's findings. To view that article, click here. To read the Cleveland Federal Reserve report, click here
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