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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

August 17, 2016


5 Reasons Why CDCs Should Communicate the Health Impact Of Their Work

By Kavya Sekar, Master of Public Policy Candidate at Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

When I started my role at MACDC back in September, one of the first events I attended was our Innovation Forum "How Can We Better Leverage the Health Impact of Community Development?" With my background in public health, I was excited to connect the dots between my previous work and my current role in community development. I decided to move away from public health, in part, to learn more about economic and structural inequalities, so it was important to be reminded that "a person's zip code has a greater impact on a person’s health than his or her genetic code."

With my background and interest in health, I am helping develop training programs on community development and health for The Mel King Institute. As a part of this process, I explored CDC websites to look for health related programs. What I found was somewhat disappointing: while CDCs are doing work that helps improve the health of their communities, very few are talking about it. Housing, economic development and community building all have a positive health impact and here’s why we should tell the world.

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
Wide Variation Among Neighborhoods In St. Louis's Home Price Recovery
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch looked at the trajectory of regional home prices last week, reporting that some neighborhoods have enjoyed a stronger recovery than others since the recession. ZIP code 63110, which encompasses neighborhoods between Forest Park and Tower Grove Park, has seen a 5% increase in home prices since 2007. In other parts of the Central Corridor and South St. Louis City, home values have jumped more than 50% since 2000. These neighborhoods have benefited from strong anchor institutions that provide jobs and have a vested interest in the health of their communities. Click here for the full story.

National Low Income Housing Coalition Releases Advocacy Guide
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has released an affordable housing advocacy guide to help organizations take action this summer and fall on housing issues related to their missions. The guide covers ways organizations can encourage more federal spending on housing programs, improve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and more. Click here to take a look.

Lawsuit For Thirteen St. Louis County Municipalities
St. Louis-based Arch City Defenders and Washington, D.C.-based Arnold & Porter served thirteen St. Louis County municipalities with a federal lawsuit last week that accuses the jurisdictions of using a system of "debtors' prisons" to extort money from poor, disproportionately African-American residents. The suit includes complaints about poor conditions at the St. Ann jail, which is used to house people from all thirteen municipalities overnight. Click here to read the full story.

EPA, Maryland Heights Landfill Reach Settlement
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Champ Landfill near Maryland Heights to correct noncompliance with parts of the Clean Air Act. Champ Landfill is expected to pay $1.6 million to implement improvements recommended by auditors. The landfill has also committed to purchasing new trash collection trucks that will reduce particle emissions. Click here to read more.

Patrick Brown Named St. Louis's Chief Resilience Officer
Patrick Brown, Mayor Slay's Deputy Chief of Staff, is now responsible for leading resilience-building efforts in the St. Louis area as the city's first Chief Resilience Officer. These efforts will address both natural catastrophes and societal stressors like civil unrest and infrastructure problems. The role is part of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities project, which aims to help "cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social, and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century." Read the full story here.

Placemaking Walk Audits From Citizens For Modern Transit
Citizens for Modern Transit is sponsoring a series of Placemaking Walk Audits to explore strategies for how public transit stops can be made into more engaging, safe, and active community spaces. Audits feature an on-site component and a follow-up discussion afterward. The first event is scheduled for 9 am on Wednesday, August 24th at North Hanley Station. Click here for more details.

Renovations Complete At 5921 Southwest Avenue in Southwest Garden Neighborhood
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, the Community Development Administration, and Rubicon Development recently partnered to renovate a long-term vacant and blighted property at 5921 Southwest Avenue in the Southwest Garden neighborhood of South St. Louis City. Neighbors and community partners praised the "beautiful" work and the partners' effort to "keep the block intact." "I just can't believe it's the same place," said one resident. "It's wonderful for the neighborhood." Click here to view the video.

St. Patrick Center Events To End Homelessness Today, August 17th
St. Patrick Center will host Lloyd Pendleton, former Director of the Utah Homeless Task Force, at two events focused on ending homelessness today, August 17th. The first, Vision to End Homelessness, will be held at St. Patrick Center from 3:00-4:30 pm. The second, Champions to End Homelessness, will take place from 6:00-7:30 pm at St. Louis University School of Law. Click here for more information.

Beloved Streets of America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Dinner
Beloved Streets of America (BSA) is hosting its first annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Dinner on September 9th from 6:00-10:00 pm. The event is part of BSA's initiative to ensure that all streets named after Dr. King are vibrant, beautiful, and prosperous. The dinner will include an awards ceremony for local leaders and activists and discussion about how to continue Dr. King's legacy. Click here to purchase tickets.

New Interactive Tool Explores Challenges of Affordable Housing Finance Without Subsidies
The Urban Institute, in partnership with the National Housing Conference, has created a new interactive tool that demonstrates the challenges of building affordable housing without government subsidies. Users toggle costs and expected revenues as they role-play as developers seeking financially feasible development projects. Financial hurdles among affordable housing projects are often related to two big funding gaps: the one that arises between expected revenue from building rents and the funds developers need to pay lenders and investors, and the gap between the rents very poor families are able to pay and the funds needed for sustainable building operation. Click here to take a look.


Webinar: Community Development, Community Safety, and Childhood Development
From 12:30-2:00 pm CDT on Friday, August 26th, Prevention Institute and the Center of the Study of Social Policy are facilitating a webinar that provides an overview of the community development sector and why engaging in the sector is important for public health, community safety, and positive early childhood development. This webinar is part of the Cradle to Community project. Click here to register.

NACEDA Symposium: Community Development & The Social Determinants Of Health
On August 30th, NACEDA will host a symposium on community development and the social determinants of health in Cleveland, Ohio. The symposium will facilitate discussions on how community development practitioners and health professionals can work together to create healthier communities. Click here for more information and here to register.

Gateway Conference For Philanthropy
On August 31st, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, St. Louis will hold a conference to discuss new ways of thinking about fundraising and philanthropy's role in our region. The session will start with thoughts from Rev. Starsky Wilson, and Strange Donuts co-founder Jason Bockman joins for lunch as the keynote speaker. Pre-conference programming is available August 29th-30th. Click here to register.

Kansas City Federal Reserve Conference on Financial Resiliency and Mobility
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City will host a national conference September 7th-8th to explore various issues that affect the financial health of low- and moderate-income communities, including health, housing, jobs, and more. Registration is open through August 26th. Click here for more information.

University of Missouri Extension Community Development Academy
The University of Missouri Extension's Community Development Academy builds the capacity of community-focused organizations through intensive, experiential training courses that help participants learn how to work collaboratively on community issues. This fall's Community Development Academy will be held September 26th-30th in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. For more information and to register, click here.

2016 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference
Registration is open for the Center for Community Progress's seventh national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, to be held September 28th-30th in Baltimore, Maryland. This year's theme is "In Service of People and Place." Conference attendees will explore strategies for reclaiming vacant properties and strengthening neighborhoods facing vacancy, abandonment, and disinvestment. For more information, click here.


Nonprofit Financial Oversight Basics
In this workshop, CPA managers from RubinBrown LLC's nonprofit division will discuss financial oversight best practices for nonprofit organizations. This program is co-sponsored by UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program and will be held at the Central Library on Tuesday, August 23rd from 3:00-5:00 pm. Click here for more information.

Small Business Workshop from SLU
On Thursday, August 25th, SLU's Law Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic will host its second of four Small Business Workshops for area business owners. The workshop covers both business and legal topics and includes an opportunity for attendees to connect with small business resource providers. The workshop is free, but registration is required; click here to register.

Running A Successful Monthly Giving Program
The Network for Strong Communities is hosting a how-to session on monthly giving programs on September 12th from 12:00-1:00 pm. Attendees will learn how to plan, implement, monitor, and improve their organizations' monthly giving programs from two subject-matter experts. Click here to sign up.

Landlord Training: Nuisance Abatement And Prevention
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting a series of free Landlord Training workshops this year for all city landlords, investors, and other interested parties. On Saturday, September 17th, the training session will discuss nuisance abatement and prevention. The workshop will be held at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Avenue) from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. For more information, click here.

Asset Management Training From The Brown School Of Social Work, NeighborWorks America
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.

Cost-Free Business Education for St. Louis Business Owners
Business education program Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is accepting applications from growth-oriented businesses that have a presence in urban or economically underserved areas. Participating business owners will receive business education, marketing assistance, one-on-one coaching, and an opportunity to attend a day-long business education conference this fall. The program is being offered free of cost to participants thanks to the financial support of Regions Bank and the St. Louis Regional Chamber. For more information, click here.


August 20
2016 Rise Up Festival

August 24
North Hanley Station Placemaking Transit Stop Walk Audit

August 27 - 28
International Institute's Festival of Nations

September 9
Beloved Streets of America Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Dinner

September 16
Forest Park Station Placemaking Transit Stop Walk Audit

September 16
North City Business Development Center Grand Opening

September 17
St. Louis Public Radio MetroQuest



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 that look at health insurance coverage in the St. Louis region. 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.

Innovative Solutions To Food Insecurity
Missouri Foundation for Health and Incarnate Word Foundations are providing grants of up to $10,000 to fund St. Louis-region projects that create innovative community solutions to food insecurity. This funding opportunity is for new initiatives only and does not apply to community gardens or traditional farmers' markets. The deadline to apply is September 16th. Click here to learn more.

Buckingham Pillar Grant Program
Clayton-based financial planning firm Buckingham is accepting applications for its 2016 Pillar Grant Program through September 21st. These grants fund nonprofit organizations pursuing initiatives and projects that promote community development through entrepreneurship and wellness. Buckingham plans to award five to seven $10,000 grants. Click here to learn more and apply.

Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund
The Spirit of St. Louis (SOS) Women's Fund, a collective giving and grantmaking organization and a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, opens its 2016-2017 grant cycle on September 1st. SOS grants will be made to 501(c)(3) organizations focused on arts and culture, education, environment, health, and/or social services and are not restricted to initiatives focused on women. Letters of interest are due September 30th. Click here to learn more.

Economic Development Assistance Programs Federal Funding Opportunity
The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking opportunities to provide communities with construction, non-construction, and revolving loan fund investments to support economic development strategies built to create jobs, leverage private capital, and strengthen regional competitiveness in the global marketplace. Grants are provided under the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Click here to learn more.

U.S. Department of Education FY2016 Promise Neighborhoods Competition
The U.S. Department of Education opened the FY2016 Promise Neighborhoods (PN) Competition for implementation and planning grants last month. The PN program provides funding to eligible organizations to pursue initiatives that are aligned with the PN vision: to improve educational and developmental outcomes for youth in distressed areas, and to transform communities as a part of the process. Grant applications are due September 6th. Click here for more information.

Lowe's Community Partners Grants
The Lowe's Community Partners Grant Program 2016 Fall Funding Cycle is open through August 26th. Municipalities and nonprofit organizations that require funding for high-need projects—including building and technology upgrades and safety improvements—are invited to apply for grants of up to $100,000. Click here for more information and here to apply.

Surdna Foundation Grants For Urban Infrastructure
The Surdna Foundation's Sustainable Environments Program invites Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) from nonprofit organizations working to improve or overhaul outdated, overburdened urban infrastructure. Grants will fund four main program categories: Sustainable Transportation Networks & Equitable Development Patterns, Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment, Urban Water Management, and Regional Food Supply. Favorable proposals will foster collaboration, focus on underserved communities, and/or encourage long-term investments and solutions. Click here for more information.

Our Town Grant Program for Creative Placemaking
The Our Town grant program from the National Endowment for the Arts supports creative placemaking projects, initiatives that are designed to create more vibrant, livable communities by uniting art and culture with community development and revitalization. The grant requires partnerships between arts organizations and government, nonprofits, and private organizations. The deadline to apply is September 12th. For more information, click here.

Ben & Jerry's Foundation Grants 
The Ben & Jerry's Foundation is seeking organizations to apply for year-long grants of up to $25,000. Applicants should be community-organizing groups that are working to address issues related to social and environmental justice, including sustainable and just food systems. Pre-proposals will be accepted from August 1st through October 14th. For more information, click here.

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.
Manager of Programs
Deaconess Foundation is seeking a Manager of Programs. The primary responsibility of this full-time position is managing grant making processes within the foundation's program portfolio. The secondary responsibility is relationship management and constituency support services to the foundation's volunteers and prospective/partner grantees. The position assures effectiveness of program operations by enhancing communication with partners and devising and implementing efficiencies of workflow. Click here to learn more.

Positions Available At Grace Hill
Grace Hill is seeking candidates for several open positions, including a Patch Head Start and Early Head Start Manager, a Family Advocate, and a Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Specialist. Click the links above to learn more and apply. Applications are only accepted online; no phone calls or hard copies, please.

Business Development Specialist
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is looking for a Business Development Specialist to serve as the project manager for its Business Development Division. This position supports the Business Development Division staff and is responsible for economic development collaboration and business outreach, retention, expansion, and attraction. Click here for the full job description and application instructions.

Promise Zone Support Assistant Internship
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is seeking candidates for an unpaid internship position for the fall 2016 semester. The Promise Zone Support Assistant will assist the Promise Zone director with communications, data, and community engagement work. This role provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in community development while furthering the goals of the St. Louis Promise Zone. For more information, click here.

Volunteer Opportunity: Trailnet Bike and Pedestrian Counts 2016
As a part of their fifth consecutive year participating in the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, Trailnet and Great Rivers Greenway are looking for volunteers to help document bicyclists and pedestrians at designated locations on September 13th or 14th from 5:00-7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to connect with neighbors while supporting active regional transportation. Volunteers will also be entered to win an Apple iPad. Click here to learn more.
Housing, Neighborhoods, And Mental Health
study conducted in New York's Bronx neighborhood finds there is a link between mental health characteristics (such as depression symptoms and hostility levels) and the features of a resident's housing and the surrounding neighborhood. More specifically, overcrowding, structural problems, and a lack of physical and/or social cohesion in a neighborhood is associated with poorer mental health. The presence or type of rental housing assistance, however, does not have a relationship with resident mental health. Click here for a summary and here for the research brief.
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