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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

April 15, 2015


The Ferguson Moment: Putting Our Foot On the Accelerator In Community and Economic Development

By Hank Webber, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration at Washington University

The question for every citizen of St. Louis and for every community leader is “What are we going to do in the wake of Ferguson?” Do we allow St. Louis to become an international symbol of the divides of race and class? Will we become to the next decades what Selma has been to the last fifty years? Or is this the time to do what we've done well in the past, but with the foot on the accelerator, with a new dedication to action. Are we going to build off the recent successes of CORTEX and T Rex and build a new economy for the twenty-first century? Are we going to extend the success we have had in revitalizing the Central West End, Botanical Heights, Forest Park Southeast and Soulard to fifteen more neighborhoods in the next ten years, including many of the neighborhoods north of Delmar? Are we going to face our Achilles heel, which is race?
That’s the choice we have to make. It’s a choice that New Orleans had to make after Hurricane Katrina. To me, and I expect to you, there’s only one acceptable answer. To go backward is to condemn our children and our grandchildren to a St. Louis that is not a place they want to live.
To read 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 Boasts Success with Programs Funded by Federal Community Development Grants
Last week, the Community Development Administration of the City of St. Louis hosted the annual National Community Development Week to highlight neighborhood revitalization efforts in the city. The CDA honored the efforts of three Community Builders Network members: Rise, Hamilton Heights Neighborhood Organization, and Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC. St. Louis Public Radio also published an article on Community Development Week and the importance of community development efforts in the city of St. Louis. To read that article, click here. To read about the accomplishments of Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC, click here, and to read of the accomplishments of Rise, click here.

Women's Group Works To Keep Thriving Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood Diverse
The Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood has seen a development surge in recent years, with new businesses and housing units in and surrounding the Grove district. Voices of Women, or VOW, a recently formed nonprofit, is working with Urban Improvement Construction and Rise to ensure new developments do not drive out low income residents and include more affordable housing. To read more about the efforts of VOW and their partnership, click here.

St. Louis Public Housing Complex Wins HUD Job-Training Grant
HUD recently awarded the Clinton-Peabody housing development $3 million in grant dollars for a program that allows residents to keep low rental rates while find higher paying jobs. The program is intended to help residents build some personal wealth. To read more on this story, click here.

Fair Housing Conference Focuses On School Segregation, Occupancy Permits
Last Friday, the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council hosted its fair housing conference, "Modern Segregation: Addressing Barriers to Equality in Local Governments." As St. Louis Public Radio reports, much of the conference focused on the requirement of occupancy permits for Section 8 housing. To read more about the topics discussed at this conference, click here.

TGNCDC Receives Grant To Advance Energy Efficiency
Last month, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC was awarded a grant from the Energy Foundation to improve energy efficiency in affordable multifamily housing. In receiving this grant, Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC will take part in a statewide effort to reduce burden of energy costs on low income households. The effort is called Energy Efficiency for All - Missouri. To read more on this story, click here.

North County Transit Center To Open Early Next Year
A new transit center in North County near W. Florissant Ave and I-270 is scheduled to open in early 2016. The transit center will connect riders directly with several popular locations including downtown St. Louis and Florissant Valley Community College. To read more about this development, click here.


Our Kids: The American Drean in Crisis with Robert Putnam
On April 15, author and Harvard Professor, Robert Putnam will lead a discussion on his new book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis and growing inequality in this country. Join him from 12 to 1pm a Graham Chapel on the campus of Washington University. For more information, click here.

Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to Rebuilding
This event is a panel discussion on how organizations can become 'part of the solution' in the aftermath of Ferguson. The panelists for this event include Rev. Starksy Wilson, Professor Todd Swanstrom and Professor Gregory Carr Sr. This discussion is set to take place April 16 from 7pm to 8:30pm. For more information, click here.

Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis
The Institute for Public Health at Washington University is hosting this panel discussion to increase awareness and propose solutions to address gun violence. This discussion is set to take place April 21 at the Eric P. Newman Education Center. For more information, click here.

Leading the Inclusive City: Lessons for St. Louis
Join Creating Whole Communities April 22 for this presentation and panel discussion led by author, Robin Hambleton on place-based leadership. The event will run from 4:30 to 7pm. For more information, click here.

South City Health Festival
The South City Health Festival will take place on Saturday April 25 in Fox Park from 10am to 2pm. The festival is sponsored by the Jefferson Collaborative, comprised of DeSales Community Housing Corporation, SouthSide Early Childhood Center and KIPP Inspire Academy. Funding is provided by Rise. The festival will feature cooking demonstrations, health screenings and group exercise. Kids can also get free bicycle helmets. For more information, 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. Early bird registration ends April 17. For more information, 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

America Walks Take Action Webinar Series
America Walks is offering a series of free webinars in the months of April and May on community building related to walkable design. The webinars are set to take place April 23 and May 22.  For more information on these opportunities, click here.

Growing A City To Meet Current And Future Needs: What Led To The Urban Resilience Movement
Arizona State University and the Security and Sustainability Forum are hosting this webinar on April 24 on urban resiliency. The webinar will feature several panelists, including Joyce Coffee, Tom Seager, and Charles Redman. 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



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. Pre-applications have also been made available and are open until April 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. An informational session has been scheduled for April 16, and 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.

DeSales Community Housing Corporation is seeking an 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.

Communications and Marketing Manager
Trailnet is seeking a Communications and Marketing Manager to lead and implement Trailnet's communications and marketing strategy. 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.

Where The White People Live: How Self-Segregation And Concentrated Affluence Became Normal In America
Edward G. Goetz, Tony Damiano and Jason Hicks of the University of Minnesota have released a working paper examining racially concentrated areas of affluence (RCAAs) in the largest cities of the U.S. RCAAs are areas that are at least 90% white with median income equal to four times the federal poverty rate. Their paper looks at the number of RCAAs and compares them with racially concentrated areas of poverty (RCAPs). RCAPs are at least 50% nonwhite with 40% living in poverty. Their paper points out that federal policies generally only focus on segregation as an issue in nonwhite communities. Meanwhile, there are issues with highly segregated white communities as well, including lacking empathy. To read about their research, click here, and to view a presentation on their findings, click here.
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