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Saint Louis Community Builders Exchange

March 2, 2016


Rebuilding the Dream
By Melvin White, President and CEO of Beloved Streets of America
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of Americas most storied African Americans. He won Nobel peace prize, organized some of Americas biggest protest marches, stood for diversity and is recognized worldwide for his model of civil disobedience. Beloved Streets of America is a St. Louis-based 501c non-profit organization whose mission is to foster collaboration among individuals, groups, and organizations to generate resources to revitalize and conserve the streets that bear the honorable name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In our seven-year study of various MLK streets nationwide we found these streets to be crime-ridden, poverty stricken places were non blacks seldom travel.  They typically lack any sustainable economic vitality. This is not fitting for a man who gave his life to uplifting humanity. It's time for St. Louis and the nation to change the stigma that has been placed on these streets. We have money for Nike, Ralph Lauren, and baseball stadiums but little money for communities that surround streets that bear the MLK name.

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
The Fourth Annual 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. Please join us for an evening of food, networking, and fun as we award those making a positive impact on St. Louis neighborhoods. To see this year's award winners, click here. For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.

Benton Park Row Houses Planned
An article shared by Construction Forum STL describes plans for 5 three-story row houses in the Benton Park neighborhood. The proposed new homes are within the Benton Park Historic District and now await approval from the Preservation Board. To read more on this story, click here.

Hilary Clinton Unveils Sweeping Economic Agenda, Including Major Housing Reforms
Earlier last month, Hilary Clinton announced an agenda to help rebuild and revitalize struggling communities. The plan, called "Breaking Every Barrier Agenda," would help families save for down payments, offer housing and financial counseling, update credit risk assessment tools, and clarify lending requirements. Clinton's plan was highlighted in last month's edition of HousingWire. To read the full article, click here.

From A Close-Knit Neighborhood to 15 Homicides in One Year
St. Louis Public Radio recently started a news series on the impact of St. Louis' 188 homicides on victims, first responders, investigators, and the neighborhoods. This article is part of that series and focuses on the Wells Goodfellow neighborhood. The article describes the neighborhood's decline, last year's spike in homicides, and how some residents are banding together to support each other. To read the full article, click here.  

WUMCRC 2015 Year in Review
The Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation recently released its 2015 Year in Review. The report has numerous successful developments from last year, including current construction on the Barnes-Jewish Hospital expansion, several lofts and apartment developments, affordable housing, IKEA, and TechShop. To read the full 2015 report, click here.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Data and Mapping Tool
HUD recently updated its AFFH Data and Mapping Tool. This is a useful tool that gives organizations simple and easy access to useful neighborhood data and maps. To see the tool, 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.

A City Divided: Housing Polarization in St. Louis
The Missouri History Museum is hosting a two-day symposium on the long term impacts of segregation in St. Louis. The symposium begins this Friday, March 4, with four speakers and a screening of The Pruitt Igoe Myth. The symposium continues and ends on Saturday, March 5. For more information about this upcoming event, click here.

Green Communities, Prosperous Places
Heartland Conservancy Members is hosting this breakfast and seminar on innovations in green infrastructure and economic and community development. This conference will take place on March 17th at Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. For more information, click here.

Achieving a Sustainable Energy Future
On April 13 and 14 the Saint Louis University Center for Global Citizenship will host this conference on sustainability, energy, innovation and policy. For more information about this event, click here.



Landlord Training: Evictions
Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC is hosting this training session on how to avoid and handle evictions when necessary. This training session will take place this Saturday, March 5 from 8:30 to 12:30pm at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Affordable Housing and Mixed-Income Community Management: Key Financial Tools and Techniques
Spaces are still available for this 5 day series from Washington University on managing affordable housing. The series takes place from March 14 through March 18. For more information, click here

Community Development Academy
The University of Missouri Extension is hosting the Community Development Academy from March 28 through April 1 at Mercy Center in west St. Louis County.  The Academy will offer two courses on "Building Communities from the Grassroots" and on "Empowering Communities for the Future." For more information about this opportunity, click here.

Give STL Day 2016 Nonprofit Registration is Still Open
Give STL Day nonprofit registration opened on January 12 and more than 400 nonprofits have signed up to participate this year. The St. Louis Community Foundation is inviting more to participate in the third annual Give STL Day. Registration and training sessions are still open for those organizations interested. To view the remaining training sessions, click here. For registration information, click here.


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.

This week, we are sharing an interactive map on loans issued for home repairs. This interactive map was created freely online using Community Commons. 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.

Affordable Housing Program Pre-Application
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 until March 31. 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 serving the College Hill community. The deadline to submit a grant application is March 31. For more information, click here.

Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Home$tart Program
The FHLB of Des Moines opened its Home$tart and Home$tart Plus program on February 1. FHLB Des Moines bank members will have the opportunity to reserve up to $100,000 per program in 2016 to promote homeownership in the community. Members can receive up to $5,000 per eligible household through Home$tart or $10,000 per eligible household through Home$tart Plus to assist owner-occupant homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance. Nonprofit organizations can work with banks to serve residents through this program. For more information, click here

Sam's Club Community Grant Program
The Walmart Foundation's Community Grant Program is accepting applications for grants ranging $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 31. For more information, click here.
Community Development Coordinator
Northside Community Housing, Inc. is seeking a Community Development Coordinator to help manage its "Make it Home" program, leasing and support services, and other responsibilities. For more information about this position, click here.

Temporary Full-Time Position: Gallery/Conference Coordinator
The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis is seeking a temporary Gallery and Conference Coordinator to work from April through December of 2016. To read the full job description, click here.

Director of Community Development
St. Charles County Government is seeking a Director of Community Development. To view the full job description, click here (opens a PDF). To apply, click here.

Positions Available at East-West Gateway
East-West Gateway Council of Governments is currently accepting applications for three positions, a Community Engagement Coordinator, a Policy Analyst Planner, and a Sustainability Planner. To read more about these positions and to apply, click here.

Executive Director of Cornerstone
Cornerstone Corporation is accepting applications for a new Executive Director. For more information about this position and to learn more about Cornerstone, click here.

Part-Time Neighborhood Trainer
SLACO is seeking apart time Neighborhood Trainer to develop and manage the resident leadership training program. For more information and to apply, click here

24:1 Community Forester
Beyond Housing is seeking a Community Forester to administer and manage programs related to tree planting within the 24:1 service area. To read the full job description, click here (opens a PDF).

Des Lee Community Builders Graduate Research Assistant
The Community Builders Network is seeking a Graduate Research Assistant to assist with neighborhood research, CBN social media accounts, and the editing of the Community Builders Exchange e-newsletter. This position is open for current or incoming UMSL students only. For more information, click here.
How Much Do Startup Accelerators Help Cities?
This article from CityLab highlights recent research out of the Brookings Institution that looks at startup accelerators throughout US metro areas and whether or not they help create a "tech hub." The report, "Accelerating growth: Startup accelerator programs in the United States," takes a look at the regions with the most accelerators and compares this with the emergence of startups and startup communities. The research finds that St. Louis has the ninth largest concentration of accelerators across US metro areas behind San Francisco, New York, San Jose, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and the Washington DC area. To read the original report from Brookings, click here. To read the article summary from CityLab click here.
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