IN THIS EDITION: Wells Fargo grant, PIT Count, and more!
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BHACF receives $150K for food, housing work

A sizeable grant awarded to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation in 2019 will support the ongoing work of the Rapid City Collective Impact initiative in 2020.

Two-thirds of the $150,000 High-Impact Grant from the Wells Fargo South Dakota Contribution Council will help to address affordable housing needs in the Rapid City area, while the remainder will be used for RCCI’s food security efforts, including “mini grants” for local organizations that have implemented or plan to implement programs that improve access to healthier food options for low-income individuals and families.

“An investment in BHACF and RCCI means you are investing in the whole community,” Programs Manager Jamie Kirsch stated in the grant application submitted last spring. “Grant dollars would go to support the efforts of many organizations versus just one organization, increasing Wells Fargo’s impact exponentially and making the most out of your organization’s generosity to the Rapid City community.”

The grant funding allocated for affordable housing purposes will allow BHACF to continue to serve as the backbone organization for this work, convening stakeholders and providing resources to support an inclusive, coordinated effort. That includes the establishment of an Affordable Housing Fund at BHACF.

This fund allows BHACF to provide a philanthropic resource that can be deployed to support predevelopment or rehabilitation efforts for certain projects that address our city’s affordable housing needs, and to coordinate and invest in efforts to provide renter education and financial literacy through our nonprofit partners,” BHACF Executive Director Liz Hamburg explained.

Other affordable housing work led by the BHACF/RCCI team includes identifying and addressing regulatory barriers to development, and working with local landlords to better connect them and, in turn, their residents with existing support services.

“A critical component of the RCCI work is collaboration,” Hamburg said. “Rapid City is quickly moving past the era of siloed problem-solving and is coming together to address common problems, an incredible change in service culture that is being powered by the BHACF-hosted work of RCCI.”

Below: Wells Fargo representatives pose for a photo with BHACF/RCCI leadership and staff.

"What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year."  - Vern McLellan, Author
PIT Count
The Point-in-Time Count, which takes place each January to identify people who are homeless in communities across the nation, is coming up on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The annual count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and is coordinated locally by the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition.

PIT Count volunteers must receive special training in order to conduct the surveys during the event.

For more information on the count, volunteering, or donating items that can be distributed to our neighbors in need, please contact Homeless Coalition Coordinator Sara Hornick at
Meet the Team
From small towns in the Black Hills to conflict zones in Africa, Jamie Kirsch has spent more than a decade working in communities around the world to help people build local capacities and solve problems sustainably.

Jamie is the BHACF's Programs Manager. In that role, she facilitates all of the organization’s grant-making efforts, scholarship processes, and supports RCCI’s Affordable Housing and Food Security initiatives.

Jamie is a native of the Black Hills, returning after 15 years of working abroad to raise her beautiful son near her family. She and her son enjoy spending time at the library, local playgrounds, and riding bikes.

"Together, building the most caring community."

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