View this email in your browser

CommonBond reps visit Rapid City

“It was clear in all of our conversations that community members are working hard on solutions along the continuum and are poised for further action.”

That comment by Derek Madsen, Executive Vice President of Resource Development for CommonBond Communities, followed two days of meetings in Rapid City with locals in the housing industry and other key stakeholders.

CommonBond is based in the Twin Cities and operates more than 50 affordable housing properties in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Along with the actual structures, the organization also provides its residents with direct social services in a case management style.
Madsen and Deidre Lal Schmidt, CommonBond President and CEO, came to the Black Hills Oct. 22-23 to investigate entering the Rapid City market. They met with developers, non-profit service providers, and city and county officials during their visit, which was funded by the John T. Vucurevich Foundation in support of Rapid City Collective Impact’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

“What would it look like to have CommonBond here?” Schmidt said in one meeting, indicating one of the main questions she and her team must answer as they explore the local market.

“The opportunity to meet with so many key leaders proved a strong start to our evaluation of possible responses to the need for affordable housing,” Madsen said in an email following the trip.
Liz Hamburg, Executive Director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the home of RCCI, says it has become clear that more resources are required to own and manage affordable housing properties; however, when it is done well, those properties can be viewed as assets and help to minimize the “not-in-my-backyard” mentality. She says CommonBond has been very successful in combining good property management with case management to help and house low-income individuals and families.
Beyond the recent CommonBond conversations, RCCI is moving forward with other aspects of its Affordable Housing Initiative, including tapping a local leader to steer the work. Hamburg says that was one of the main outcomes of RCCI’s two Housing Summits – that Rapid City needs a “point person” in the housing arena, and the value of education and services for people in need of affordable housing.

The next steps in this effort include creating an inventory of existing affordable housing properties and projects in the works, identifying impact investment models that could financially support affordable housing, identifying policy-based barriers and restrictions to housing in the Rapid City area, and exploring the feasibility of a non-profit development corporation.

Hamburg says these priority areas will be refined based on feedback from CommonBond officials. Look for updates on RCCI's Affordable Housing Initiative in the coming months.

Among the key findings revealed in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's housing report released in June is that Rapid City is short nearly 3,500 units costing less than $900 per month in the owner-occupied market. Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity's "3500 Campaign" is an effort to raise awareness for the need for affordable housing in Rapid City. As part of the campaign, Habitat hopes to display more than 3,500 paper homes at the Civic Center East Concourse from 2 to 6 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 9.

FSD receives $50K grant

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation has awarded a $50,000 "Community Action Grant" to Feeding South Dakota to support additional mobile food distributions in Rapid City neighborhoods.

RCCI's Food Security Oversight Committee previously determined the greatest areas of need based on extensive mapping of the city. As a result, FSD began adding more mobile distributions this past spring. Soon, a new truck and specialized trailer will make even more mobile distributions possible.

The BHACF grant will support staffing and other aspects of these distributions, including data collection efforts, in order to better assist the people being served.
New food pantry opens

A new food pantry is now available to the residents of Northern Heights. The North Rapid apartment complex operated by Mercy Housing is located in a neighborhood deemed a priority area by RCCI's Food Security Oversight Committee.

The pantry is the result of a new collaboration between Mercy Housing and Feeding South Dakota and was made possible with funds from a Black Hills Area Community Foundation "Quality of Life Grant."

A Mercy staff member hosted a community breakfast for residents last month, and FSD Food Security Manager Mary Corbine was in attendance to engage with the residents and share information about food options in Rapid City.

'Collective Impact' in the News
Start spreading the news! Famed New York Times columnist David Brooks showed some love to the collective impact process in a column published Oct 8.

In it, Brooks highlights the work of the Spartanburg Academic Movement in South Carolina while also explaining how this community problem-solving approach is working well in a variety of social service areas in dozens of cities.

"Building working relationships across a community is an intrinsically good thing,” Brooks writes. “You do enough intrinsically good things and lives will be improved in ways you can never plan or predict.”

"Together, building the most caring community."

Copyright © 2018 Rapid City Collective Impact, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp