January 2016- Volume XIV, Number 1

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

–FUNDING
–TRAINING/MEETINGS
–OPPORTUNITIES
–MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

— The Community Clinics Grant program provides funding to plan, establish or operate services to improve the ongoing viability of Minnesota’s clinic-based safety net providers. Grants support clinical capacity to serve people with low incomes, reduce current or future uncompensated care burdens, or improve care delivery infrastructure. An eligible community clinic means a nonprofit clinic, government entity, Indian tribal government or Indian health service unit; or a consortium of these entities. Applicants must provide or plan to provide clinical services and use a sliding fee scale or other procedure to determine eligibility for charity care or to ensure that no person will be denied services because of inability to pay. Final applications are due in WebGrants@MDH 11:59 p.m. January 20. Contact Deb Jahnke at 651-201-3845 for more information.

First Nations Development Institute is offering grants through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. This initiative will provide up to ten grants to support projects that serve Native American children and families and aim to strengthen local food system control; increase access to local, healthy, and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts. Native American-controlled nonprofit tribal organizations and Native American community-based groups are eligible to apply. Deadline: 1/25/2016. Visit the First Nations website here to learn more about the funding guidelines and application process.

Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofits, public agencies, states, Indian Tribes, and local governments under the Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Assistance Program. Funds will be used to enhance the safety of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking by supporting projects uniquely designed to address and prevent these crimes in rural jurisdictions. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Farmer Veteran Coalition is offering grants to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces starting out in farming or ranching. Deadline: 2/1/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–FISKARS’ Project Orange Thumb is offering grants to nonprofit organizations, public schools, and municipalities in the U.S. and Canada for community gardens. Grants provide tools and resources to help communities reach their goals for neighborhood beautification, community collaboration, and healthy, sustainable food sources. Application deadline: 2/1/2016. Visit the Fiskars website here to submit an online application.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture administers the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grantawarded to Minnesota’s county fairs to fund projects and programs to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. Deadline for the non-competitive grants program is February 5, 2016.

— The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Final applications (if invited) are due in WebGrants@MDH by 4:00 p.m. February 5. Contact Lina Jau at 651-201-3809 for more information.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies to expand and enhance service capacity through the provision of peer recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders and their family members. Deadline: 2/15/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

The National Endowment for the Arts is offering grants through the Art Works program. Projects in this program: are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art; are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field. 2016 deadlines: 2/18 and 7/14. Click here to learn more about Art Works Grants.

HUD and USDA have announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round competition. Any community meeting the eligibility criteria which include having a contiguous boundary, a high poverty rate and a population within the area not exceeding 200,000 residents, can apply for a designation. HUD and USDA will designate 7 Promise Zones across urban, rural and tribal communities for the final round. Deadline: 2/23/2016. Click here for the Federal Register notice.  To read more about the Promise Zone initiative, click here.

–Department of Justice is offering grants to nonprofit and public agencies to provide transitional housing to victims of partner violence. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for an application and funding guidelines.

–Home Depot Foundation is offering grants of up to $500,000 to organizations for the construction or repair of single or multifamily permanent supportive housing or transitional housing for veterans and their families. Deadline: 2/24/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

Tribal Colleges Research Grants Program (TCRGP) offers grants to tribal colleges or universities for research projects that address concerns and needs of tribal and reservation communities, including projects that focus on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, and obesity reduction in tribal communities. Application Deadline: Feb 25, 2016

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted from January 1 through February 28, 2016 and will be selected by lottery. The solar incentive program is available to utility customers who install solar PV or solar thermal systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. The solar PV incentive program is open only to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant, Minnesota Power, Ottertail Power and Xcel Energy). Applicants can reapply if not selected in the previous year. The solar PV incentive is also available to developers of community solar gardens with less than 40 kilowatts (kW) of production.

Solar thermal rebate applications are open to utility customers throughout the state, with priority given to customers of the investor-owned utilities. the annual funding allocation is committed. More information on the Made in Minnesota program, including the incentive and rebate amounts, is available at the  Minnesota Department of Commerce website. Questions can be directed to the department’s Energy Information Center by email at energy.info@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1886 or 800-657-3710.

Department of Labor is offering tech hire partnership grants. Applications must include at least one representative of each of the following three types of entities: the workforce investment system; education and training providers; and business-related nonprofit organizations: organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries for the express purpose of serving the needs of businesses, or consortia of three or more businesses, or at least three independent businesses. The program is designed to equip individuals with the skills they need through innovative approaches that can rapidly train workers and connect them to well-paying, middle- and high-skilled, high-growth jobs across a diversity of H-1B industries such as IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and broadband. Deadline: 3/11/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–Department of Labor is offering grants up to $4 million dollars to nonprofit collaborations to develop an approach that provides skills training leading to family-supporting jobs for low- to middle-skilled parents while simultaneously developing and implementing a plan for applicants’ communities or regions that help families better navigate the existing complex systems of supportive services, including increased access to child care. Application deadline: 3/16/2016. Click here for guidelines.

Department of Health and Human Services is offering grants to enable nonprofit community collaborations to implement locally designed initiatives to reduce substance abuse. Deadline: 3/18/2016. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The National Endowment for the Arts will offer Challenge America grants primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations–those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Deadline: 4/14/2016. Click here to review program guidelines.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS 

–USDA will host a webinar Rural America At a Glance – 2015 edition. In this webinar, ERS Economist Lorin Kusmin will discuss the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on the U.S. rural economy, including employment, population, poverty trends, and educational attainment trends.  The Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, releases the Rural America at a Glance report annually, which summarizes the status of conditions and trends in rural areas.

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Lorin Kusmin, Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA
To register go to: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=s419an3x2srf

–The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a webcast on improving energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing on January 19, 2016, at 1:00 PM ET. “Beyond the Light Touch: Next Steps for Improving Energy Efficiency in Multi-Family Affordable Housing” will explore the specific challenges and opportunities faced by programs that aim to improve energy efficiency in multifamily affordable housing, with an emphasis on achieving multiple benefits through deeper retrofits. To register, click here.

2016 EDAM Winter Conference to be held on January 21-22 at the Minneapolis Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Registration is now open with discounted fees available until January 8. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/11lv .

–The MN Ag Expo will be held January 27-28, 2016 in Mankato at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Research shows that nonprofits that invest in their volunteers can build capacity and increase community impact. To support this effort, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) is partnering with and training organizations to assess their current volunteer engagement efforts. This model, called Service Enterprise, also helps organizations create a plan to foster a culture of volunteerism. MAVA, along with HandsOn Twin Cities, is recruiting organizations to participate in two upcoming Service Enterprise training cohorts. St. Cloud cohort applications are due February 1, while Twin Cities cohort applications will be due in early May.  Visit MAVA’s website for more information or email Sara Wessling from MAVA or Zeeda Magnuson from HandsOn Twin Cities.

Register Now for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

The lineup for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference on February 2-3 is complete and you’ll find many ways to THINK BIG in Bemidji this year!

Energy Design Conference & Expo is February 22-24 in Duluth.  For the 26th straight year, participants will learn about the latest in energy-efficient building technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design at the Energy Design Conference & Expo on Feb. 22-24, 2016 in Duluth, Minn. More than 40 workshop sessions are planned, with some of the leading professionals in the energy field presenting. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a sponsor and partner of the event. Early registration ends Jan. 29. To register and for more information read more.

— An online webinar- Information Session on Brown- field Resources will be hosted by EDAM on February 25th from 12-1:30PM. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/129t .

Tech Cities 2016 will be held February 26, 2016 at the Carlson School of Management in Minneapolis. For more in formation and registration go to: http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/events/tech-cities-conference

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival & Events Association Annual Meeting

Join MNFEA at the 2016 Annual Conference March 10-11, 2016 in New Ulm.

–Hold the Date! Minnesota Campus Compact Annual Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 7, 2016 at Macalester College.

— The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit will be held May 10-13 in Minneapolis.

–The Minnesota Rural Health Conference will be held June 20-21 in Duluth.

–SAVE THE DATES for Minnesota Council of Nonprofit events! The Nonprofit Fundraising Conference will be held July 21, 2016 in Brooklyn Center and their Annual Conference will be held October 6 – 7, 2016 in Duluth. 

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth. The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

OPPORTUNITIES

Share Your Ideas for the 2016 Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan

Planning for the 2016 update to the Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan is underway, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation welcomes your ideas on how to improve transit in Greater Minnesota. The goal of the plan is to improve mobility for the general public with emphasis on seniors, low income populations, the homeless population, individuals with disabilities, veterans, New Americans and commuters. Share your ideas, learn more about the plan and view the latest updates. There are several ways for everybody, not just transit users, to participate! The better response the department receives, the more informed their strategies will be. For questions about this process, please contact Sara Dunlap at 651-366-4194 or sara.dunlap@state.mn.us.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is seeking comments on a proposed rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This statute requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) to serve three specified underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets. The proposed rule would require the Enterprises to adopt plans to improve the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low-, and moderate-income families in the three specified underserved markets. Here are links to the press release, and proposed rule.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native health, or the environment. Deadline March 2, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Students from Statistics in the Community (STATCOM), a student group at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, are putting their skills to work by providing free statistical services to a variety of non-profit, governmental, and community-service organizationsMORE

–The University of St. Thomas is offering engineering-education courses for free to P-12 STEM teachers, thanks to sponsorship from Google. MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition Rural employment gains were significantly higher over the past year than in recent years, but employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas still suffer population loss, higher poverty, and lower education than urban areas.

County Typology Codes The 2015 County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six mutually exclusive categories of economic dependence and six overlapping categories of policy-relevant themes. The economic dependence types include farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. The policy-relevant types include low education, low employment, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, population loss, and retirement destination.

The Housing Assistance Council has released Veterans Data Central, a website that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of veterans in the United States.  Click here to visit the website.

America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2015 Edition Most U.S. farms (99 percent) are family operations. Small family farms make up 90 percent of the U.S. farm count but produce 22 percent of farm output. Midsize and large-scale farms (9 percent of farms) produce 68 percent of farm output.

Health Care Innovations for Rural Populations Features a selection of healthcare innovations and quality tools for rural populations that help to address health disparities including topics that cover service delivery models such as telehealth, mobile clinics, and integrated healthcare.

Keepin’ it REAL Rural is a drug and alcohol prevention program for middle school kids adapted to rural culture in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

— The U.S. Census Bureau released new American Community Survey data in December. The data show that the number of census tracts where at least 40% of residents live in poverty has grown steadily in the Twin Cities since 2000. People of color continue to be overrepresented in these tracts.

CERTs offers community solar garden financial impact tool. A financial impact tool to help utility customers decide if subscribing to a community solar garden is right for them has been developed by the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). The tool, created by Doug Tiffany, a research fellow in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, helps households and businesses conduct the financial analysis of community solar participation.

December 2015- Volume XIII, Number 10

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

–The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is offering grants of up to $7,000 to update, extend, and diversify the book collections of pre-K-12 school libraries throughout the United States. Only schools where a minimum of 85 percent of the student body qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/14/2015. Online application information is available on the Foundation’s website here.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has released the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year (CY) 2015 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The NOAA makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2015 round, pending Congressional authorization. Deadline to apply: 12/16/2015. Click here for application materials and funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering grants to support projects that increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the implementation of the project. Deadline: 12/16/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering funds to nonprofit and public organizations to provide technical assistance that will reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas. Rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer people are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/31/2015. Click here to review program guidelines and access application materials.

Northwest Minnesota Entrepreneurs: Applications for the 2016 IDEA Competition are now being accepted until December 31, 2015. This competition gives ANYONE with a product or service idea the opportunity to turn the idea into a reality. The IDEA Competition gives participants access to business development tools, a chance to get your product mentioned in the media, pitch to potential investors, professional services, and finally a chance to win $10,000 in funding to get your idea moving. For more information please go to www.ideacompetition.org

National Telecommunications Cooperative Association: Rural Broadband Association will provide up to $5,000 to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, or other community-oriented initiatives. The successful applicant(s) will demonstrate how the broadband-enabled technology will generate improvements to community strength and growth consistent with the goals of this program. Deadline: 12/31/2015. Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

–HUD has announced the availability of $9,977,500 of FY2015 Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) grant funds. SHOP funding is intended to facilitate and encourage innovative homeownership opportunities on a national and geographically-diverse basis. The program supports self-help housing programs that require a significant amount of sweat equity by the homebuyer toward the construction or rehabilitation of his or her homeDeadline to apply: 1/4/2016. Click here to view the NOFA.

The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is offering funding for needs related to planning and establishing integrated healthcare networks with the goal of strengthening or expanding access to essential healthcare services. Deadline: 1/8/2016. Click here for program guidelines.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017.  The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation. CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.

CIRD offers annual competitive funding to six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-a-half day community development and design workshop. With assistance from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops are intended to bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government agencies to develop actionable solutions to the communities’ pressing development challenges. The communities will receive additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources on www.rural-design.org.  Design and development challenges include but are not limited to the following: Main Street revitalization, managing and shaping community growth, the design of community-supportive transportation systems, preservation of natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protecting working agricultural lands, and maximizing the role of arts and culture as an economic driver for local and regional economies. Since 1991 CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets today in order to build better places to live, work, and play in the future.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at 11 p.m. EST. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website: www.rural-design.org/request-for-proposals. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017.

The National Education Association (NEA) is offering grants up to $20,000 to nonprofit organizations for community-wide reading programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. Deadline: 1/27/2016. Click here to review funding guidelines.

County Fair GrantsMinnesota Department of Agriculture administers the County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grantawarded to Minnesota’s county fairs to fund projects and programs to enhance arts access and education and to preserve and promote Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage. Deadline for the non-competitive grants program is February 5, 2016.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions – NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. Deadline: May 3, 2016.

Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network have launched Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program. The three-year Wells Fargo initiative will deliver $75 million in grants and lending capital in six biannual rounds to CDFIs that serve diverse-owned small businesses. In addition to lending and grant capital, the program will provide social capital programs to CDFIs to help increase their capacity to lend to diverse small businesses including mentorship programs, knowledge networks, consulting, and other collaborative efforts. To learn more about this program, click here.

–Economic Development Administration (EDA) is seeking applications from applicants in rural and urban areas to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. EDA provides strategic investments on a competitive- merit-basis to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. Deadline: applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here to review funding guidelines.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. https://mn.gov/commerce/industries/energy/financial-assistance/feasibility.jsp

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for general operating, program, and capital project support to help lower income older adults to live dignified, meaningful, and engaged lives in the community and to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Deadline: letter of inquiry accepted any time. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The METLIFE Foundation is offering three kinds of financial inclusion grants to nonprofit organizations: Access to Knowledge grants support organizations with the ability to reach large numbers of underserved households around the world and work with them to develop financial strategies and capabilities to improve lives. Access to Services grants focus on organizations that deliver high-quality services like savings, microinsurance, and credit to individuals in need. Access to Insights grants partner with researchers, academics, and non-governmental organizations to better understand the problems and potential solutions within the financial inclusion field. Deadline:  financial inclusion grant requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. Visit the Metlife website here to download the grant application guidelines.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

— The Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program in Minnesota provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Examples of essential community facilities include: health care facilities such as hospitals, medical clinics, dental clinics, nursing homes or assisted living facilities; public safety services such as fire departments, police stations, prisons, police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles or equipment; utility services such as telemedicine or distance learning equipment. For more information, contact the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development .

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Smart Growth America will issue “(Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization”, a new guide designed to be used by any community, no matter their size, to bring people and businesses back to downtown. As part of the release, they will hold a webinar on December 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM ET to discuss the strategies outlined in this new guide, and hear about cities that are in the midst of revitalization, with the opportunity to ask questions. Register for the webinar here.

2016 EDAM Winter Conference to be held on January 21-22 at the Minneapolis Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Registration is now open with discounted fees available until January 8. For more information and to register, please go to http://z.umn.edu/11lv

Research shows that nonprofits that invest in their volunteers can build capacity and increase community impact. To support this effort, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) is partnering with and training organizations to assess their current volunteer engagement efforts. This model, called Service Enterprise, also helps organizations create a plan to foster a culture of volunteerism.  MAVA, along with HandsOn Twin Cities, is recruiting organizations to participate in two upcoming Service Enterprise training cohorts. St. Cloud cohort applications are due February 1, while Twin Cities cohort applications will be due in early May.  Visit MAVA’s website for more information or email Sara Wessling from MAVA or Zeeda Magnuson from HandsOn Twin Cities.

Save the Date for Minnesota Festival & Events Association Annual Meeting

Join MNFEA at the 2016 Annual Conference March 10-11, 2016 in New Ulm.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

–Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.  The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives.  Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth.  The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

OPPORTUNITIES

The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program’s application cycle for next year is open through Sunday, January 3, 2016. Over $3.2 million is available in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to the eligible professions of physicians, dentists, pharmacists, midlevel providers, nurses, and nurse/allied faculty, the program has been expanded to include three new professions—rural dental therapists/advanced dental therapists, rural public health nurses, and mental health professionals as defined by Minnesota Statute Section 245.462, subdivision 18. For information on the professions covered in the program, and for instructions on applying, please see the Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs webpage, or contact Brenda Flattum at 651-201-3870 or Paia Vang at 651-201-3895.

Apply to Be a College Health Corps VISTA Program Site.   Do you have (or want to start) a campus-community partnership that supports low-income Minnesotans in accessing healthcare, health and wellness knowledge, or food security? Would you like help expanding the scale, scope, efficiency, or effectiveness of your partnership? Consider applying to host a College Health Corps AmeriCorps*VISTA member in 2016-17. These full-time national service members provide a year of capacity-building service and receive a living allowance and education award. Deadline for full applications: January 14, 2016.   Learn more here. With questions, please contact Sinda.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, native health, or the environmentDeadline March 2, 2016.

Seeking Volunteers to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016.  Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Rural Health, is seeking nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee (VRHAC). The Committee advises the Secretary on ways to improve and enhance access to VA healthcare services for enrolled veterans residing in rural areas and the identification of barriers to providing services. The Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary regarding such activities. Nominations of qualified candidates are being sought to fill upcoming vacancies on the Committee.

DNR Seeking Applications for Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications from people interested in serving on the statewide Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Committee.

MISCELLANEOUS

Native One Stop  – American Indians and Alaska Natives seeking information on a variety of topics now have a new tool, Native One Stop. Whether you are a veteran looking for a home loan or a student looking for an educational grant, the site is a quick resource finder.

“Why Rural Matters 2011–12” from The Rural School and Community Trust is the sixth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states. Download a copy here.

— Faculty and students at St. Olaf College have launched the Rural Immigration Network to share research briefs, ‘good ideas and practical information about innovative events, programs and initiatives that build community among immigrants and longer-term residents in rural towns around the United States.’ MORE

Key housing organizations take coordinated approach to preserving rural Minnesota’s affordable rentals  A collaborative effort among government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota aims to keep the affordable in rural affordable housing.

Featuring video supplements:

In a series of brief interview clips, hear insights from Robyn Bipes, director of programs and lending at Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and chair of the Greater Minnesota Interagency Stabilization Group.

Improving Dental Care Access in Rural America explains the unique challenges to accessing dental health services in rural areas and how it’s leading to a disproportionately high rate of cavities and other dental problems in those areas. Highlights solutions that some states have implemented to address the challenges.

Teleneurology Helps Rural Patients describes how a rural community in Minnesota is using telehealth technology to extend services to recovering stroke patients to avoid long commutes to services.

Rural Enrollment in Health Insurance Marketplaces, by State compares rates of enrollment in Health Insurance Marketplaces by state between rural and urban settings. Provides figures in relation to potential market participants.

Disability and Poverty Rates among Rural Veterans Have Increased from 2008 to 2014 a chart showing the rates of disability and poverty for rural veterans compared to rural non-veterans, highlighting changes from 2008 to 2014.

Rationalizing Rural Area Classifications for the Economic Research Service: A Workshop summarizes an April 2015 workshop that explored the data, estimation, and policy issues related to rural classifications currently in use by the Economic Research Service (ERS): Rural Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs), Urban Influence Codes (UICs), Rural Urban Community Area (RUCA) codes, and Frontier and Remote (FAR) codes.

Census Reporter a web-based tool for accessing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Search by location at various geographic levels. Provides a variety of charts and maps depicting demographics, socioeconomic factors, and other ACS data. A Knight News Challenge-funded project.

Smart Rural Community provides resources focused on broadband availability and implementation, designating towns as a “Smart Rural Community.” Includes white papers, videos, webcasts, and access to models that can be followed to create your own rural telecommunications hub.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy in partnership with Network For Good published an online giving database, which includes everything from big picture numbers to daily giving trends and an interactive map tracking giving by region in the last year.  The database shows Minnesota’s top three issues were Human Services ($573,934 given online), International and Foreign Affairs ($394,426 given online) and Education ($356,949 given online). This is similar to national trends, where online giving centered on Human Services, Education and Health Care.  Visit The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s website to learn more.

–Orton Family Foundation’s new, free resource, Using Storytelling in Community Heart & Soul, offers a step-by-step approach to incorporating storytelling into your town’s Heart & Soul in a way that gets the information needed for meaningful results.

Storytelling within Community Heart & Soul™:

  1. Raises awareness and interest in Heart & Soul and brings community action to life;
  2. Draws in new, underrepresented or difficult-to-reach voices;
  3. Reveals what matters most to residents about the community;
  4. Builds greater understanding, trust and relationships;
  5. Heals divisions, bridges differences;
  6. Brings meaning to local data, numbers, and community trends.

Using Storytelling in Community Heart & Soul is a companion resource to the Community Heart & Soul Field Guide.

November 2015- Volume XIII, Number 9

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –ACROSS THE FIELD
  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

Across the Field: Community Development Society’s 47th annual conference coming to Minnesota in 2016!

By Jane Leonard

Mark your calendars now for the Joint International Conference of the Community Development Society & International Association for Community Development, coming to Minnesota, July 24-27, 2016. Minnesota last hosted this international gathering in 2001 in Duluth.

The location in 2016 is the Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA.

The 2016 theme is Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives

Too often, development initiatives fail to generate lasting, positive, change. The focus of this 2016 CDS & IACD gathering is for attendees to share and learn tips and techniques from across the globe to create sustained – and positive — community change.   The dynamic pairing of both the CDS and IACD organizations brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from multiple and diverse perspectives, from community members, practitioners, researchers, and academicians.

Organizers expect 500 people to attend, from across North America and worldwide, working on issues in community, economic, and rural development. Typically CDS & IACD conferences feature people, places, and models of interdisciplinary and comprehensive approaches to community development. So if you work primarily through a community health lens, for example, this is a great chance to connect with people working on community health through a resource economics perspective. Or if you are a local citizen working on broadband development, connect with people from South Africa at the conference doing the same things on a regional basis for community improvement. Or if you believe that community betterment requires a whole systems approach across disciplines and sectors, find like-minded colleagues and case studies at the 2016 conference.

Minnesota is also home to three past-presidents of CDS: Brent Hales, John Kuester, and Jane Leonard, and many other faithful members. Join us in 2016 to welcome national and international visitors to the Twin Cities and to the Upper Midwest. Check our local host Facebook site for ongoing updates and to start connecting with colleagues now for a great summer gathering: https://www.facebook.com/cds2016. A Call for Papers will be announced soon, and online registration will begin later in 2016.

WE ARE SEEKING VOLUNTEERS to help welcome attendees and host at various conference activities throughout the 2016 CDS & IACD conference. Email Jane Leonard at jane.leonard@state.mn.us if you are interested in short stints as Mobile Learning Workshop chaperones, conference greeters, and other hosting experiences.  It’s a great way to experience the conference and a great way to show our visitors Minnesota’s excellence in hospitality.

Conference venue & hotel:  The Hilton Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Mall of America hotel (http://bit.ly/hilton-msp) is located a short distance from both the MSP airport and Mall of America.  Rooms will be available at a rate of $149.00 per night, excluding tax.

For examples of previous Community Development Society conferences, link here to the CDS 46th Annual International Conference, held in Lexington, Kentucky this past July. For info on the International Association for Community Development, link here.

PLEASE NOTE…

As most readers know, the MRP Newsletter is a labor of love. What you might not know is that we’ve been paying for the newsletter to go out for years – but there’s a way that we can continue to send you the news and you can continue to get it for free – but it requires you to sign up through our website: www.minnesotaruralpartners.org. Simply add your email address to the “Follow Blog Via Email” option on the sidebar. (Just look to the right of this page!) Once you do that you will receive an email to confirm your address. Follow the instructions and you will continue to receive email updates when we post the newsletter.

FUNDING

Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs)  Awards funding for the establishment of a Benefits Enrollment Center, which will work to find and enroll eligible Medicare beneficiaries (seniors aged 65+ and adults living with disabilities) into benefit programs.

Application Deadline: Nov. 13, 2015.

–The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Pre-applications are due November 13.  Go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/funding/

— Whole Kids Foundation is accepting applications for a school garden grant program in public, private, and charter K-12 schools. 2015 Deadline: November 15. Click here to visit the website to review funding guidelines.

HUD is offering “Continuum of Care” funding to nonprofit and public agencies to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, and persons fleeing domestic violence; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless; and optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Application deadline: 11/20/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

USDA is offering grants to public food program service providers, tribal organizations, and private nonprofit entities through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program. The program seeks to encourage healthy eating and physical activity at the individual and community levels, focusing on high-risk groups, and promotes healthy diet and physical activity behaviors. Deadline to apply: 11/30/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The Agstar Fund for Rural America is offering grants to nonprofit organizations in the service area where AgStar has a significant business presence in Minnesota and  northwestern Wisconsin. The Fund focuses its giving program in the following four major areas: education, environment, technology, and quality of lifeDeadline: 11/30/2015. Visit the AgStar website here to review the funding guidelines and application instructions.

–USDA has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program. This program is available for existing Section 515 and Section 514/516 properties. A variety of restructuring tools are available including grants, no-interest loans, soft second loans, and debt deferral. Properties with existing USDA multifamily mortgages that are maturing on or before Dec. 31, 2018 can apply for debt deferral; this continues the affordability of the property and its Rental Assistance eligibility. Deadlines: applications for MPR are due 12/1/2015; applications for debt deferral for maturing mortgages are due 12/31/2015. Click here to review the guidelines for this program.

–The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps grant funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps members in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Deadline: Letter of Intent (required) 12/9/2015; application deadline 1/20/2016. Click here to visit the website for guidelines.

–Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are accepting applications for community grants. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded in support of projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Deadline: 12/10/2015. Click here to review funding guidelines.

–The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries is offering grants of up to $7,000 to update, extend, and diversify the book collections of pre-K-12 school libraries throughout the United States. Only schools where a minimum of 85 percent of the student body qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/14/2015. Online application information is available on the Foundation’s website here.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has released the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year (CY) 2015 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The NOAA makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2015 round, pending Congressional authorization. Deadline to apply: 12/16/2015. Click here for application materials and funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering grants to support projects that increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the implementation of the project. Deadline: 12/16/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–USDA is offering funds to nonprofit and public organizations to provide technical assistance that will reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas. Rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer people are eligible to apply. Deadline: 12/31/2015. Click here to review program guidelines and access application materials.

Northwest Minnesota Entrepreneurs: Applications for the 2016 IDEA Competition are now being accepted until December 31, 2015. This competition gives ANYONE with a product or service idea the opportunity to turn the idea into a reality. The IDEA Competition gives participants access to business development tools, a chance to get your product mentioned in the media, pitch to potential investors, professional services, and finally a chance to win $10,000 in funding to get your idea moving. For more information please go to http://www.ideacompetition.org

— The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program is open and will close on Monday, January 4, 2016. Over $3.2 million is available in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to the eligible professions of physicians, dentists, pharmacists, midlevel providers, nurses, and nurse/allied faculty, the program has been expanded to include three new professions—Rural Dental Therapists/Advanced Dental Therapists, Rural Public Health Nurses, and Mental Health Professionals as defined by Section 245.462, subdivision 18. For information on the professions covered in the program, and for instructions on applying, please see the Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs webpage, or contact Brenda Flattum at 651-201-3870 or Paia Vang at 651-201-3895.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017.  The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation. CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.

CIRD offers annual competitive funding to six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-ahalf day community development and design workshop. With assistance from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops are intended to bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government agencies to develop actionable solutions to the communities’ pressing development challenges. The communities will receive additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources on www.rural-design.org.

Design and development challenges include but are not limited to the following: Main Street revitalization, managing and shaping community growth, the design of community-supportive transportation systems, preservation of natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protecting working agricultural lands, and maximizing the role of arts and culture as an economic driver for local and regional economies. Since 1991 CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets today in order to build better places to live, work, and play in the future.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at 11 p.m. EST. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website: www.rural-design.org/request-for-proposals. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017.

CIRD staff will also offer two pre-application assistance webinars to answer questions and guide interested applicants in assembling their proposals. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, and the second will take place on Thursday, Dec. 10. Both calls will begin at 3 p.m. EST and last approximately one hour. Participation in each call is free but registration is required. To register visit: www.rural-design.org/application-assistance.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. Read more.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for general operating, program, and capital project support to help lower income older adults to live dignified, meaningful, and engaged lives in the community and to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Deadline: letter of inquiry accepted any time. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The METLIFE Foundation is offering three kinds of financial inclusion grants to nonprofit organizations: Access to Knowledge grants support organizations with the ability to reach large numbers of underserved households around the world and work with them to develop financial strategies and capabilities to improve lives. Access to Services grants focus on organizations that deliver high-quality services like savings, microinsurance, and credit to individuals in need. Access to Insights grants partner with researchers, academics, and non-governmental organizations to better understand the problems and potential solutions within the financial inclusion field. Deadline:  financial inclusion grant requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. Visit the Metlife website here to download the grant application guidelines.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagementApplications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

–Registration is now available for the 14th Annual Scenic Byway Workshop to be held on November 17 – 18. The Lake Country Scenic Byway will host the Workshop at the Lodge on Detroit Lake  This year’s agenda includes topics that will provide information and direction for the continued Sustainability of the Scenic Byways Program under MAP-21.  Please be prepared to speak on your updated byway Corridor Management Plan.  Feel free to bring any brochures you want to share.

Registration for the Scenic Byway Workshop will be accepted until Noon on Monday, Nov. 9.  Registration checks should be made payable to: “UMVRDC SCENIC BYWAY WORKSHOP”.  Registrations will not be accepted at the door.  If you have questions please contact Holly Slagle, State Scenic Byway Coordinator at 651-366-3623 or holly.slagle@state.mn.us. For more information on Minnesota Scenic Byways visit their website.

Minnesota Broadband Conference November 18-20. The Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development are working on the fall broadband conference, Border to Border Broadband: Better Together, to be held in Minneapolis on November 18-20. http://wp.me/p3if7-3dk

National Rural Health Day Webinars on November 19National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) will be holding a day of webinars on the topic of rural health. Check the National Rural Health Day website (right column) for more information.

From Options to Decisions: Phase 3 of Community Heart & Soul, Thursday, November, 19, 3-4 p.m. (Eastern).  Phase 3 of the Community Heart & Soul™ method is about discovering ways to protect and enhance your community’s heart and soul—what matters most—and building toward a future that honors it. After identifying community-wide character, attributes, and love of place during Phase 2, the next step is learning which ideas, decisions, and actions best support your town’s unique character.  Join Orton Programs Director Alece Montez-Griego and Senior Associate Leanne Tingay for this FREE webinar that includes audience Q & A.

Register for FREE webinar today! »

Minnesota Farm Bureau annual meeting, November 19-21.

Minnesota Farmer’s Union annual convention, November 21-22

— Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern and the University of Minnesota are presenting Climate Change and Public Health: An Interprofessional Review to be held November 21 in Minneapolis, MN.

The Robotics Alley™ Conference & Expo is bringing a diverse group of robotics and automation experts to Minneapolis. This year’s event on Dec. 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis will feature keynote speakers Martin Buehler, Executive R&D Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering; Nathan Harding, Co-Founder and CEO of Ekso Bionics; and Robert High, Chief Technology Officer for IBM’s Watson Solutions.  Click here to learn more and register today!

Save the Date for MnDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Regional Workshops

The Minnesota Department of Transportation invites you to a regional bicycle and pedestrian workshop on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Winona Health, 855 Mankato Ave, Winona.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

The 5th annual National Rural Health Day is Thursday, November 19. This celebration allows the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and our partners to showcase rural America and highlight the unique healthcare needs of rural communities. View the Celebrating the Power of Rural website to learn more.

Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program (NAT)  Provides funding to support traineeships for licensed nurses who are enrolled in a nurse anesthesia program, with preference given to projects that will benefit rural and underserved populations.

Application Deadline: Nov. 20, 2015.

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State released the November 2015 notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees, including openings on the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council. The full list of vacancies is listed online.

Application forms are available online and must be submitted by Nov. 24, 2015, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. To apply, submit an application through the Secretary of State’s office and include the following documents:

  • Open Appointments Application Form (completed, signed and dated)
  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume or Biography

The Explore Minnesota Tourism Council is focused on areas critical to the development and growth of Minnesota tourism. Program development and public policy issues at both the state and federal level are also addressed. Click here for a list of current council members and the industry sectors they represent.

Nominations for the 2015 Tourism Marketing Awards presented by Explore Minnesota are due by Monday, Nov. 30. The awards are given annually at the Explore Minnesota Conference and will be presented on Feb. 2 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.  Copies of the new nomination forms and submission templates are now available for both the Competitive and Special Recognition Programs. These are distinct programs with different judging criteria. Please share this information with your community and encourage applications.  For more information, contact Dave Bergman at 888-563-7777 or view the Travel Marketing Award Guidelines.

Free energy assessments for small businesses and institutions. Are your furnace, door seals, recycling program, and lighting working at their best?  If you answered ‘I don’t know’, consider contacting RETAP. The Minnesota Retiree Environmental Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) provides free energy efficiency and waste reduction assessments for small businesses and institutions in Minnesota. When you have an assessment done, an experienced team of retired professionals will:

  • Analyze your utility bills,
  • Visit your facility, and
  • Give you a written report with prioritized recommendations and estimated financial and environmental savings.

Recommendations may be behavior changes, maintenance improvements, or retrofits. While you are under no obligation to implement the recommendations, a high percentage of surveyed clients implement many of them. Average savings from RETAP recommendations implemented last year is over $2,000 per client.  Since RETAP’s start in 2001, over 200 businesses and institutions – including dry cleaners, coffee shops, and fire stations – have benefited from RETAP assessments. To find out more or to request a free assessment, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/retap or contact Mike Vennewitz, RETAP Coordinator, at 612-781-1307 or mvennewitz@yahoo.com

MNTAP interns and training opportunity  – An extra set of eyes: MnTAP interns identify savings! The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is  seeking proposals from Minnesota businesses for its 2016 summer intern program. Businesses interested in reducing waste, conserving water, and improving energy efficiency are encouraged to apply for an intern in 2016. Proposed projects are evaluated for impact potential, project scope, and company interest and commitment. Interns are chosen based on outstanding educational background and leadership capabilities.

We anticipate supporting up to 15 projects this summer, with at least one project focused on paint efficiency and at least three projects on water conservation. Other projects will focus on source reduction, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention.  Applications are being accepted until February 1, 2016 and will be reviewed upon receipt. Apply online today!  If you work with Minnesota companies, please spread the word to those companies you think might be a good fit. Find out more at MnTAP’s intern page, or call MnTAP at 612-624-1300.

Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions – Provides an overview of scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs available for healthcare students who intend to practice in rural areas. Visit the guide to find information and successful models for the development of programs designed to attract health professionals to rural areas.

MISCELLANEOUS

HUD has published a summary report that covers needs, barriers, and experiences with aging in place, and feasibility of programs to support independence for rural seniors. It includes discussion of emerging trends and potential service models. Get the report here.

–HUD posted an article in Evidence Matters on how local initiatives, with the support of federal policies and national nonprofits, address unique barriers to homeownership in Indian Country. Residents of Indian Country face a diverse set of housing challenges, including overcrowding, high cost burdens, and a lack of affordable, high-quality housing options for both renters and homeowners. Initiatives seek to overcome these obstacles to homeownership by supporting infrastructure development and home construction and rehabilitation, increasing access to mortgage credit, cultivating financial literacy, and providing direct financial assistance to homebuyers. Read the article here.

–The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has released “Planning for a More Resilient Future: A Guide to Regional Approaches”, a report that summarizes the rapidly-growing body of research on resilience, describing the main ideas that are driving policy and practice across the country and examining current thinking on regional and economic resilience. It is intended for regional development organizations as well as local governments, community foundations, voluntary organizations, and others who step forward as planners, conveners, organizers, fundraisers, mediators, coordinators, and advocates on behalf of communities impacted by, or at risk of being impacted by, disasters, natural and human-induced. To explore the publication and the companion website, click here.

–National Association of Development Organizations has published “Creating Opportunity and Prosperity Through Strengthening Rural-Urban Connections”. The brief highlights examples in which regional development organizations can benefit from linking rural regions with urban centers, and includes information on broadband development and its implication for improving access to healthcare services. Click here for a free copy.

The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship has put together an overview of the Center’s resources in support of community development philanthropy. “The Community Development Philanthropy Overview Guide” spotlights the growing set of resources that the Center offers and their new partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Community Strategy Group. Get the guide here.

An Interview with Ajit Pai  Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai discusses the critical need to expand broadband deployment in rural communities and the promise that broadband holds for rural healthcare.

The ACA’s Impact on Rural Areas  webinar slides showing the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on uninsured rates across the country. Highlights differences in enrollment and market characteristics between urban and rural areas by analyzing change in enrollment rates, payer mix, and number of insurance plans offered.  Sponsoring organization: Rural Policy Research Institute

Minnesota Crisis Link Website Now Available.  Minnesota has launched a Crisis Link website to connect people in crisis, including mental health and substance abuse problems, homelessness, or other crisis health needs. Hospitals and clinics are encouraged to make the Crisis Link website, local crisis line numbers and Fast-Tracker information available to patients and their families. The information can be posted, available as a handout in the waiting room or offered in other ways.

We wanted to make sure folks saw this in time for the webinar on Nov 10…

Funding and Design Assistance Available for Rural Communities

CITIZENS’ INSTITUTE ON RURAL DESIGN™ ISSUES REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

New York (October 27, 2015) — The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD) has issued a request for proposals to rural communities interested in applying for funding to host a community design workshop in either 2016 or 2017.

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design is a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Project for Public Spaces, Inc., along with the Orton Family Foundation. CIRD provides communities access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality.
CIRD offers annual competitive funding to six small towns or rural communities to host a two-and-ahalf day community development and design workshop. With assistance from a wide range of design, planning, and creative placemaking professionals, the workshops are intended to bring together local leaders from non-profits, community organizations, and government agencies to develop actionable solutions to the communities’ pressing development challenges. The communities will receive additional support through webinars, conference calls, and web-based resources on www.rural-design.org.

Design and development challenges include but are not limited to the following: Main Street revitalization, managing and shaping community growth, the design of community-supportive transportation systems, preservation of natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protecting working agricultural lands, and maximizing the role of arts and culture as an economic driver for local and regional economies. Since 1991 CIRD has convened more than 70 workshops in all regions of the country, empowering residents to leverage local assets today in order to build better places to live, work, and play in the future.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 at 11 p.m. EST. Successful applicants will receive a $10,000 stipend (that must be matched one-to-one) in addition to in-kind professional design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is posted on the CIRD website: www.rural-design.org/request-for-proposals. Selected communities will be announced in March of 2016 and workshops will be held during the fall of 2016 through spring of 2017.

CIRD staff will also offer two pre-application assistance webinars to answer questions and guide interested applicants in assembling their proposals. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, and the second will take place on Thursday, Dec. 10. Both calls will begin at 3 p.m. EST and last approximately one hour. Participation in each call is free but registration is required. To register visit: www.rural-design.org/application-assistance.

September-October 2015- Volume XIII, Number 8
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

  • –FUNDING
  • –TRAINING/MEETINGS
  • –OPPORTUNITIES
  • –MISCELLANEOUS

FUNDING

The Institute for Rural America has issued a request for proposals for a $5,000 Leadership Training Grant. The competitive grant is awarded for creative and educationally focused proposals targeted at groups desiring to develop and foster leadership within their member base. Successful applications will clearly outline a leadership training plan. Proposals that include cooperators who can assist with project planning, evaluation, or information dissemination will be viewed favorably. Deadline: 10/15/2015. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply.

The Explore Minnesota grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are now available on the industry website.

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1:1 match. Those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2:1.

Projects that are included in the 2016 Co-Opportunities Program are NOT eligible for grant funding. A complete list of projects is included in the grant guidelines, and grantees must confirm on the application that the project(s) they are submitting are not part of an EMT Co-Opportunities Program. Applications for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Grant Program are due Oct. 15, 2015.

If you are a Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organization and want further information on the grant program, contact your Regional Manager:

  •            Central – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466
  •            Metro – Gayle Junnila  800-657-3637
  •          Northwest – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466 or David Bergman  888-563-7777
  •            Northeast – Tim Campbell  888-876-6784
  •            Southern – Lisa Havelka  888-975-6766    Grant solicitation timeline

Greater Minnesota applicants must submit a letter of intent describing the key components of their project by Oct. 30, 2015. A regional representative will contact applicants to help review the project proposal and the steps necessary for delivering a federally funded project prior to local communities and regional agencies submitting a full grant application.

-Greater Minnesota.  The Transportation Alternatives Program is a competitive grant opportunity for local communities and regional agencies to fund projects for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, Safe Routes to School and more. Minnesota will be soliciting projects for approximately $7.5 million in available grant funding across the state.

THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION is seeking proposals for Veteran housing projects in rural areas. Projects may be new construction or rehab, with priority given to renovation and rehab projects, and must be either in progress or scheduled to commence within the next 12 months. The Home Depot Foundation anticipates funding several projects, with awards ranging from $25,000 to $40,000. Deadline: 10/30/2015. Click here to visit the website for funding guidelines.

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Scholarship Grant Program. The HCBS Scholarship grant provides funding to HCBS providers to support in–house scholarship programs for their employees. The goal of the grant is to bolster and improve the education of the HCBS workforce by enhancing or creating incentives for employees to obtain degrees and training that will improve patient and client care. Applications are due October 30.

Or call Explore Minnesota at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1848 for more information.

Oct. 30, 2015 — Letter of intent deadline

Jan. 8, 2016 — Full grant application deadline

April 15, 2016 — Grant recipients announced.  

Small/Art Project Assistance Grants: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000.

– Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E. or email: info@ecrac.org.  The link to the application process can be found at the ECRAC website: www.ecrac.org/grants

Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants Offers funding to schools nationwide to start or maintain a healthy nutrition and physical activity program. Application Deadline: Nov. 4, 2015.

THE BUSH FOUNDATION is offering Community Innovation Grants to communities and nonprofits across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. Grants are provided for projects that use inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes; are thoughtful, realistic, and address the identified community need; and are likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future. Nonprofit organizations and government entities (including schools) may apply for grants ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. Deadline: 11/5/2015. Visit the Foundation’s website here to download the Grant Application Packet and submit an online application. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the team at 651-379-2266 or email CommunityInnovation@BushFoundation.org.  For more information go to: www.bushfoundation.org

–THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND is offering grants in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming through the Fund’s Rural Initiative Program. The program supports efforts that will help to strengthen individual rural towns in the targeted states in a number of civic areas, including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education. Planning grants of up to $5,000 and implementation grants of up to $25,000 are provided. Deadline: 11/6/2015. Specific grant guidelines and application procedures are available on the Fund’s website here.  — Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) Awards funding for the establishment of a Benefits Enrollment Center, which will work to find and enroll eligible Medicare beneficiaries (seniors aged 65+ and adults living with disabilities) into benefit programs.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps grant funding for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems. Funds may be used for programs that utilize AmeriCorps members in the following areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, education, and veterans and military families. Deadline: Letter of Intent (required) 12/9/2015; application deadline 1/20/2016. Click here to visit the website for guidelines.

–USDA has issued a Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program. This program is available for existing Section 515 and Section 514/516 properties. A variety of restructuring tools are available including grants, no-interest loans, soft second loans, and debt deferral. Properties with existing USDA multifamily mortgages that are maturing on or before Dec. 31, 2018 can apply for debt deferral; this continues the affordability of the property and its Rental Assistance eligibility. Deadlines: applications for MPR are due 12/1/2015; applications for debt deferral for maturing mortgages are due 12/31/2015. Click here to review the guidelines for this program.

HUD is offering “Continuum of Care” funding to nonprofit and public agencies to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, and persons fleeing domestic violence; promote access to and effective utilization of mainstream programs by homeless; and optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness. Application deadline: 11/20/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant program assists small rural hospitals in undertaking needed modernization projects to update, remodel or replace aging hospital facilities, record systems, and equipment necessary to maintain the operations of the hospital. Maximum awards will be $125,000. An eligible hospital is a general acute care hospital of 50 or fewer beds located in a community with a population of less than 15,000, according to United States Census Bureau statistics, outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Pre-applications are due November 13. Go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/orhpc/funding/

Letter of Intent (Optional): Oct. 15, 2015. Application Deadline: Nov. 13, 2015. For further information, please call 320-396-2337

 – McKnight Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E.

Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.

Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for arts-related funding up to $3,000.

–East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) wishes to announce to all local artists, art organizations, and schools within the Minnesota Counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs that the October 1st deadline to apply for arts grant funding has been extended to 11:55 p.m. Monday, November 2nd, 2015 for projects beginning in or after January, 2016. Funding is currently available through the following grant programs:

— The Immigrant International Medical Graduates (IIMG) Primary Care Residency Grant Program provides grant funding to support residency training for immigrant international medical graduates. This program is one aspect of a comprehensive program authorized by Minnesota State Statute 144.1911 to address barriers to practice and facilitate pathways to assist IIMGs to integrate into the Minnesota health care delivery system with the goal of increasing access to primary care in rural and underserved areas of the state. Eligible applicants are programs, sponsors and potential sponsors of primary care residency positions located in Minnesota that propose to train IIMG medical residents in the primary care specialties of Family Medicine, General Internal Medicine, General Pediatrics, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Funds are available for up to $150,000 per year, per IIMG residency slot for up to four years. Applications are due by November 2. Contact Yende Anderson at 651-201-5988 for more information.

— WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION is accepting applications for a school garden grant program in public, private, and charter K-12 schools. 2015 Deadlines: 10/31 and 11/15. Click here to visit the website to review funding guidelines.

See solicitation details.

Northwest Minnesota Entrepreneurs: Applications for the 2016 IDEA Competition are now being accepted until December 31, 2015. This competition gives ANYONE with a product or service idea the opportunity to turn the idea into a reality. The IDEA Competition gives participants access to business development tools, a chance to get your product mentioned in the media, pitch to potential investors, professional services, and finally a chance to win $10,000 in funding to get your idea moving. For more information please go to www.ideacompetition.org

— The Minnesota Loan Forgiveness Program will be opening up next year´s application cycle on November 1 and will close on Monday, January 4, 2016. Over $3.2 million is available in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to the eligible professions of physicians, dentists, pharmacists, midlevel providers, nurses, and nurse/allied faculty, the program has been expanded to include three new professions—Rural Dental Therapists/Advanced Dental Therapists, Rural Public Health Nurses, and Mental Health Professionals as defined by Section 245.462, subdivision 18. For information on the professions covered in the program, and for instructions on applying, please see the Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs webpage, or contact Brenda Flattum at 651-201-3870 or Paia Vang at 651-201-3895.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. Read more.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg is offering grants to nonprofit organizations for general operating, program, and capital project support to help lower income older adults to live dignified, meaningful, and engaged lives in the community and to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Deadline: letter of inquiry accepted any time. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The METLIFE Foundation is offering three kinds of financial inclusion grants to nonprofit organizations: Access to Knowledge grants support organizations with the ability to reach large numbers of underserved households around the world and work with them to develop financial strategies and capabilities to improve lives. Access to Services grants focus on organizations that deliver high-quality services like savings, microinsurance, and credit to individuals in need. Access to Insights grants partner with researchers, academics, and non-governmental organizations to better understand the problems and potential solutions within the financial inclusion field. Deadline:  financial inclusion grant requests are accepted and reviewed throughout the year. Visit the Metlife website here to download the grant application guidelines.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement. Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

31st Annual Minnesota Policy Conference will be held on Wednesday, October 14 at the Continuing Education and Conference Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The 2015 Cyber Security Summit takes place October 20-21 at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest. For more information or to register, go to www.cybersecuritysummit.org.

I’m Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— The Northeast Small Business Development Center will be hosting the Regional Economic Indicators Forum on October 27th from 7AM to 9AM at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Cost will depend upon registration option selected. For more information, please go to http://z.umn.edu/yzo.

The Minnesota Council on Foundation will hold its 2015 Annual Conference: Impact by Design on October 28 & 29, 2015 at the Crowne Plaza St. Paul-Riverfront.  For further information go to: http://www.mcf.org/2015conference#

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; and Nov 17 in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Click here for a list of meeting dates and locations in greater Minnesota. Convenings are free and open to the public, and appetizers and desserts will be provided. Advanced registration is requested.

–Registration is now available for the 14th Annual Scenic Byway Workshop to be held on November 17 – 18. The Lake Country Scenic Byway will host the Workshop at the Lodge on Detroit Lake  This year’s agenda includes topics that will provide information and direction for the continued Sustainability of the Scenic Byways Program under MAP-21.  Please be prepared to speak on your updated byway Corridor Management Plan.  Feel free to bring any brochures you want to share.

Registration for the Scenic Byway Workshop will be accepted until Noon on Monday, Nov. 9.  Registration checks should be made payable to: “UMVRDC SCENIC BYWAY WORKSHOP”.  Registrations will not be accepted at the door.  If you have questions please contact Holly Slagle, State Scenic Byway Coordinator at 651-366-3623 or holly.slagle@state.mn.us. For more information on Minnesota Scenic Byways visit their website.

Minnesota Broadband Conference November 18-20. The Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development are working on the fall broadband conference, Border to Border Broadband: Better Together, to be held in Minneapolis on November 18-20. http://wp.me/p3if7-3dk

— Allina Health, Abbott Northwestern and the University of Minnesota are presenting Climate Change and Public Health: An Interprofessional Review to be held November 21 in Minneapolis, MN.

The Robotics Alley™ Conference & Expo is bringing a diverse group of robotics and automation experts to Minneapolis. This year’s event on Dec. 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis will feature keynote speakers Martin Buehler, Executive R&D Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering; Nathan Harding, Co-Founder and CEO of Ekso Bionics; and Robert High, Chief Technology Officer for IBM’s Watson Solutions. Click here to learn more and register today!

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Minnesota Homelessness Study. Every three years the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation conducts a triennial statewide homelessness study to better understand the prevalence, causes, circumstances and effects of homelessness, and to promote efforts toward permanent, affordable housing for all Minnesotans either urban, suburban or rural. On October 22, 1,000 volunteer interviewers are needed for about a 4-hour time commitment at over 300 shelter locations throughout Minnesota. For more information contact Chris Lindberg at 651-280-2728.

The 5th annual National Rural Health Day is Thursday, November 19. This celebration allows the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH), the State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) and our partners to showcase rural America and highlight the unique healthcare needs of rural communities. View the Celebrating the Power of Rural website to learn more.

Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship Program (NAT) Provides funding to support traineeships for licensed nurses who are enrolled in a nurse anesthesia program, with preference given to projects that will benefit rural and underserved populations. Application Deadline: Nov. 20, 2015.

Nominations for the 2015 Tourism Marketing Awards presented by Explore Minnesota are due by Monday, Nov. 30. The awards are given annually at the Explore Minnesota Conference and will be presented on Feb. 2 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.  Copies of the new nomination forms and submission templates are now available for both the Competitive and Special Recognition Programs. These are distinct programs with different judging criteria. Please share this information with your community and encourage applications.  For more information, contact Dave Bergman at 888-563-7777 or view the Travel Marketing Award Guidelines.

2015-2016 Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest The ABA Community Engagement Foundation sponsors this video contest for banks to engage teenagers to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely. Banks host the local level of the competition and select winners to compete on the national level.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge  The National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6-12. Each month focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Teams with the highest online scores advance to state competitions in the early spring, and the winning teams advance to the National Championship (April 9-12 in Denver, Colo.).

H&R Block Budget Challenge is a free teen financial literacy program in the form of an online game that simulates real life as an adult: paying bills, managing expenses, saving money, investing in retirement, paying taxes, and more. Participants play classroom against classroom and students against students in this learning-by-doing simulation to win $3 million in grants and scholarships.

Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions – Provides an overview of scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs available for healthcare students who intend to practice in rural areas. Visit the guide to find information and successful models for the development of programs designed to attract health professionals to rural areas.

MISCELLANEOUS

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has launched a new online resource of tools to help rural regions and small towns, drawing on their four-year capacity-building role with the Sustainable Communities Learning Network. Access the resources here.

The Orton Family Foundation has released the NEW –2nd Edition of the Community Heart & Soul™ Field Guide. In it you will find: more tools and resources; new success stories; tips throughout that provide helpful, practical insight into Heart & Soul. The best reason to get the guide? To be inspired to start the TRANSFORMATION in your town. Download the Field Guide today and get started on the path to making your community thrive based on three cornerstone principles: Involve Everyone, Focus on What Matters and Play the Long Game.

Rural Migrant Health – Visit this updated guide to learn about the challenges and health disparities that migrant and seasonal farmworkers face, and find solutions for your community to assist them with accessing healthcare services and gaining health insurance coverage.

Albert Lea Walking and Biking Movement   A program of walking and biking initiatives, along with high-level policy systems and environmental changes, to promote health and wellness for community members.

2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report: Chartbook on Rural Health Care  A summary of trends in healthcare quality and disparities for rural populations. Includes quality measures for rural populations addressing patient safety, person-centered care, effective treatment, healthy living, and access. Part of a series of publications related to the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.

Employment & Education Unemployment rates in nonmetro areas are similar to rates in metro areas, though with wide geographic variation, and the impact of the 2007-09 recession was similar in metro and nonmetro areas. Average earnings, however, are substantially lower among nonmetro workers, as are education levels. The lower rural earnings levels reflect lower shares of highly skilled jobs and lower returns to college degrees in rural labor markets.

AARP-Small Business Administration Webinars. AARP and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) host new webinars and republish previous webinars to educate people who want to start businesses or expand existing ones.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released an updated edition of its 2012 Community Developments Insights report titled Small Business Investment Companies: Investment Option for Banks. This report describes the U.S. Small Business Administrations Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, its role in capital markets, and how financial institutions can use it to expand their small-business finance activities.

A new guide from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, provides a roadmap to help community-based organizations integrate financial capability services into their programming. “Strategies to Integrate Financial Services into Community Organization Programming” suggests ten services that organizations can provide to help families build financial capability, as well as an assessment framework to determine how to deliver integrated financial capability services. It also includes tools to help organizations develop action plans and build stakeholder buy-in. Get the guide here.

–The recently re-launched website, Racial Equity Tools, compiles resources and curricula for communities and organizations working to advance racial justice. The site features learning modules, films, and discussion guides designed to build understanding of how structural racism and other forms of inequity affect employment, food justice, and other human development issues. Visit the site here.

Minnesota Compass recently released the following demographic information: Home to 5.5 million people, Minnesota is undergoing major shifts.

–Rural Assistance Center (RAC) has developed a guide titled “Rural Hunger and Access to Healthy Food”. A nutritious diet is important for maintaining good health, but accessing fresh and affordable food can be a challenge for some rural residents. This RAC topic guide provides information on how to address food security issues in every rural community, including funding and assistance programs, model programs, strategies, and more. Access the guide here.

Household Food Security in the United States in 2014 is a brief from the USDA Economic Research Service that reports on household food security, food expenditures, and use of federal food and nutrition assistance programs in 2014. Includes food insecurity statistics for metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Get the report here.

Check out our storyboard from the 2015 Gathering. It includes videos, articles, and presentation materials from the event. To see a list of participants, click here.

It’s all here: Videos, Tweets, Presentations, and Media Coverage from the 2015 National Rural Assembly. The 2015 National Rural Assembly welcomed 175 rural leaders from across the country to Washington, D.C., for three days of fellowship and a content-rich agenda focused on strengthening rural communities.  Participants came from communities in Appalachia, the Delta, the West, Midwest, and Southwest, Indian Country, and Alaska, and together with officials from the White House, Congress, and federal agencies, addressed topics of youth leadership and empowerment, rural child poverty and the persistent gap in philanthropic investment in rural America.

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America View the diversity of challenges and opportunities across America’s counties. Get statistics on people, jobs, veterans, and county types. Data have been updated to reflect the latest population, poverty, and American Community Survey statistics.

6 things you should know about poverty in Minnesota: Myth-busters edition. Minnesota Compass uses new estimates from the Census Bureau to bust commonly-accepted myths about poverty in Minnesota.  Read more

The Twin Cities region has one of the lowest shares of people of color compared to other major metro areas: 22 percent, ranking twenty-fourth of the top twenty-five metros. That said, the population of color is growing rapidly and is expected to make up at least 40 percent of the region’s overall population by 2040.

Two events happening this week…

Webinar: Household Food Security in the United States in 2014
Webinar Details

Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Economic Research Service, USDA

Description:

USDA’s Economic Research Service plays a leading role in Federal research on food security and food security measurement in U.S. households and communities.

In this webinar, ERS Social Science Analyst Alisha Coleman-Jensen will provide an overview of USDA’s annual report on the prevalence and severity of food insecurity in U.S. households in 2014. The report includes changes in food insecurity from previous years, the prevalence of food insecurity by selected household characteristics, and food insecurity among children.

Food-insecure households are defined as having had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. Food-secure households are defined as having had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

Register!

And

Universal Service Fund – Supporting broadband in rural places

September 10 at 3 pm CDT
Register

In the 1930’s, the federal government chose to ensure that everyone should be able to have a telephone. The Universal Service Fund (USF) was a tool that emerged to make that happen. Now the USF is being used increasingly to fund broadband networks and users. Learn how communities and regions can collaboratively use this funding resource for network deployment and driving adoption. Learn from top federal and state officials and an expert broadband practitioner about the legal uses of the funds and new creative strategies to leverage these dollars for greater community benefit.

Webinar speakers:
•Joe Freddoso, Co-Founder and COO of Mighty River LLC, a telecommunications consulting firm.
•Jonathan Chambers, Chief of Policy and Strategy, FCC
•Mary Mehsikomer, Technology Integration Development and Outreach Facilitator, TIES
•Jennifer Nelson, MN State Librarian

August 2015- Volume XIII, Number 7

Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard

–FUNDING

–TRAINING/MEETINGS

–OPPORTUNITIES

–MISCELLANEOUS

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

FUNDING

— Rural Impact – The White House Rural Council in February launched “Rural Impact,” a sustained campaign to enhance quality of life and upward mobility for children in rural and tribal places. Through this effort, the Obama Administration aims to build upon the progress already made in reducing rural poverty by leveraging technology, forging new partnerships, and exploring new models of program delivery, to ensure that all kids have an opportunity to succeed.

Key dates:

  • August 5:             Release of invitation to submit materials
  • August 31:         Designated communities submit their letter of interest
  • September:         Obama Administration announces approximately 10 designees

The Notah Begay III Foundation is offering funding through the Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures Capacity Building Grant program to organizations working to prevent or reduce childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in Native American children. Funds may be used for capacity building, community planning, or community health assessments. Grants are available nationwide, with preference given to North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Deadline: 8/19/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

Minnesota Housing has up to $7.5 million in funds available for moderate rehabilitation of existing affordable rental housing in Greater Minnesota through the Rental Rehabilitation Deferred Loan (RRDL) Pilot Program.  Proposals with the following priorities are encouraged:

  • Preservation of affordable housing opportunities in Greater Minnesota where the lack of affordable workforce housing is a barrier to economic prosperity.
  • Preservation of properties that contain existing Federal Assistance or other critical affordable units at risk of loss.

RRDL funding is available for both Specific Project and Program Model activities. Applicants may simultaneously submit applications for multiple project or program activities.  Available resources include:

  • $1.9 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for owners completing Specific Project activities outside the 7-county metropolitan area and RRDL administrator areas.
  • $4.1 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 10% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.
  • $1.5 million in zero-interest, deferred payment, 100% forgivable loan funds for existing and prospective administrators completing Program Model activities.

Please visit the Minnesota Housing website for complete application materials and instructions. Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2015.  For more information, please contact Susan Haugen at 651.296.9848.

–HUD is offering funding through the Fair Housing Initiative to fair housing organizations and other nonprofits that assist individuals who believe that they have been victims of housing discrimination. Deadline: 8/26/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States for Good initiative supports grassroots organizations throughout the country working to do good in their communities. In 2015, the program will provide grants of $20,000 each to one grassroots nonprofit organization in every state and the District of Columbia. Any individual 18 years of age or older is eligible to nominate a nonprofit organization for consideration. Eligible organizations must be valid 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations in good standing that are community-based. (National organizations are not eligible.) Deadline for nominations: 8/26/2015. Visit the 50 States for Good website here to review the official rules and to submit a nomination via the website, Twitter, or Instagram.

Healthy Eating Research – Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity Letter of Intent (Required): Aug 26, 2015. Application deadline: Oct 7, 2015

Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.  Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

–HUD is offering funding through The HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program to small communities to assist in the renovation of historic or traditional central business districts or “main street” areas by replacing unused commercial spaces in buildings with affordable housing units. Deadline: 8/27/2015. Click here for funding guidelines.

–The Department of Homeland Security is offering grants to nonprofits and public agencies through the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program. The program provides support relative to hazard mitigation planning and projects to reduce overall risk to people and structures for future disaster events. Deadline: 8/28/2015. Click here to review the application process.

–HUD is offering grant funding to institutions of higher education, public housing authorities or Indian housing authorities, and nonprofit organizations to hire service coordinators to assess the needs of public and Indian housing residents and link them to supportive services that enable participants to increase earned income, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Click here to review application guidelines.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awards one urban and one rural community the Strong Communities Award. The award demonstrates the value that communities throughout the FHLB Des Moines district derive from small business and economic development projects. The award recognizes the results of these projects and their impact on creating stronger communities. Deadline: 8/31/2015. Two winners, one urban and one rural, will each receive a $15,000 stipend to be used for the project or other community economic development needs. One runner-up finalist in each category will be awarded $3,000. For more information on how to apply, click here.

–The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), established by the Catholic bishops of the United States, is offering grants to organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. The grant programs include the following: Community Development Grants that support nonprofit organizations that nurture the participation of people living in poverty to help them change structures and policies that affect their lives, with at least 50 percent of those benefiting from the applying organization’s efforts being people experiencing poverty. Economic Development Grants support Economic Development Institutions that include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs or develop assets that will be owned by local communities. Grants range between $25,000 and $75,000. Deadline: pre-applications for both programs may be submitted between September 1 and November 1. Visit the CCHD website here for more information.

IDEA is a Northwest Minnesota competition that turns great ideas into great businesses, a chance to win one of our $10,000 cash prizes to get your business moving and a lot more! The annual competition provides training, business coaching, and capital to participating entrepreneurs who want to turn an idea into a fast-growth business. If you have an innovative business idea, the IDEA Competition will add momentum to your business strategy, whether you’ve never started a company or you’re already in business and generating revenue.

The competition accepts applications between September 1 and December 31. For more information about the competition, you are encouraged to check out the FAQS page – it answers many of the questions that are frequently asked. It will also help you to determine if you are eligible for the competition. You are also encouraged to study the Judging Rounds page and the Judging Criteria page, which explains what the judges are looking for when they score applications.

HUD is offering funding to national nonprofit organizations with ongoing experience in rural housing, including experience working with rural housing organizations, local governments, and Indian tribes, as evidenced by past and continuing work in one or more states in five or more of the federal regions through the Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants program. Deadline: 9/14/2015. This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program will provide funds to help communities develop the skills and technical capabilities necessary to undertake effective community development activities. For more information and to apply, click here.

Minnesota Broadband Funds.  The 2015 Minnesota Border to Border Infrastructure Grant Program application is now available. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Good luck! http://wp.me/p3if7-3aF

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has issued guidelines and application materials for Our Town, the NEA’s primary creative placemaking program, providing funding that supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. Grants in 2016 will be available for projects in arts engagement, design and planning, and in knowledge building. Deadline to apply: 9/21/2015. Click here for application guidelines. To help applicants prepare competitive proposals, the NEA is offering two webinars; July 29 and August 5, 2015. Each session will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. Click here to register for a webinar.

The Foundation for Rural Service provides grants for programs in rural communities served by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) members. Grants are awarded in the areas of business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. Deadline: 10/1/2015. Click here to visit the program website for more information.

The Institute for Rural America has issued a request for proposals for a $5,000 Leadership Training Grant. The competitive grant is awarded for creative and educationally focused proposals targeted at groups desiring to develop and foster leadership within their member base. Successful applications will clearly outline a leadership training plan. Proposals that include cooperators who can assist with project planning, evaluation, or information dissemination will be viewed favorably. Deadline: 10/15/2015. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply.

The Explore Minnesota grant program is offered to assist communities and scenic byway organizations in attracting travelers to Minnesota. Information on the program and guidelines for grants are now available on the industry website.

The maximum grant amount is $8,000 and requires a match from the recipient. Organizations with total income of $100,000 or less qualify for a 1:1 match. Those with total income over $100,000 are required to match at 2:1.

Projects that are included in the 2016 Co-Opportunities Program are NOT eligible for grant funding. A complete list of projects is included in the grant guidelines, and grantees must confirm on the application that the project(s) they are submitting are not part of an EMT Co-Opportunities Program. Applications for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Grant Program are due Oct. 15, 2015.

If you are a Minnesota non-profit tourism or scenic byway organization and want further information on the grant program, contact your Regional Manager:

  • Central – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466
  • Metro – Gayle Junnila  800-657-3637
  • Northwest – Carol Altepeter  888-629-6466 or David Bergman  888-563-7777
  • Northeast – Tim Campbell  888-876-6784
  • Southern – Lisa Havelka  888-975-6766

Or call Explore Minnesota at 800-657-3637; 651-757-1848 for more information.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced two new energy financing programs intended to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota: The Rev It Up Program for local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy system projects, and the Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program, which provides public entities with funds needed to pay for energy audits and renewable energy feasibility studies. Read more.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants support programs that work in the areas of childhood education, healthy children, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement.  Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Details about how to apply for this are found in the Federal Register here. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office.

TRAINING/ MEETINGS

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Housing and the nonprofit company GRID Alternatives will host a webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 4:00 PM EDT on Solar Energy. Learn how to achieve cost and energy savings using renewable solar energy systems across a portfolio. This training is primarily for property owners of affordable multi-family housing properties. Click here to register for this free training.

The Nonprofit Essentials Conference is designed just for you!  Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the University of St. Thomas and over 250 nonprofit peers on Thursday, August 20 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN for an indispensable overview of the management topics essential to nonprofits. Offering a wide array of practical workshops, this information-packed conference will help re-focus staff on the core elements of working in and managing successful nonprofit organizations.  Register today and get back to the basics!

2015 National Rural Assembly will be held September 8-10, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.  Register here.

The Will Steger Foundation has launched a series of forums titled “Climate Minnesota: Local Stories, Community Solutions.” The forums aim to increase public awareness around local climate change impacts and build community resiliency through science, stories and place-based solutions. The remaining meetings will take place: Sept. 15 in Owatonna; Sept. 21 in Mankato; Sept. 24 in Virginia, Oct. 12 in Rochester; Nov. 2 in Brainerd; Nov. 2 in Detroit Lakes; Nov. 12 in Minnetonka; and January 2016 (date TBD) in Marshall. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is an exhibitor and provides energy-related resources at the events. Read more.

— Willmar Hack2.o – September 18-20: civic coding near the lake
Willmar is hosting a hackfest next month. It’s a three-day event (Sept 18-20) for coders and non-coders alike. It will be hosted in the WORKUP co-working space located at MinnWest Technology Campus. The setting is beautiful. The opportunities are numerous. http://workup.cc/hack2o/

The Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference is Minnesota’s premier event for entrepreneurs and investors Real Deals, Real Investors, Unbeatable Networking.  Save the date for the 29th Annual event on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. With hundreds attending each year, this event is one of the strongest in the country in terms of overall entrepreneur and investor attendance and capital raised by participants. Since 1987 the Annual Minnesota Venture & Finance Conference has been bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to engage, innovate, learn and network in order to nurture Minnesota’s innovation economy.  The full agenda and details will be announced in July 2015. For questions on opportunities to get involved contact Tonya Meyers (tmeyers@mhta.org).

Im Home Conference Minneapolis will be held October 26−28, 2015

CFED sponsors this conference bringing together affordable housing developers, lenders, government agency staff, policymakers, industry experts, homeowners, community organizers, researchers, and funders to consider manufactured housing as a source of affordable housing and asset building for low- and moderate-income families.

— Save the Date! November 18-20 Annual Broadband Conference hosted by Blandin Foundation and the Office of Broadband Development – More information to come.

Save the Date for the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference  Mark your calendar now to attend the 2016 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, Feb. 2-3, 2016, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.

OPPORTUNITIES

Jim Meeks, PA-C, DFAAPA Memorial AFPPA Student Scholarship  Application deadline: September 1, 2015. Offers a scholarship to a physician assistant student who displays a commitment to family practice and rural health. 

MISCELLANEOUS

 National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation has launched a new website of resources for planning and economic development in rural regions and small towns. Resources include materials developed over the past four years by NADO and its partners through the HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative capacity building program. On the website are links to publications, webinars, workshop materials, and other information on a variety of topics and themes including economic resilience, entrepreneurship, community engagement, downtown redevelopment, food systems, and many other areas. These materials should be helpful to planners, economic developers, elected officials, and local residents working to improve and strengthen their small towns and rural regions. Click here to visit the site. Please direct any questions to NADO Program Manager Brett Schwartz at bschwartz@nado.org. 

Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty (Amber Waves feature article)  Over 1 in 4 rural children are living in families that are poor. Counties with high vulnerability to child poverty, those with both low young adult education levels and high proportions of children in single-parent families, were generally the most hard-hit by the recession of the past decade and experienced substantial increases in their already high child poverty rates.

Why Some Return Home to Rural America and Why It Matters (Amber Waves feature article) Continued population loss in rural communities is caused as much by low in-migration as by high out-migration; in remote rural communities lacking natural amenities, return migrants make up a large share of total in-migration. Return migrants potentially play a critical role in rural areas in slowing population loss, rejuvenating the population base, and generating jobs.

Rural Child Poverty Chart Gallery Factors that shape the geography of high and increasing rural child poverty are explored: economic conditions, young adult education levels, and family structure. This collection of maps complements the July 2015 Amber Waves feature, Understanding the Geography of Growth in Rural Child Poverty.”

Farm Structure and Organization USDA ERS research on farm structure examines the shift of agricultural production to larger firms and also covers the ownership and organization of farm businesses; the links among farms, farm households, buyers, input providers, and contractors; and the mix of inputs and products on farms.

USDA Economic Research Service has published “Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns”. The study found that grants to U.S. rural-based organizations accounted for 5.5 percent of the real value of domestic grants by large foundations during 2005 to 2010. Grants to rural organizations are more likely to support direct investments in physical and human capital and less likely to support direct investments in financial or intellectual capital than are grants to urban organizations. Download the report here.

–The PEW Charitable Trusts has published a brief titled “States Struggle With ‘Hidden’ Rural Homelessness”. The brief describes rural homelessness in the United States and highlights some states’ efforts to address the growing issue. Click here to read the document.

The Center for Housing Policy has released a report:  “Housing and Service Needs of Our Changing Veterans Population”. The report examines services currently available and offers policy recommendations to better serve three distinct veteran populations: older adult veterans, female veterans and post-9/11 veterans. Get the report here. The Center has also released a Veterans Housing Communications Toolkit. While Americans generally express strong support and admiration for armed services members and veterans, affordable housing for veterans can be a hard sell. Community members are often concerned about the impact of veterans’ housing on their communities, policy makers may not see housing as a priority program and veterans themselves may not believe that the affordable homes the Center builds are really for them. Get the toolkit here.

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