Friday, July 21, 2017

Community Resources Newsletter July 21, 2017


Free Talk! Mobilizing Volunteers for Small Town Success

Small towns rely on volunteers for prosperity, but it can be a challenge to sustain volunteer energy and enthusiasm. With a resident-driven approach, Heart & Soul® towns rally community members to increase civic participation and create positive change. Listen in for ideas to keep volunteers motivated and engaged for the long run.

Thursday, July 27, 2017 from 3-4 p.m. Eastern
Register Now!


·       Sara Lightner, senior associate of programs, training, Orton Family Foundation
Before joining Orton, Sara spent 13 years volunteering and working with volunteers in the Peace Corps. She was director of programming and training for the Eastern Caribbean and for Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Sara directed volunteer and partner trainings and programming opportunities, ensuring that volunteers received the support needed to be successful.

·        Debbie Moreno, project coordinator, Galesburg on Track
Debbie is a journalist, a poet, a parent, and an active volunteer—skills and experience that have transferred to her role as project coordinator of Galesburg on Track, a Community Heart & Soul® project in Galesburg, Illinois. Debbie is devoted to effective communication with residents and has built a strong and dedicated group of volunteers that represent the broad range of perspectives.

·        Fran Stoddard, moderator
A national award-winning producer of video programs, Fran produced and hosted Vermont Public Television’s weekly “Profile” interview program for more than a decade. She frequently serves as moderator for community events and has served on numerous non-profit boards.

EPA Region 4 to Host Finance Forum for Drinking Water Systems July 26

EPA Region 4 Finance Forum:  Water Rate Setting and Long-Term Fiscal Planning for Small Water Systems

July 26, 2017 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Marriott Shoals Hotel

Florence, Alabama

The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, in collaboration with EPA’s Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, is hosting a finance forum for drinking water systems.

Water utilities generally get most of their revenue from user charges. In order to ensure proper funding of utilities, it is critical that small water systems fully understand both rate setting and long-term fiscal planning. Systems should understand how policy decisions that promote economic development or conservation can impact revenues and aim to set rates that promote utility priorities while recovering the full cost of operation.


The forum will help ensure the financial stability of your water system while providing safe, quality drinking water at fair rates. Topics include many aspects of financial management and planning of a water system fund including rates and rate setting, controlling costs, planning for capital expenses, benchmarking financial performance, and collaboration between nearby small systems.


This forum is designed for drinking water systems serving 10,000 or fewer people, especially targeting local government systems facing financial challenges. Owners of privately owned systems, consultants and technical assistance providers serving small water systems are also invited to attend, provided that there is space. This forum is being offered at no cost to participants.


Small drinking water systems in the following eight Region 4 states are invited to register:  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.  The forum has been submitted for CEUs to the various states.


Register and Learn More.


Choctaw Nation Opportunities

Oklahoma Hunting and Fishing License

The Choctaw Nation is excited to announce that hunting and fishing license will now be available for all Choctaw citizens residing within Oklahoma regardless of age or if they are a current Oklahoma lifetime license holder.

For more information or to access the online application you can click here.  



Federal, State, and Nonprofit Opportunities

Community Facilities Technical Assistance and Training Grant

The Agency will make grants to public bodies and private nonprofit corporations to provide associations Technical Assistance and/or training with respect to essential community facilities programs. The Technical Assistance and/or training will assist communities, Indian Tribes, and Nonprofit Corporations to identify and plan for community facility needs that exist in their area. More information...

Application Deadline: July 24, 2017


Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant

The purpose of this program is to provide technical assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Groups in rural areas. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. This program supports Rural Development's (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them. More information...

Application Deadline: July 25, 2017


Rural Community Development Initiative Grants

Qualified private, nonprofit and public including tribal intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs will be eligible to receive the funding. The Intermediary will be required to provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the RCDI grant. The respective minimum and maximum grant amount per Intermediary is $50,000 and $250,000. The Intermediary must provide a program of financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community.

More information...

Application Deadline: July 25, 2017


Developing Future Victim Specialists for Indian Country

Grants for projects to identify and train students in relevant disciplines, such as sociology, social work, and psychology, who are interested in victim service positions specifically serving tribal communities. More information...

Application Deadline: August 9, 2017


Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants 

With this publication, HUD is making available up to $5,000,000 for Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants.1. Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented.2. Planning and Action Grants are three and a half year planning grants that pair planning with action. More information...

Application Deadline: August 28, 2017


Capital Magnet Fund

Grants to finance affordable housing and community revitalization efforts that benefit low-income people and communities. More information...

Application Deadline: August 31, 2017


Centers for Agricultural Health and Safety (U54)

Funding to operate a Center for Agriculture Health and Safety, which will conduct research and help translate scientific discoveries focused on improving worker safety and health in the areas of agriculture, forestry, and fishing. More information...

Letter of Intent (Optional): September 29, 2017

Application Deadline: November 30, 2017


Economic Development Assistance Programs 

The Economic Development Administration's (EDA's) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. More information... 

Application Deadline: Rolling

Rural & Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance 

The rural program provides technical assistance for small communities of less than 50,000 people. The focus of the program is economic development: helping small and emerging businesses and stimulating economic development through new and improved public transportation.
The tribal program is designed to help Native American tribes enhance economic growth adn development by improving transportation services. Technical assistance is limited to planning and may support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities.
For more information and to register, click here. 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Rolling
Source: Community Transportation Association of America


Training & Workshop Opportunities

FREE Domestic Violence Training

Limited to the first 100 people. Please email to register. 

When: July 24, 2017,   9:30am - 4:00pm

Where: Choctaw Casino Conference Center (4216 US-69, Durant, OK 74701)

Access the Flyer HERE


Standards for Excellence 2.0

This includes expanded and enhanced benchmarks for nonprofit best practices, including 78 benchmarks for best practices; new sample policies in social media and information technologies all nonprofits need to know; and improved information on outcome based measurements and logic models to prove mission impact.

·        Ardmore - July 19-20

·        Tulsa - July 26-27

·        OKC - August 8-9

·        Tahlequah - August 30-31

·        Durant - September 19-20

·        Tulsa - September 20-21


Managing Through A Budget Crisis

Gain skills and resources for setting and maintaining organizational priorities - and where to cut back - in the midst of uncertain economic times.

OKC - August 11, 9am - 12pm

Tulsa - August 25, 9am - 12pm


True Colors Workshop

This is a model for understanding yourself and others based on your personality temperament. The colors of Orange, Gold, Green, and Blue are used to differentiate the four central personality styles.

Tulsa - July 28, 9am - 12pm


American Indians Accessing Health Professions Workshop

Workshop for currently enrolled college students of American Indian/American Native background, designed to encourage more American Indian students to pursue health professions. More information...

Application Deadline: July 28, 2017


Webinar Series: Get More Grants

Maryn Boess, a veteran nonprofit professional, social entrepreneur, and leader in capacity-building and grantsmanship training, has won more than $42 million for her clients in a single ten-year period. Since 2000 she has focused on creating and delivering a portfolio of high-quality, low-cost grants information tools, resources, and workshops shared by thousands of nonprofits nationwide.

·        Power Writing for Nonprofits - August 2

·        Grants Research...with a Twist - October 4

·        Inside the Grantmaker's Black Box - December 6


Other Opportunities


Choctaw Talent Search

This is a general casting call for On-Air talent. You could be featured on commercials, project highlights and other various Video Production projects. Open to men and women of all ages.

For more information contact:


American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Scholarship

Established to provide American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students with financial assistance to earn a degree or certificate in the hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields.  AIANTA will award three (3) individuals who have met all scholarship application criteria. AIANTA would like to encourage Indigenous students to build their careers in the the tourism industry while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy. Access the application here! 

Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Semester: July 28, 2017
Application Deadline for Spring 2018 Semester: December 1, 2017 




Bringing Life Downtown After Hours: Arts, Shopping, Culture After 5

Being open evening hours is not just a matter of extending store hours. It is more like opening a whole different store with different customers. Becky McCray and Deb Brown be sharing ideas and examples from real small towns. Deb will share from her experience as a Chamber of Commerce director, and Becky will share from her perspective as a business owner in a small town. More information...

When: Webinar continually available. 


What is the Promise Zone? How does it benefit my community? 

The Promise Zone offers preference points on many federal grant applications the Choctaw Nation and our partners seek. To gain these preference points, the Choctaw Nation Promise Zone must certify and verify applications. These preference points give applications a "leg up" as they head to federal agencies for review. HUD Form 50153 must be signed by a Promise Zone Official before it's submitted with any grant. Sara Jane Smallwood is the Promise Zone Official for Choctaw Nation.

Please visit this link to obtain HUD Form 50153 and view the full list of grants with the Promise Zone preference points.


What are the Promise Zone's geographical boundaries? 

The Promise Zone is a place-based initiative, and is confined to a set of Census tracts in southeastern Oklahoma. These areas were chosen because of their high need and opportunity for grants and programs to positively impact communities. Promise Zone preference is assigned to these areas. However, many of our school districts and communities in southeastern Oklahoma cross Census tract lines. Contact the Promise Zone team to help determine Promise Zone eligibility or for any questions on the boundaries. We have created an interactive map of the Promise Zone to help determine and highlight the Promise Zone boundaries. It's easy to use, and users can type in addresses to see if they're in the Zone. This is a helpful and effective tool for Choctaw Nation and our partners.

Please visit this link to use the interactive Promise Zone map.



Monday, July 17, 2017

Community Resources


June 22nd Meeting Summary

Local Food Models:

1.      Amber Canto, State Coordinator, FoodWIse, University of Wisconsin-Extension, spoke about the university's 2014 USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant which examined barriers for SNAP customers to shop at farmers markets. The work focused on five communities and revealed that transportation and perceived cost were barriers. The study also revealed that SNAP customers visit markets for many reasons, but mostly for fresh and local produce. 63% of those surveyed didn’t realize that SNAP was accepted at markets, and many were unaware of incentive programs. For more information on the study, contact Amber here.  Click here to view presentation.

2.      Alice Maggio, Director of Programs, Schumacher Center for a New Economics, discussed the Berkshares program, a local currency designed and issued for circulation in local businesses in the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. The concept of a local currency is particularly helpful to rural areas, as .48 of every dollar remains in the local economy, versus .136 without it. The program has successfully promoted and facilitated local production of food and goods. For more information on the Center’s work or its Berkshares program, please visit their website or contact Alice hereClick here to view presentation.

Soil Health:

1.      Bala Chaudhary, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Studies, DePaul University, discussed her research on plant-microbe interactions and soil health. Similar to humans, plants have symbionts that live on, inside and/or around them. In addition, mycorrhizal fungi live in the roots of plants. These provide nutrients to plants and/or protect them from pathogens or drought. Less intensive farming and lower application of fertilizers/herbicides results in healthier plants with more nutrients. For more information, contact Bala hereClick here to view presentation.

2.       Michelle Wander, Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, shared resources and noted that improved soil health results in less erosion and water and nitrogen run-off. Because we were experiencing technical difficulties and it was difficult to hear Michelle, we’ve attached her presentation which also includes a number of valuable resources. You can also contact Michelle hereClick here to view presentation.

3.      Hannah Shayler, Extension Associate, Cornell University (NY), shared information about the Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities research and outreach program developed in response to concerns about contaminants in urban gardens and other community spaces. The work assessed contamination in community gardens in New York City and other areas and developed recommendations and best practices for healthy gardening practices to minimize the exposures of gardeners, garden visitors, and other community members to soil contaminants. The work also revealed that using more compost resulted in less lead in vegetables. You can find additional information on the university’s website or contact Hannah here.  Click here to view presentation.

4.       James Rospopo, Soil Conservation Technician, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), highlighted NRCS programs and resources that can help agricultural producers to promote soil health. NRCS created a webpage with a wealth of resources and information on soil health. As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. By using soil health principles and systems that include no-till, cover cropping and diverse rotations, more and more farmers are actually increasing their soil’s organic matter and improving microbial activity. As a result, farmers are sequestering more carbon, increasing water infiltration, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields. If you live in Illinois and would like to discuss NRCS programs in the State,  contact James here. If you live outside Illinois, please contact your local/state NRCS office. 

July 27th Meeting Agenda

1.      Sarah Lenkay, Strategic Projects Manager, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, will share information about her organization’s Urban Farms of Central Ohio initiative. The initiative currently includes the Clarfield and Wheatland Farms, which are formerly vacant lots that have been transformed into thriving farms. Of the produce grown on the farms, a portion of it is provided to low-income, food insecure households in the neighborhoods surrounding the farms while another portion is sold to restaurants, wholesalers, and through a Veggie Box program to generate program revenue. The initiative also boosts a youth job readiness training program, hosts educational field trips on the farm, and fosters civic engagement.

2.       Sheela Johnson, Natural Resource Specialist, USDA Forest Service, will highlight some of the Forest Service technical assistance and resources available to communities. These resources support air and water quality, community development, and environmental stewardship and education goals. Sheela will share examples of recent projects that use these resources to create “food forests” in city parks or otherwise support local food efforts.

3.       Bryn Bird, previous market manager, Canal Market District, will share information about the development and implementation of the Canal Market District. This organization, whose mission is to promote the local economic development and livelihoods of food entrepreneurs in Newark, Ohio is an example of a unique and innovative partnership between a private family foundation, municipality and non-profit. The organization hosts a twice-weekly farmers market, and seeks to improve everyone’s access to healthy and fresh locally grown produce. In its first year of operation, the market amounted impressive sales to customers who use SNAP and other federal food assistance programs. 

4.       Karyn Moskowitz, Executive Director, New Roots, Inc. and Fresh Stop Markets (IN and KY), will share information about New Root’s main initiative, the award winning Fresh Stop Markets (FSM), which are volunteer, community-driven farm-fresh food markets that pop up bi-weekly at local churches and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. “Shareholders” agree to cooperate and pay ahead of time, on a sliding scale, for ten varieties of seasonal, local, organic produce that can then be picked up at a given time and day, at one of the 15 different Kentucky and southern Indiana Markets. This cooperation and financial commitment ensures that farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as with traditional farmers’ markets, and the sliding scale and community building aspect means food is affordable and everyone is included.

5.      Alison Alkon, Associate Professor of Sociology and Food Studies, University of The Pacific, will share information about research related to farmers markets, CSAs, and food systems that serve and are owned by their communities. Alison will also share information about the necessity of economic policies—and not simply a dependence on market mechanisms—that determine a community’s food sovereignty.

6.       Gary Cuneen, Executive Director, Seven Generations Ahead, will provide an overview of the SERA, Inc. Economic Market Study Report related to composting and local food.

Grants, Resources, Opportunities, and More...


Resources, Tools, & Technical Assistance

Grants & Funding

Data, Statistics, & Reports

Food Waste

Employment Opportunities


Rural LISC

Funding and Finance Opportunities


USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) is offering grants through its Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program to qualified public agencies; private nonprofit organizations, which may include but are not limited to Faith-Based and Community Organizations; and other eligible entities to assist very low- and low-income homeowners in repairing and rehabilitating their homes in rural areas. In addition, the HPG program assists rental property owners and cooperative housing complexes in repairing and rehabilitating their units if they agree to make such units available to low- and very low-income persons. Deadline: 7/17/2017. Click here for application guidelines.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for a wide array of community development and economic development projects to enhance job creation and business development in low-income communities. Deadline: 7/24/2017. Click here for application guidelines.  


THE DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY is accepting applications for the Delta Leadership Academy, an institution that trains leaders from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and industries to improve the economic competitiveness and social viability of the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt, with an emphasis on economic, health, educational, and infrastructure challenges. Geographic coverage: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee. Deadline: 7/14/2017. Click here to visit the Academy’s website.  


THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants through the Rural Health Opioid Program. The purpose of the program is to promote rural health care services outreach by expanding the delivery of opioid related health care services to rural communities. The program will reduce the morbidity and mortality related to opioid overdoses in rural communities through the development of broad community consortiums to prepare individuals with opioid-use disorder (OUD) to start treatment, implement care coordination practices to organize patient care activities and support individuals in recovery through the enhancement of behavioral counselling and peer support activities. This program will bring together health care providers (e.g., local health departments, hospitals, primary care practices, and substance abuse treatment providers) and entities such as social service and faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and other community-based groups to respond with a multifaceted approach to the opioid epidemic in rural communities. A consortium must include at least three health care providers. The program supports three years of funding and incorporates a range of objectives to respond comprehensively to the opioid crisis within rural communities. Deadline: 7/21/2017. Click here to review program guidelines and to apply.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES is offering grants to support minority or disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic, childhood or adolescent obesity, or serious mental illness. Deadline: 8/1/2017. Click here to review application guidelines.  

THE KENT RICHARD HOFMANN FOUNDATION is offering grants throughout the United States, with a particular focus in smaller communities and rural areas. The Foundation supports community-based nonprofit organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS care and direct services, education, or research. Grants are provided to developing or established programs, with emphasis on those that provide direct benefit to clients or target audiences. Requests are reviewed two times per year.Deadlines: letters of inquiry 9/1/2017; invited grant applications will be due 9/22/2017. Visit the Foundation’s website here to submit an online letter of inquiry.  

Native Americans

THE 7TH GENERATION FUND FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE is offering funding to Native American organizations in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000. The remaining postmark deadlines for 2017 is 12/1/2017. Visit the website here for more information and to apply.  


USDA RURAL COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM is offering Food Co-op Initiative (FCI) Seed Grants to provide early development capital for retail food co-op organizing groups that wish to partner with USDA to start a food co-op. In addition to the grant award, the program will commit to regular follow-up and assistance with partner groups. Grants are given in amounts up to $10,000 when funds are available. USDA depends on the generosity of other organizations to support this grant program and only a limited number of awards can be offered. This is a competitive process, as USDA receives more applicants than can be funded every year. If applicants do not receive a seed grant, USDA will continue to work with and support them through the steps in starting a retail food co-op. FCI is awarding $50,000 in Seed Grants for rural cooperatives. Deadline: 7/17/2017. Download the FCI 2017 Rural Seed Grant Information page here to check eligibility and to apply.

USDA Rural Development is offering grants to help socially disadvantaged groups in rural areas. This emphasis will support Rural Development’s (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. Deadline: 7/25/2017. Click here for more information and to apply.

Training Events and Conferences

PolicyLink, The Food Trust, and Reinvestment Fund will host an interactive webinar to tour the newly redesigned Healthy Food Access Portal July 12, 2017, 3:00-4:00 PM EDT. The refreshed site features new and refined resources to better support advocates, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders to take their work – whether a local policy campaign or the launch of a local healthy food business – to the next level. The Portal team will highlight key features, including updated navigation, new content for advocates and entrepreneurs, and interactive tools to find policy information, available funding opportunities, and other resources in each state. Click here to register.

Housing Assistance Council will offer “An Introduction to Proposal Writing for Nonprofits”Thursday, July 13, 2017, 2:00-3:00 PM EDT. Click here for more information and to register.  

National Development Council is offering a New Markets Tax Credits webinar on July 13, 2017. To many economic development practitioners, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) offers promise as a tool to get major deals done. But, understanding how to use NMTCs in actual projects often proves challenging. This three-hour webinar takes participants through a general understanding of the program to detailed, step-by-step application in actual deals. The cost is $275.00. Click here to register.

National Development Council is also offering a New Markets Tax Credits Course, August 7-9, 2017. This intensive three-day course is designed to take the mystery out of this powerful economic development tool from the basics-what NMTCs are and how they are allocated-through the all-important legal and regulatory parameters, to the financing models that work best and maximize NMTC benefits. Case studies and hands-on work take you step-by-step through actual NMTC projects, including commercial real estate, mixed-use development that includes significant amounts of housing, community facilities for non-profits, business financing, and projects that include historic rehabilitation tax credits. Click here for more information on this course and to register.

Freddie Mac and Bank of America are sponsoring "Coming Home Again" workshops this summer and fall. The next two workshops are August 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and August 29, 2017 in Oakland, California. Coming Home Again is a free, comprehensive one-day training event in support of local initiatives that expand home ownership opportunities for underserved households and buyers in distressed markets. These one-day workshops, conducted by the Nickerson Group, are specifically developed for nonprofit organizations and state and local housing agencies looking to learn more about how to design, finance, and administer successful first-time homebuyer programs. More information on registration can be found here.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is hosting two RCAP Outreach and Well Assessment Workshops for health and environmental professionals and others who work with well owners.  The first will be held on August 24, 2017, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM in West Sacramento, California, at the RCAC Corporate Office (3120 Freeboard Drive, West Sacramento). The second will be hosted on September 7, 2017, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM in Portland, Oregon at the Portland State Office Building (800 NE Oregon Street, Portland).  See the full list of trainings on the website here.

Save the Date...

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) will be hosting its annual training conference September 9-12, 2017, in Anchorage, Alaska. Registration can be found here.

Save the Date: Investing in America’s Workforce 2017 Conference. Join leaders in workforce, employers and policy-makers from communities across the country for a dialogue on how to invest in creating a stronger workforce. The event will be held October 4-6, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

Novogradac 2017 Affordable Housing Tax Credit Conference will be held October 5-6, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

NDC Academy will be held October 23-25, 2017, in Washington, D.C., with the theme “Rethinking How We Invest: Homes, Jobs and Communities in 2017 and Beyond.”

Information and Other Resources

A recent story televised on PBS News Hour“Can Helping High-risk Patients with Basic Needs Reduce Costly Care in Rural Areas?” highlights a Montana program working to improve the health of low-income patients dealing with chronic conditions who frequently use emergency care services. This program, located in Kalispell, Billings, and Helena, connects patients with regular specialty care using telehealth; helps address barriers to care like homelessness, a lack of transportation, and food insecurity; and provides community health workers to assist with this transition. Read the full story here.

A new report from the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC)"How Sustainable Communities Create Resilient People," explores how housing can shape resiliency and boost sustainability for individuals and their communities. PAHRC's report assesses three components of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social. The report also discusses tools communities leaders can use to promote the resiliency of low-income families.  Get the report here.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released its annual report, "The State of the Nation's Housing 2017," which details housing market trends, demographic trends, and housing challenges in the U.S. The report finds that 11.1 million renter households were severely cost burdened in 2015. The U.S. added more homeowners in 2016 than in any other year since 2006, but the homeownership rate declined slightly because of a growth in renter households. Between 2014 and 2015, the number of cost-burdened households declined by 2.2 percent. Despite this trend over the past five years, nearly half of all renters continue to be cost-burdened, and being cost-burdened is especially a problem for very low-income renter households. The report also finds that neighborhoods are becoming more economically segregated. Get the report here.  

A new study in Health Affairs examines whether receiving HUD housing assistance is associated with improved access to health care. The authors analyzed data on nondisabled adults ages 18-65 who responded to the 2004-2012 National Health Interview Survey and were also linked with administrative data from HUD. The study found evidence that HUD housing assistance is associated with lower levels of uninsurance and unmet need due to cost. Get the study here.  

“Considering Culture: Building the Best Evidence-Based Practices for Children of Color” is a case study sponsored by the Anne E. Casey Foundation that examines how culture impacts the effectiveness of evidence-based practices in communities of color. The study offers suggestions for how that efficacy may be improved, and options beyond the traditional programs that are proving to be valuable for the children in those communities. A specific discussion of the Strong African American Families (SAAF) program in Georgia gives a rural perspective to the issue. Get the studyhere.

A new report from the Democracy Collaborative examines emerging opportunities for impact investors to support the growth of employee ownership as a scalable, win-win strategy: it has been shown that employee-owned businesses are both better for workers and more stable than investor-owned corporations. Get the report here.  

“Delivering Summer Meals to Rural, Low-Income Kids with Retired School Buses” is the title of an article in Civil Eats that highlights a summer lunch program in a rural area of Tennessee that used old school buses to deliver meals to children in remote areas. In this area, one in every four children lives at or below the poverty level, and many live in too remote an area to access traditional summer lunch programs at Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, etc. Read the article here.  

USDA Economic Research Service has published results of research that provide a bar chart showing rural and urban median earnings by industry, covering a variety of industries including mining, manufacturing, finance, agriculture, and recreation. The data shows that in 2015, annual earnings in rural areas were 15 percent lower than earnings in urban areas. Access the earnings chart here. The Economic Research Service has also published a map identifying which nonmetro counties gained population and which lost population between 2010 and 2016. Access the map here.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released "Out of Reach 2017," a report which finds that a person working full-time at the federal minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment at HUD's fair market rent in any state. A full-time worker earning minimum wage can afford a one-bedroom apartment in only 12 counties. Workers need to earn $21 per hour to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the U.S. to avoid cost burden. The disparity between the income needed to afford a rental home and workers' wages has caused a shortage of 7.4 million rental homes that are affordable and available to extremely low-income households. Get the report here.  

An article in the Daily Yonder“A One-Woman Education Start-Up Machine in Small-Town Iowa,” describes how in small towns, when there's a need, it's often up to the community to come up with a solution. It features Laura Espinoza, who saw a lack of support for immigrant students and their parents in her Iowa town and started five different programs to help folks navigate their way from primary school to college. Read the piece here.



Dr. Dave Shideler

Associate Professor and Community Development Specialist

Department of Agricultural Economics

Oklahoma State University

323 Agricultural Hall

Stillwater, OK 74078-6025


405-744-8210 – fax

Find grants and professional development resources on my blog




Debbie Wells
Administrative Assistant

310 Ag Hall