[ Update ]
Volume I, Issue 3, September 1997
The East St. Louis Community Action Network (ESL
CAN) hired 26 youth ages 16-21 from East St. Louis to participate
in neighborhood improvement projects this summer in the Olivette
Park and Edgemont neighborhoods.
The team of youth workers began on Monday June 30th
by sprucing up the Bolden Community Garden in Olivette Park.
The first four weeks of the program were spent cleaning up vacant
lots at various other locations throughout Olivette Park which
runs from Collinsville Avenue to 25th street and between State
Street and St. Clair Avenue. The work locations were chosen by
the Olivette Park Neighborhood Association.
Ms. Mamie Bolden, President of the Olivette Park
Neighborhood Association, said "For this being the first
time we have ever done anything like this, the project turned
out to be a great success". She added, "The kids worked
very hard and showed us that projects like this are needed and
appreciated, it really makes me look forward to next year."
The second four weeks of the program were spent in
the Edgemont neighborhood which runs from 78th Street to 89th
Street. The program ended on Friday, August 22nd.
In both of these neighborhoods, the participants
worked on a variety of open space improvement projects, including
clearing vacant lots, playground construction, landscaping, and
park enhancement efforts. The crew of workers were supervised
by James Jones and
Rodney Lewis. The supervisors helped the youth organize
their work and complete assigned tasks on time.
"The program was successful because we were
lucky enough to have 26 kids who were concerned about their community
and were willing to participate" said Jones. "They were
willing to make a difference."
The program also provided a career and college exploration
seminar. This aspect of the program was designed so that the
participants had time to reflect on some of the career or academic
options that they may pursue after high school. The seminar
included a field trip to the University of Illinois, videos, and
The project was co-sponsored by ESL CAN, the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Olivette Park Neighborhood
Association, and the Edgemont Neighborhood Association. The USDA
Natural Resource Conservation Service and USDA Forest Service
and Urban Resource Partnerships funded the project.
For more information, please contact James Jones at ESL CAN at 271-9605. The next ESL CAN meeting is Saturday, Sept. 21st at 1 p.m at MCC.
Many non-profits and citizens are taking action in
East St. Louis to combat deteriorating physical and social conditions
in their community. The Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center
helps those groups and individuals by providing quality information,
consultation and resources. Part of that mission includes providing
training which will allow community based organizations to reach
a high level of organizational capacity in order to implement
increasingly complex community development projects.
The NTAC is in the process of devising a year long
training schedule for community based organizations in East St.
Louis. We invite all community based organizations to submit
ideas for training topics or workshops. This grantwriting workshop
is the third in a series of Fall workshop. The first two workshops
will be on computers/Internet and non-profit management.
The Grantsmanship Center has agreed to come to East
St. Louis and hold a five day Grantsmanship Training Program beginning
December 8 -12, 1997. This program takes you step by step through
all the stages of planning programs, locating funding sources
and writing grant proposals. It will teach you how to locate
grant support from foundations, corporations and funding sources.
It also covers the latest developments in on-line grant information
systems and the Internet.
The core of the training is hands on work you will
do developing proposal elements that pertain to your own agency's
programs. At the same time, you will gain insight into what proposal
reviewers are looking for as you become a reviewer yourself, evaluating
the proposals of other participants.
Finally, in a small working group, you will prepare
a complete grant proposal, identify potential funding sources
for it, and present it to the class for review. In addition,
participants will have access to The Grantsmanship Center's staff
for one year after training for help in reviewing proposals and
devising fundraising plans.
The Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities was recently
awarded a grant from the Benton Foundation and the National Endowment
for the Arts under their Open Studio project. Open Studio, created
in 1996, is the first national initiative to help arts organizations
serve their communities through the Internet.
Over 250 arts and community organizations and 200 artists will
contribute to Open Studio, either through its access or mentoring
sites, working together to increase the amount and quality of
artistic and cultural materials available on-line and to make
that material accessible to more people.
The Dunham Centers were selected as part of a competitive proposal
process. The Dunham submitted a proposal in January, that was
reviewed by the Open Studio National Advisory Group, and others
experienced in both communications technology and the arts. As
an Open Studio participant the Dunham Centers will offer free
public access to the World Wide Web at 532 N. 10th Street during
the week and on Saturdays.
The Katherine Dunham Centers hope to build a bridge between itself
and the community by offering free public access to the Internet
by demonstrating how the Internet can provide an affordable and
accessible cultural landscape. At the access site, the public
can learn more about the arts and culture without having to travel
to a distant fine arts museum. In addition, the Dunham Centers
hopes that free access to the Internet will draw new audiences
into arts and cultural institutions.
Several additional public computing sites are located throughout
the city. The public can access the Internet at the NTAC office
and Mt. Sinai Church in addition to the Katherine Dunham Centers.
On June 17, two members of the Illinois Facility Fund visited
East St. Louis and held a public presentation about the organization
and its services. The Illinois Facility Fund (IFF) is a statewide
nonprofit financial and real estate development corporation.
The IFF's programs strengthen other non profits through capital
improvement planning and financing through specialized real estate
development. The IFF makes below market loans for building related
projects to nonprofit human service and community development
agencies, and assists agencies with related management and financial
Originally, the IFF only targeted human service agencies through
below-market loans for facility expansion, acquisition of property,
renovation or rehabilitation, critical or deferred maintenance
needs, and energy conservation improvements.
Today, the IFF's market is broader- it includes all non-profits
providing social support programs that strengthen communities
and support low-income individuals and families. Loans range
from $20,000 to $500,000. Central to the loan evaluation process
is a complete review of the applicants programs, financial health,
and future plans.
As of October 10, 1996, the IFF has approved 113 loans totaling
$20.9 million for human service agencies throughout Illinois since
1990. Funding for IFF programs comes from foundations, banks
and corporations. Operating expenses are covered by interest
earnings on loans and grants.
In addition to the loan program, IFF also offers a Consulting
and Technical Assistance program to help non profit organizations
with: site review and assessment, space allocation and program
planning, financial planning, facility project management and
maintenance and operations.
Descriptions of the IFF's different loan programs and a copy of the Loan application are available at the NTAC. You may also contact the IFF directly at 312-629-0060.
On June 28, 1997 at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, two East St. Louis
families were given the keys to their respective brand new homes.
A dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the work of a coalition
of community-based organizations who pulled together to build
four new homes in the Emerson Park and Olivette Park neighborhood.
Two homes were built in Emerson Park at the corner of 14th street
and Winstanley Avenue in early summer. And just a few weeks ago,
two homes at the corner of 8th and Summit Avenue were completed
in Olivette Park.
In East St. Louis, thousands of families are forced to live in
substandard and over-crowded housing, often without adequate plumbing
or heating. In an effort to remedy this problem the Neighborhood-Based
Family Housing Program(NBFHP) was developed. The Catholic Urban
Programs, the Lessie Bates Neighborhood House, the Emerson Park
Local Development Corporation, the East Side Heart and Home Corporation,
First Illinois Bank and Community Development Consultants joined
together to build new homes.
The first two homes were constructed with the help of over 200
volunteers from churches, neighborhood organizations, businesses
and civic groups from throughout East St. Louis, and the St. Louis
area. Construction of these homes was completed during the last
two weeks of June. Prior to the actual construction period though
the coalition had been busy planning the development for six months.
The second phase of construction began on August 4th in Olivette
The goal of the program is to develop decent, affordable housing
that is efficient and cost effective for very low income and low
income families in East St. Louis. The program utilized volunteer
labor and existing private resources to build the homes. The
NBFHP is also helping eligible families obtain a conventional
mortgage in order for them to become homeowners.
The families that were chosen for the program were already participants
in a family self-sufficiency program in collaboration with one
of the participating agencies. The families are working, female
head of household families who will be taking out 30 year mortgages
to buy the homes.
The Emerson Park and Olivette Park neighborhoods were chosen because
of the long term commitment which several of the participating
organizations have in these neighborhoods and because of the grass
roots commitment of the local neighborhood organizations.
For more information, please contact Vickie Forby,
Director of the Emerson Park Development Corporation at 874-0777.
The Corporation for National and Community Service seeks to mobilize
more Americans to observe the MLK Federal Holiday as a day of
service in communities and to bring people together around the
common focus of service to others.
The Corporation is authorized to pay for the Federal share of the cost of planning and carrying out service opportunities in conjunction with the Federal legal holiday. Non-profit organizations may apply for grants up to $5,000 for service projects.
Activities supported by these grants will (1) get necessary things
done in communities, (2) strengthen communities engaged in the
service activity, (3) reflect the life and teaching of Martin
Luther King, Jr., and (4) begin to occur in significant part on
the Federal legal holiday.
The deadline for applications is September 30, 1997. A copy of
the application can be obtained from the Neighborhood Technical
The NCCC seeks collaboration in the performance of service projects
in the areas of education, the environment, public safety, other
unmet human needs and disaster relief.
The NCCC is an Americorps program for the Corporation for National
and Community Service. NCCC engages 18 to 24 year old men and
women of diverse social, economic and educational backgrounds,
in teams of approximately 12 with a team leader, to conduct service
projects across the nation. Projects are typically six to eight
weeks in duration; the period of service for larger, more complex
projects can be extended.
Private nonprofit organizations, governmental entities at the
Federal, state and local levels, educational institutions, community-based
organizations, and Native American Tribal Councils are eligible
to submit proposals. Proposals are accepted, reviewed, and approved
with consideration for compelling need, geographical distribution,
availability of teams, and NCCC costs related to team deployment.
There is no charge for the services of an NCCC team or its transportation;
however, collaborating organizations are expected to provide the
necessary materials, equipment and technical supervision for projects
as well as food and lodging if the project is located 90 minutes
or more from an NCCC campus. NCCC does not provide financial
grants of any kind in association with this program.
For more information, please contact: Americorps NCCC Central
Region Campus, Attn: Ms. Karen LaBat, Director of Projects and
Training, 1059 Yosemite Street, Building 758, Room 213, Aurora,
CO 80010, (303-340-7305).
The summer is almost over and it is about that time again when
the University of Illinois returns to full operation and all of
the students return to campus. As many of you are aware, for
the past five years the East St. Louis Action Research Project
(ESLARP) has been providing assistance to neighborhood and community-based
organizations working on community development projects.
One of the functions of the ESLARP and NTAC is to help groups
complete projects which require a large number of volunteers.
In order to do this, the NTAC is asking each organization that
would like volunteers to assist on projects to submit a Community/Campus
Volunteer Improvement Project Planning Sheet to the NTAC. The
forms are available at the NTAC.
It is important to note that the University will try to accommodate
as many requests as possible, but those projects that are not
supported by the community organization will not be scheduled.
It is important that these projects be undertaken in the truest
sense of the word "partnership". This means that project
proposals that are submitted must show resident participation.
The dates for the Fall of 1997 University of Illinois Volunteer
Work Weekends are as follows:
Students will arrive around 10 a.m. on Friday and will work until
5 p.m. and then return at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday each
Talbots, a leading retailer and cataloger of women's classic apparel,
has established a distinctive $100,000 scholarship fund for women
returning to college to complete their bachelor's degrees. Talbot's
Women Scholarship Fund, the company's first scholarship program,
will award five women $10,000 scholarships and fifty women $1,000
scholarships for undergraduate study beginning in the Fall of
1998. The Fund will be directed to women who have been out of
school for at least five years.
Talbots has formed a Board of Judges to select the five $10,000
scholarship recipients. Board members include Ellen Ford, founder
of the multi-million dollar Ford Models agency, Jackie Joyner-Kersee,
three-time Olympic gold medalist and founder of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Youth Foundation; and Dawn Upshaw, internationally acclaimed soprano
and winner of numerous awards including the Grammy.
Applications for Talbots Women's Scholarship Fund will be available in all U.S. Talbots stores October 1 and must be postmarked by December 1, 1997. The nearest Talbots store is located at Plaza Frontenac in St. Louis, MO at South Lindbergh and I-64/40.
Over the last past few months, a group of about 15 people from the Greater East St. Louis area have met to discuss ways to enhance citizen participation in community improvement projects and organizations.
The concept of establishing a Volunteer Center to help promote volunteerism in East St. Louis has been the focus of these meetings. These meeting were initially convened by the Casino Queen. The Casino Queen's Public Relations Department has taken an active role in spearheading this initiative.
A Volunteer Center would provide such services as:
No specific plans have been made regarding the structure of this
Volunteer Center. The planning committee is currently working
on collecting the results of a city-wide survey which was used
to gain input from local organizations. Those responding to the
survey will be called upon to provide further input as to their
volunteer management assets and needs and will have the opportunity
to help shape the direction and scope of the Volunteer Center.
If you would like to be a part of the planning committee, please
contact either Jackie Smith of the Casino Queen (800-933-2724)
or Melinda McAliney of the United Way at (314-539-4284).
Exciting Opportunity to start up and lead largest
not-for-profit provider of low-income housing in East St. Louis,
Illinois with recently acquired large inventory of occupied and
abandoned bond-for-deed properties. Develop and manage home ownership
counseling program for residents and program for rehab and development
of abandoned properties and loan servicing, and secure funding
for future affordable housing development.
Very strong housing development/financing skills
required; property management and grantsmanship experience and
experience working with a not-for profit board of directors strongly
preferred; minimum of two years experience. Full-Time twelve
month appointment with possible extension subject to funding availability;
salary $30,000-$35,000 plus benefits.
Please send resume and three work references by
closing date of October 15, 1997 to : Citizens of the Future,
Inc., P.O. Box 2678, East St. Louis, IL 62202.
On September 10, 1997, the Urban Resource Partnership and local
mayors formally announced the grant recipients for the 1997 Urban
Resource Partnership Grants. The presentation of the awards was
held at one of the project sites, Wirth Middle School in Cahokia,
at 1:30 p.m.
Urban Resource Partnership is a joint effort of the USDA Natural
Resource Conservation Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Extension
Service, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, US Environmental Protection
Agency, USDI National Park Service, US Department of Housing and
Urban Development, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, East
St. Louis EcoSystem Council, and Metropolitan Community College.
The partnership is designed to facilitate interagency cooperation
in the development of improved natural resource planning and management
strategies to meet economic and social needs in the East St. Louis
The 1997 East St. Louis Metropolitan Area URP's will be providing
technical assistance and grants totaling $500,000 to nine organizations.
All of these organizations will undertake projects that enhance,
restore, and sustain urban ecosystems in the Metro East.
The 1997 grantees include the following:
Wirth Middle School-Cahokia Unit School District #187
Project Title: Blooming Warriors
Grant Amount: $50,000
Activities: Expansion of a community garden to a second site. Tree planting program. Preservation of a wetland. Educational programs for children.
Carver Community Center
Park and Playground Project
Grant Amount: $10,000
Activities: Landscaping improvements at the former Carver School. Renovation of playground near the center.
East St. Louis Community Action Network (ESL CAN)
Project Clean Sweep II
Grant Amount: $50,400
Activities: Summer youth employment project. Clearing and cleaning lots. Graffiti removal. Educational programs in the areas of horticulture, landscape design and graphic art.
Catholic Urban Programs
Neighborhood Law Office
Grant Amount: $37,200
Activities: work with neighborhood groups to file lawsuits and requests for lot clean-up or demolition of code violation property.
Emerson Park Development Corporation
Emerson Park Revives, Reduces, Recycles!!
Grant Amount: $100,000
Activities: composting, community garden, playground development within a nine block target area.
Katherine Dunham Center for Arts and Humanities
Katherine Dunham Artisanal Village
Grant Amount: $75,000
Activities: landscaping and beautification of Museum grounds, renovation of outdoor recreational park for community performances, environmental education and green space.
Lansdowne Improvement Association
Project Lansdowne: Block by Block
Grant Amount: $100,000
Activities: Cleaning and clearing 60 square blocks volunteer professionals provi and expand 10 pocket parks and playgrounds, and plant flowers.
Neighbors United for Progress
Neighbors Place Tree Planting/Beautification Initiative
Grant Amount: $7,900
Activities: Tree planting in and surrounding a new residential development in Centerville, IL. Development of a corner lot for green space and an entry way for the development.
Village of Brooklyn
Village in Transformation
Grant Amount: $29,300
Activities: Enhancing community sites through landscaping and beautifying streets, road sides, playgrounds and public buildings and grounds.
Neighborhood News is published six times per year by the University of Illinois East St. Louis Action Research Project and the Neighborhood Technical Assistance Center. The East St. Louis Action Research Project is a cooperatively managed community assistance and development program of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1990, faculty and students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Department of Landscape Architecture and the School of Architecture have worked in cooperation with the College of Agriculture's Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, municipal agencies and East St. Louis neighborhood groups to find solutions to pressing social, economic and environmental problems.
The University of Illinois East St. Louis Neighborhood
Technical Assistance Center (NTAC) provides organizational, planning
and design assistance to the increasing number of residents and
neighborhood organizations active in physical, economic or social
development projects that enhance the quality of life in East
St. Louis. For more information or to submit news: phone 618-271-9605,
FAX 618-271-9651, e-mail: email@example.com.
For other issues see Archives
Document author(s) : Patricia Nolan
Last modified: 20 October 97, Abhijeet Chavan