Building Equity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

See more posts about LUCHA and our work in the Rio Grande Valley

Building equity in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is a critical part of many of our projects. Together with our partners we are working to increase housing opportunities for low-income residents and to build adequate drainage infrastructure for new and existing neighborhoods, civic engagement, and capacity through design. We invite you to learn more about four of our specific projects: sustainABLEhouse, Drainage Equity, LUCHA, and Public Design Impact Initiative, all of which are working hard to achieve these goals. 

Priority Setting Meeting for 1208 Tenth Street

Learn more about POP Dallas and Tenth Street

[bc] is soon to begin rehabilitation on a small house in the Tenth Street Historic District in Dallas, one of the few remaining intact Freedmen’s Town in the country. [bc] has long relationship with the neighborhood, having worked together with the Tenth Street Historic District on Neighborhood Stories and Activating Vacancy: Tenth Street, as well as being involved with the local crime watch, Operation Tenth Street. The house, which will be remodeled according to the historic district guidelines, will be turned into a Neighborhood Resource Center, a hub of activity, information, and programming for the community.


Residents of Tenth Street turned up in front of the house on Saturday, February 11th, for a Priority Setting Meeting to determine what goals the Neighborhood Resource Center should focus on, what kinds of programming and events should happen there, and what resources they want to access.  A few of the many suggestions included: different activities to involve kids and stay active, larger cultural events or festivals, a community gallery, and more!

Neighborhood Stories Kickoff in Elm Thicket

[bc] and the City of Dallas Planning and Urban Design Department have joined forces to bring Neighborhood Stories to the historic neighborhood, Elm Thicket, a Northwest Dallas community located near the Dallas Love Field airport. On Saturday, February 4th, residents and community leaders gathered at the K.B. Polk Recreation Center to kick off the much anticipated project. The event encouraged residents to share memorable stories, impactful historic events, and most of all, to celebrate their culture, identity, and history. Among some of the residents who shared their story was Mr. Thomas Buffin, a current resident who has lived in the neighborhood for over 75 years. Some of the events remembered included the geographical evolution of the neighborhood, the birth of local churches and businesses, the creation of the Dallas Love Field airport, and the desegregation of public schools. 

Stay connected with us as we uncover the untold story of Elm Thicket, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Rural Placemaking Call for Participants

See more posts about our Activating Vacancy work. 

[bc], with HAC, is excited to announce the launch of the call for participants for Rural Placemaking, a new creative placemaking initiative that will take place in two rural communities (with populations less than 50,000) in the United States. Creative placemaking is a way of working between community developers, housing organizations, artists and local stakeholders to strengthen communities. This initiative will implement two creative actions during summer 2017 that bring people together to share food, stories, art, experiences, and histories as well as enable neighbors to talk, learn, and organize.

Two partnerships between a housing or community development organization and an artist/art organization will be selected to implement a temporary initiative from May to August 2017. [bc] and HAC encourage housing/community development organizations without an existing artist/arts organization partner to submit an application. If successful, [bc] and HAC will facilitate selection of a partner artist/organization.

Successful applicants will receive up to $7,500 to support the development of an arts and community building project in their town. They will also receive training and support from national leaders in creative placemaking and community development on the implementation of their project. Throughout the Rural Placemaking program, [bc] and HAC will provide one in person peer-to-peer training session with other participants to share experience and problem solve, technical training webinars to guide participants through [bc]'s creative placemaking process, Activating Vacancy, and an on-site visit to assist in program implementation. [bc] will provide guidance and feedback to participants on creative placemaking throughout the implementation of Rural Placemaking.  HAC will provide organizational and technical assistance in sustaining long term impact throughout the implementation of Rural Placemaking.  

Applicants should demonstrate a strong interest in social justice and desire to work collaboratively with community stakeholders to formulate proposals which unite residents from diverse economic and cultural backgrounds. Applicants are encouraged to share examples of past work that exhibit community engagement/participation and the organization’s interest in bringing creative placemaking to their community.

More information on Rural Placemaking can be found here. Interested parties should apply via an online application here. We recommend reviewing the application requirements on pages 4-6 on the call for participants to prepare your materials prior to submission. Applicants cannot save and return to their applications.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on March 10, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to submit outside of peak website traffic time, (8:00pm-11:59pm CST on March 10th, 2017).  Finalists will be notified by March 30, 2017.

This initiative is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Bridging the Gap: Connecting Nonprofits and Designers

Learn more about our Public Design Impact Initiative!

"Sometimes community groups have this need and designers want to do meaningful work and they don't know how to connect with each other."  Learn how [bc] Bridges The Gap between nonprofits and designers through our Public Design Impact Initiative.

The Public Design Impact Initiative (PDII) is a program to match nonprofit & community groups with local design professional services. This program guides selected projects through a community-engaged design process and partners communities and designers to build the knowledge and experience of both to better serve others.

The PDII 2017 Request for Proposals is OPEN! Are you a nonprofit or community group in the Rio Grande Valley in need of design? Would architecture, planning, landscape architecture, or design expertise help with a project you've had in mind but not the resources to move forward? We encourage you to submit a project proposal! Proposals are due Thursday, February 2nd, 2017.

 

ACD 40 Call for Sessions

The Association for Community Design has launched their Call for Sessions for their 40th Annual Conference.
Click here to learn how to submit your proposal!

[bc] has been selected to host the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Community Design in Dallas, Texas to be held June 23rd - 24th,  2017. You are invited to submit proposals to present at the conference. Proposals are due at 5pm on March 3, 2017. Selected proposals will receive free registration to the ACD Conference.  

“40 years ago, the field of Community Design grew out of the civil rights movement of the 1960’s with the intention of redistributing design resources to support under-invested neighborhoods. Looking forward another 40 years, ACD would like to invite the growing field to actively participate in the equitable development of neighborhoods and intentionally push our practice towards justice in our collective everyday lives.” - Theresa Hwang, ACD President

CommUNITY: Exchange, Explore, Envision

As ACD turns 40, it is time to reflect back on the why ACD was formed and how it is serving its members today. This year’s conference will be hosting sessions that are centered around the many models of practice that inform how community-based design centers and practitioners operate. The conference will seek to advance the practice of Community Design by connecting and sharing this collective experience.

TRACKS

Exchange: What technical skills are essential to practicing community-based design? Proposals should teach these skills to attendees of all experience levels. From budgets, fundraising, and contracts to project delivery and design tools that are essential to practice, what can you teach others looking to enter or advance their community practices further?

Explore: What are key examples of best practices in the Community Design field? Proposals should go beyond case studies, clearly explaining the lessons learned and how an example project further refined the model of practice for that individual or firm. Example projects that push the boundaries of community design and do not fit traditional models of work are encouraged.

Envision: What will the next 40 years of the Community Design field look like? Proposals should present ambitious visions of the future for community-based design practice, the role of ACD and its members in that vision, and/or methodologies to create and achieve a future vision.

SESSION FORMATS

90 minute sessions: In-depth sessions that teach a key skill to the attendees, presents a lesson learned by experience in the Community Design field, or that engages the audience in a visioning process. These sessions must include an interactive component that engages the audience in the proposed session.

30 minute sessions: Short presentations or hands-on workshops for a small group of attendees that fits one of the three tracks described above.

5 minute sessions: Very brief presentations that tell a story that fits one of the three tracks described above.

Additional opportunities include the Pre-Conference Workshop on Racial Justice in the practice of Community Design and hosting a public event, exhibit, or tour during the conference. 

To submit a proposal and for more information, visit www.communitydesign.org!

10th Street: Construction Set To Begin

The 10th Street house is a small-scale rehabilitation project on an existing house in the historic 10th Street District, one of the few remaining freedmen's towns left in Dallas. The rehabilitation efforts to the existing house will be minimal and true to the original structure, honoring the history of the neighborhood, and original aesthetic of the home. Construction is set to begin at the beginning of 2017. Once complete the home will be a community design hub for the neighborhood.

Macon Starks: The First Unit

Learn more about Macon Starks!

Macon Starks is a housing development which provides rental units for seniors in the ideal neighborhood. The project consists of new single family houses, duplexes, and the renovation of an existing single family home. The first unit under construction will be complete in January 2017.

 

South Boulevard Update

Learn more about South Boulevard

South Boulevard, the four new town homes located in the Jeffries-Meyers neighborhood of South Dallas are currently for sale. The project has been permitted and construction will be underway early 2017

Casitas Los Olmos Nearing Completion

Learn more about Casitas Los Olmos

Casitas Los Olmos is an 80-unit multifamily development currently under construction in Raymondville, TX, built in partnership with Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB). The design of the project incorporates Low Impact Development (LID) strategies, including vegetated swales and permeable driveways to manage stormwater, single family units, and shaded community amenity buildings. Casitas Los Olmos is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2017.

Public Design Impact Initiative | 2017 Request for Proposals

Learn more about the Public Design Impact Initiative!

Our 2017 Request for Proposals is now open!

You can now submit your Project Proposals for [bc]'s 2017 PDII program. 

Are you a nonprofit or community group in need of design? Would architecture, planning, landscape architecture, or design expertise help you with a project you've had in mind but not the resources to move forward? Read through the Request for Proposals: English | Español and submit your project idea!

In 2016/2017, as part of a collaborative effort to extend equity in design to rural, colonia areas, [bc] is seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations and community groups based in the Rio Grande Valley. More details are below.


SOMETER UNA PROPUESTA DE PROYECTO

El plazo para someter una propuesta completa es el JUEVES, 2 de FEBRERO de 2017. El formulario de la Propuesta de Proyecto puede someterse a traves de correo, email, o usando el formulario online. Puede encontrar una version editable, y impresible del Formulario de Propuestas de Proyecto

Para someter a traves del formulario online: 
Use este enlace - bcworkshop.typeform.com/to/SHMOBq

Para someter a traves de email: 
Envíe su Propuesta de Proyecto completada en formato PDF a elaine@bcworkshop.org. Escriba “PDII Project Proposal” en el título del email. 

Para someter una propuesta de proyecto por correo: 
Envíe una copia impresa de su Propuesta de Proyecto a la siguiente direccion. Se le notificará cuando su propuesta sea recibida utilizando la dirección email que provea en la primera parte de su propuesta. Las propuestas deben ser RECIBIDAS EN O ANTES DEL JUEVES, 2 de FEBRERO de 2017.    

Attn: Public Design Impact Initiative
bcWORKSHOP
609 E. 11th St.
Brownsville, TX 78520


ELEGIBILIDAD

Todos los groups comunitarios o sin fines de lucro en RGV (incluyendo orgnizaciones sin fines de lucro, asociaciones de vecindario, grupos PTA de escuelas, etc) son invitados a someter una Propuesta de Proyecto. Los solicitantes deben estar organizados en grupos de 3 o más indiviuos y deben estar localizados en el RGV. Los Proyectos Propuestos deben estar localizados en el RGV y atender problemas o asuntos relacionads a Colonias.

Propuestas de todos grupos y organizaciones comunitarias son bienvenidas, así sean grandes sin fines de lucro o pequeñas y menos formales, independiente de su tamaño o la escala de su trabajo.

Se le dará preferencia a:

  • Grupos comunitarios y sin fines de lucro que usualmente no pueden accesar recursos o servicios de diseño.

  • Propuestas de proyecto que atiendan directamente problemas que enfrentan las comunidades rurales y colonias.

Preguntas y comentarios relacionados al programa de Public Design Impact Initiative deben ser dirigidas a Elaine Morales, al elaine@bcworkshop.org o 347.607.2593

SUBMITTING A PROJECT PROPOSAL

The deadline to submit a completed Project Proposal is THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, 2017. The Project Proposal Form may be submitted through mail, email, or using the online form. Click here to download an editable, printer friendly version of the Project Proposal Form

To submit via online form: 
Use this link - bcworkshop.typeform.com/to/o41qZl

To submit via email: 
Send your completed Project Proposal Form as a PDF file to elaine@bcworkshop.org. Include “PDII Project Proposal” in the subject line.

To submit a project proposal via mail:
Send a hardcopy of your Project Proposal form to the address below. You will be notified when your submission has been received using the email address provided in your Project Proposal. Mailed copies must be RECEIVED BY THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, 2017.    

Attn: Public Design Impact Initiative
bcWORKSHOP
609 E. 11th St.
Brownsville, TX 78520


ELIGIBILITY

All RGV-based community and nonprofit groups (including nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations, school PTA groups, etc.) are invited to submit Project Proposals. Applicants must be made up of a group of three or more individuals and should be both located within the RGV area. Proposed projects must also be located in the RGV and address issues related to colonias.

Proposals are welcome from all not-for-profit groups, from large and established nonprofit organizations to small/less formal community groups, regardless of the scale or scope of work.

Preference will be given to:

  • Community and nonprofit groups that cannot typically access design resources or services.
  • Project proposals that directly address issues facing colonias and rural communities. 

Questions & comments related to the Public Design Impact Initiative should be directed to Elaine Morales, at elaine@bcworkshop.org or 347.607.2593.

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing are nearing completion!

Learn more about The Cottages

The Cottages at Hickory Crossing, a permanent supportive housing project in South Dallas, is weeks away from completion. Once fully inhabited the complex will house and support 50 residents that have been identified as chronically homeless. Residents have begun to move into their 335 square foot homes and use The Cottages on-site services, including comprehensive case management, psychiatric care, mental health treatment and support, substance abuse treatment, life-skills training, and employment counseling.

 

Congo Street Initiative - Phase 2

Learn more about our work in Dallas

 

Congo Street: Phase 2 is a partnership between Jubilee Park Community Center Corporation (JPCCC) and [bc] to design homes on Congo Street. The work on Congo St. seeks to combat vacancy through the design and completion of six owner-occupied homes on currently vacant properties. The project combines an overall site strategy developed through a community-informed process with current residents and individual home designs driven by the choices of the new homeowners. The completed homes will address issues of environmental sustainability, with a target goal of LEED Silver certification for all six lots.

Currently, the new homes are being constructed. The first house of the second phase has already been completed, two more are under construction and expecting completion in 2017, and the last three are currently being designed with their prospective owners. 

AIM for Dallas Launches Website

See more posts about AIM for Dallas here!

AIM for Dallas program launches website.  AIM for Dallas promotes innovative practices and concepts in order to increase the number, the quality and the pervasiveness of low and middle income housing in Dallas ultimately increasing housing and neighborhood choice for those households.  The website brings together resources for home buyers including neighborhood matching services and home purchasing navigation services, as well as the latest research on housing affordability and innovative concepts to address housing affordability in Dallas.

PDII 2016 Project Selection

Learn more about the Public Design Impact Initiative!

Rebecca of the Hope Family Health Center and Carolina of ORANGE-MADE discuss schematic design ideas for HFHC's new facilities. The project is currently in the implementation phase and expected to be completed in the spring of 2017.

Rebecca of the Hope Family Health Center and Carolina of ORANGE-MADE discuss schematic design ideas for HFHC's new facilities. The project is currently in the implementation phase and expected to be completed in the spring of 2017.

In May 2016, as part of a collaborative effort to extend equity in design to rural, colonia areas, a Request For Proposals was released to invite Rio Grande Valley nonprofit organizations and groups to submit project proposals to be matched with pro bono design services. From this RFP, we received many excellent proposals, and in July, a jury of nonprofit, community and design leaders convened to review the proposals, recommending the following project to be selected for 2016:

The Hope Family Health Center

The Hope Family Health Center (HFHC) is a primary medical and behavioral health clinic with a mission to exclusively serve the uninsured in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). 

HFHC proposed a planning and infrastructure design project for a newly acquired 1,460 sq ft rectangle space attached to the current HFHC clinic facility in South McAllen. Due to the continued high rate of medically uninsured adults and children in the RGV and in order to meet its mission of serving the uninsured population, in the last two years, HFHC has sought and secured major grant funded projects to deliver increased quality and quantity of services. The services include medical appointments, mental health counseling, nutritional counseling, community health education classes, support groups, vision screenings, and information & referral services. All of these services have outgrown the physical space of the clinic. The additional 1,000 sq ft of space will greatly increase the number of services available on-site and on the same day knowing that patients have many challenges in arranging transportation to the clinic.

HFHC was in need of the extra space in order to house its growing programs and activities. However, the new open space requires infrastructure that could include walls to define rooms, moveable walls to keep space multi-use, interior design to maximize floor space, and use of green and sustainable materials. The board of directors and medical volunteers have many ideas and thoughts on how best to use the space; however, through PDII, HFHC seeks professional and innovate planning and design assistance to discover, design, plan and implement the optimal use of the space for use by patients, staff, volunteers, and partner organizations.

Optimal use of the new space would immediately increase the number of laughter yoga classes, nutrition classes, grief support groups, stress management groups, exercise classes, staff planning meetings, medical volunteer meetings, professional development workshops, community group meetings, partner organization workshops, and many other opportunities for individuals to gather in groups. Currently the only space available for these types of activities is the public lobby or a small meeting room that cannot hold more than 10 people comfortably. In addition to the group space, the additional space for desks or offices would give patients more opportunities to meet privately with a nutritional counselor, information and referral specialist or social worker on the same day as their medical appointment instead of having to come back on another day. HFHC expects that the new space will achieve increased quality and quantity of all the current and possibly new services for its patients.

Healing Hands Ministries

We are publishing a collection of reports and documents prepared by bcANALYTICS to help nonprofit and community-based organizations serve their clients and communities through data-driven research and analysis. Check out more bcANALYTICS reports here.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Four of the primary challenges that negatively impact the health of Americans are:
(1) The high cost of healthcare
(2) The high rate of uninsured
(3) The high rate of poverty
(4) Poor transportation access to care

By providing affordable healthcare to thousands of uninsured patients earning at or below 200% of the poverty level, Healing Hands Ministries effectively and compassionately remediates three of these challenges for people in the Lake Highlands and greater Dallas area.

Currently, however, Healing Hands Ministries is underserved by public transportation, and patients seeking to use their facilities must walk more than one-half mile from the nearest bus stops along inhospitable and fast-moving arterial roads. To more effectively serve a greater population in need, Healing Hands Ministries must be better connected to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system.

This report will argue for enhanced transportation access for Healing Hands Ministries by drawing attention to the heightened significance of their service provision due to the severe need for quality, affordable healthcare in Dallas; demonstrating the breadth of scope and quality of care Healing Hands provides patients; revealing the inadequacy of transportation connectivity surrounding the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Royal Lane; and recommending several paths forward for pursuing improved integration into the Dallas Area Rapid Transit transportation system.

Below is an excerpt from the Healing Hands report. Read the full report here!

THIS WORK IS SUPPORTED BY
As the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation,
Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works with families, companies and nonprofits to strengthen our community through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. The foundation professionally manages more than 900 charitable funds and has awarded more than $1.3 billion in grants since its founding in 1953. Increasing financial stability of working families is one of the two key focus areas of CFT’s community impact funds. To support this area, CFT has launched the Data Driven Decision-Making (D3) Institute. The D3 Institute is designed to provide organizations that offer programs and services for low-income working families the power to accelerate their development of enduring solutions to the social and economic problems facing this population. www.cftexas.org/D3

Little Free Libraries Code Amendment Update

See more posts on Little Free Libraries!

On October 26, 2016 the Development Code Amendment regarding Little Free Libraries in the City of Dallas was heard by the Dallas City Council:

  • Item 60. A public hearing to receive comments regarding amendments to Chapter 51 and Chapter 51A of the Dallas Development Code, Section 51-4.217 and Section 51A-4.217, “Accessory Uses,” providing regulations for book exchange structures as accessory outside storage and an ordinance granting the amendments.

The adopted motion was to “treat landscaping, ornamental structures (front yard accessories) and lawn furniture by right,” meaning no new code restrictions would be placed on “book exchange structures” or Little Free Libraries.

  • Voting Yes: [14] Rawlings, Alonzo, Wilson, Griggs, Medrano, Thomas, Callahan, Young, Clayton, McGough, Kleinman, Greyson, Gates, Kingston
  • Voting No: [1] Arnold  

While the City of Dallas will not restrict the size or location of Little Free Libraries on private property, if you are considering placing a LFL on your private property, we recommend contacting you HOA (if applicable) for any restrictions that may affect your library structure.

Our thanks goes to everyone who contacted their councilperson and expressed their opinion of the Development Code Amendment!

See lfldallas.org and the links below for more resources for Little Free Libraries!